In the hustle and bustle of the Holidays, it’s always easy to lose sight of the real meaning of Christmas. But, in Robby Sparks’ short film, O Holy Knight!, a young man finds true meaning with a sword in hand and a suit of armor.
Our tale opens in modern times with our Hero (Christian Barba) selling Christmas toys and trinkets to his loyal customers. Unfortunately, it becomes painfully clear that he knows more about Santa and his reindeer than he does the Christmas story. Leaving for home after his shift, Hero stumbles across a Santa (Tim Brown) being mugged in the alley. After a thorough beating, Santa is saved, and as he whiffs some of Santa’s Christmas magic, Hero is magically transported to a far-off kingdom.
When Hero awakens, he takes the identity of the knight, known as Sir Klaus, and meets his new friends, Lord Nick (Jim Horning) and Black Pete (Jackson Geach). Lord Nick invites Sir Klaus to participate in the Christmas Games, a glorious battle where the Greenfields and the Butchers fight over the honor of sitting at the Christmas table of the noble Queen Ava. But which house will Sir Klaus fight for?
This short film extolls the virtue of community. As Sir Klaus is forced to decide between being a Greenfield or a Butcher, he questions why such a choice must even be made in the first place. A good moral message in tow means that O Holy Knight! leans heavily on the family-friendly side of the knightly realm versus Game of Thrones.
“…as he whiffs some of Santa’s Christmas magic, Hero is magically transported to a far-off kingdom.”
Being family-friendly, the hope-filled message takes top priority. Films like this are often brought together by well-intentioned producers, directors, writers, and actors who want to tell a wholesome story that the entire family can watch together. O Holy Knight! admirably hits this mark.
But like most family-friendly features, the overall quality falls short of the dark, brooding features we go to the theater for. I’m speaking in terms of the acting, production values, editing, and fight sequences. If you frequently read this site’s reviews, you know that “hopeful” and “family” are not exactly what we are drawn to.
Interestingly enough, regarding the story, during the credits, we are treated to the original comic book-style panels/storyboards for O Holy Knight!. The story definitely played better as a comic. My best piece of advice is that the film should move at the pace one reads a comic book. Same with tone and shot composition.
I’m not saying O Holy Knight! would have been better if it wasn’t family-friendly, but there are tricks that many of the low-budget independent films we review daily that could have been used to elevate the final tale. Still, this is a fine family fantasy tale, but the genre, in general, has always lacked the true quality as a whole. However, it doesn’t need to be this way. I encourage the filmmakers to study other indie filmmakers and find ways to push low-budget boundaries in both production and storytelling in their next film.
For screening information, visit the O Holy Knight! Facebook page.
"…leans heavily on the family-friendly side of the knightly realm versus Game of Thrones."