Jack Chick’s Religious Anti-Gaming Comic ‘Dark Dungeons’ Is Getting A Film, Is Most Anticipated Comic Book Movie Of 2014
Jack Chick‘s Dark Dungeons is one of my favorite comics of all time. Originally released in 1984 at the height of the “Satanic Panic” surrounding Dungeons & Dragons and its (completely imaginary) link to devil worship, actual real-life magic and human sacrifice, it told the story of a young woman who got trapped in the sordid, wicked world of roleplaying games, a world fraught with suicide, murder and spellcasting. It is hilarious.
But, as is the case with every one of Jack Chick’s fundamentalist Christian comics, it is also 100% sincere. And now, as revealed by Wired, there’s going to be an equally sincere live-action adaptation from Zombie Orpheus Entertainment, officially becoming ComicsAlliance’s most anticipated comic book movie of 2014.
If I had to guess, I’d say that Dark Dungeons is easily Chick’s most widely read comic — or tracts — at least among people who haven’t been saved. It is both famous and infamous among fans of roleplaying games, a good 30 percent or more of whom have never attempted to use the spells in the Player’s Handbook on actual people. Those who have may have found that Charm Person does not actually get people to fork over money that you can spend down at the comic book store. The basic plot concerns the sinister Miss Frost, a DungeonMaster who lures children into her gaming group only to manipulate their lives, weeding out the weak and introducing others to “The Real Power” that can only be gained once your resistance to Satan has been worn down by battling goblins and flumphs.
I mention all this because the movie is being made by a few of those same gamers that obsess over Chick’s depiction of their hobby. Zombie Orpheus Entertainment in general and JR Ralls in particular, the filmmaker who contacted Chick about getting the film rights to the tract, are in fact gamers. ZOE’s best known projects to date are comedic satires of fantasy gaming that, despite the jokes, are certainly in favor of the hobby.
That in particular is what makes Dark Dungeons so intriguing as a movie, although that shot of dice crashing through a puddle of blood in slow motion ranks as a close second. Dark Dungeons premieres at GenCon in Indianapolis on August 14.