(George A. Romero, US 1981, 146 min., 35mm)
RIP Romero. Fans of Romero’s Living Dead cycle may be surprised to learn that one of the late master’s finest films isn’t a horror movie at all. This thrilling Excalibur-meets-Easy Rider adventure follows a troupe of modern-day “knights” who have traded steeds for steel, jousting astride Hondas and Harleys under the leadership of an idealistic “king” (Ed Harris), whose unyielding chivalric code has begun to clash with the realities of crass commercialization, corrupt police, and increasingly bloodthirsty crowds. Epic in ambition yet deeply personal, the film considers big questions without feeling the slightest bit pretentious, laying to rest any doubt that George A. Romero was one of independent American cinema’s sharpest social critics.