King Knight is a new US comedy parodying religious cults. Good witch Thorn (Matthew Gray Guble) faces up to his high school past, which jeopardises his future in a witches coven and his relationship with his fellow witch partner Willow (Angela Sarafyan). Available on all major digital platforms from 8th August.
Set in modern day California the story begins like a fairytale, but is quickly turned on its head as it’s made clear that this is going to be a silly and absurd ride. Thorn and Willow are two lovers, as predicted by the tarot cards, symbols of the magical arts being drawn upon. They are the head witches of a couples coven in the Californian hills with a following of dysfunctional witch couples who come to them to have their relationship problems resolved.
Thorn receives an invitation to his old high school reunion, which Willow finds out about and consequently discovers something quite unforgivable from his high school past. Needless to say it’s silly and absurd but leaves the coven no option but to banish him. Left to walk alone with only a talking pine cone and a pebble for guidance he receives a visitation from a popular Wizard to help him on his journey of discovery.
Will Willow and the coven forgive Thorn his high school past (successes) and come to support him in his hour of need? Will Thorn have the strength to make it to his high school reunion on his own? The stakes don’t seem to get much higher than this.
Written and directed by Richard Bates, it’s a farcical story from start to finish. Matthew Gray Guble plays Thorn, heavily tattooed and dressed in black, he manages to pull off a cool witch like decorum. His onscreen partner, played by Angela Sarafyan, is Willow, who brings a young Morticia like seductive authority to the witches coven and pours out the spiritual nonsense that attracts the Californian misfits for relationship guidance.
This coven of disenfranchised yet all American witch couples try hard to deliver an edgy comedy script, working the spoof elements of a religious cult, and not without some successes, like when they leap over a small candle in the garden to celebrate a pagan festival. Some psychedelic animation is thrown in to help with the cosmic vibes, whilst the bad taste gags along with some taboo LGBTQ references test the censors but without ever being threatening enough to lose a mainstream audience.
The anarchic spoof fans will get some spiritual fulfilment from this in a film that celebrates the disenchanted outsiders of society in a witches coven that makes for a goofy gothic retreat.
Film: King Knight
Director: Richard Bates Jr.
Stars: Matthew Gray Gubler, Angela Sarafyan, Barbara Crampton
Run time: 1hr 21min