Kickstarter: Now with more Sorbo
Hercules has come to Kickstarter, and I can’t tell if that’s a high point or a low point in his storied career. After Hercules ended in 1999, he was in Xena for a few years, then Andromeda and after that he returned to Mount Olympus to dine with the gods and drink ambrosia.
If he has returned from such a place then either the world is in grave danger, or the part was just too good to pass up. So what’s the deal with Mr Sorbo’s shadowy employers? What are they up to exactly?
Arrowstorm entertainment seems to have made a cottage industry out of making B- movies. In the next day or two they will cross the line and fund their fifth feature film on their sixth crowd funding project. That’s an impressive and enviable track record. To date, they have only garnered $120,000 which is less than many of the mega projects we usually cover on this blog, but I find their string of successes to be compelling.
When I first found their latest project, I was convinced that it was one more scammer, swindling money out of the Kickstarter community. I thought I would find a lot of delays in the updates and complaints in the comments, but that proved not to be the case. Indeed, they seem to have found and grown a core audience of people that like sci-fi/fantasy combinations that are high on concept but low on budget and quality.
The reviews on IMDb don’t have much nice to say about any of the end products:
The Crown and the Dragon a fantasy romance flick with apparently bad dialog
Ozombie a movie where zombie Osama bin Laden must be put down a second time.
The Shadow Cabal is the only movie on the list so far that seems to have been generally well received
Orc Wars is their most recent film, and pits fantasy baddies against modern machine guns. I doesn’t seem to end well.
So why am I bothering to take the time to write about a mediocre series of films? After researching their projects, I think this company is an excellent example of what Kickstarter is for. To be clear, I don’t think I would ever fund one of their projects, but there is certainly a demand for this sort of thing. Each project has an average backer total that is slowly increasing and though some of the rewards seem to be delivered late, they do seem to be delivered all the same.
If crowd funding doesn’t exist to fund mediocre movies done by hobbyists, then it might as well cease to exist. Even though these creators have a long way to go (if the reviews are to be believed that is,) if they raise enough money and practice on enough films they might make something of themselves. Who knows, now that they have the budget to hire washed up actors, they might even succeed in resurrecting the careers of a few c-list action heroes.
If The Shadow Cabal ever comes to Netflix I might even watch it. It’s trailer didn’t look so bad, and it couldn’t be any worse than 47 Ronin.
Speaking of small creators looking for their audience, take a look at a fiction anthology on Kickstarter right now. It’s got a little something for everyone, and might be the perfect gift for that geek in your life.