Crimson Blade

Did you ever go a Renaissance Faire with some friends, throw a bunch of axes and other sharp implements around, chuck a softball or two at the saucy “drench the wench” at the dunk tank, have one too many ales and under the hot autumn sun, and then – as the day was winding down – joke “that we should totally make a movie about this?” Well, writer/director Thomas Smith certainly has and Crimson Blade is the result.

“…comes upon a caged young woman who is sorta/kinda in distress.”

Coalescing a motley crew of steampunks, a goth girl with a dime store British accent, and a mysterious masked figure – the eponymous Crimson Blade – Thomas has stitched together a delightfully ridiculous 9-minute short which is billed as “post-apocalyptic western” which is neither apocalyptic nor western. The plot, razor thin as it is, follows the aforementioned mysterious figure who, while bushwhacking through the woods, comes upon a caged young woman who is sorta/kinda in distress. But, all is not as it seems and, to quote Admiral Akbar in  Return of the Jedi, “it’s a trap!”  

Boasting the best/worst fight choreography I’ve seen in ages, a total absence of color correction, and dialogue that does the rare feat of being both simultaneously offensive and unintentionally hilarious, Crimson Blade is an unintentional paean to the spirit of young and fearless indie filmmakers everywhere. This sneeze-and-you’ll-miss-it short was stupid-fun and one can only quake with excitement/dread to imagine what Smith would produce were he given an expansive budget, competent crew, and actors with some actual chops.  

So, if you’ve got a few minutes to kill and you need a cinematic little warm up before cueing up yet another screening of The Craft or The Crow, head over to Amazon Prime and stream Crimson Blade.  


Crimson Blade (2016) Written and Directed by Thomas Smith. Starring Kelly Houk, Leah Christine Johnson, and Erin Lilley.       

3 out of 5 stars

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