Dwarves and humans are at odds due to the mining of the dwarves ancestral home. In the thick of the struggle, three dwarven miners become trapped deep within the titular mountain. As time passes, the situation takes it’s toll both mentally and physically as starvation sets in and a mysterious creature begins stalking our heroes. Will they see the light of day again, or will the subterranean hell claim it’s victims?
The greatest strength of Dragon Mountain is doubtless the acting present therein…which is good, since we are trapped with the three leads for ninety minutes. John Hutton, Brent Bateman, and Robert Morgan all deliver solid performances, and are interesting to watch as they sink deeper and deeper into despair. The film also possesses a unique quality in that writers Zachary Amundson and Chris Raney (who also directed) have given us an intimate character study with steampunk and traditional fantasy trappings instead of going the normal spectacle and bombast route pictures in the fantasy genre often display…plus there is the element of impending doom at the hands of a mysterious foe that gives the whole thing a strong horror vibe. Additionally, the set design is suitably claustrophobic and well realized, and the cinematography, provided by Ambrose Eng, is full of cool blues and deep shadows that add immeasurably to the aesthetic.
On the flip side if you expect tons of dragon action in this film you are in for one mother fucker of a rude awakening. There’s one flying around during the first few minutes of the film, and that’s all she wrote. Seriously, whoever designed the cover art for this release is a real asshole by featuring that fire breathing bad bitch taking on an army of knights…that is so far removed from what this picture contains that they could have featured a cat eating a hamburger and been just as close. Speaking of all things creature, there isn’t much of a payoff for the menace beleaguering our heroes; the end result is anti-climatic and could have been punched up quite a bit to offer a more satisfying experience for the audience.
If you are looking for a different take on the fantasy genre I’d say give ol’ Dragon Mountain a look see; but keep your expectations tempered in regards to the creature action.