Mazes and Monsters (1982)

I was never into Dungeons & Dragons as a kid, for no reason really. It alway seemed cool, you know, dragons are kick ass, and I had never been in a dungeon but they also seemed pretty sweet. None of this matters really, but I think my ignorance about the game pales in comparison to Rona Jaffe's, the author responsible for the book on which this made-for-tv movie is based.

This movie is ridiculous and very superficial. Couple that with the fact nearly every time I see Tom Hanks on screen, I can only hear him yelling "Hooch!!" with tears in his eyes, and you can kind of understand my experience with this movie. The basic premise is that playing Dungeons & Dragons (here called Mazes & Monsters) makes you crazy. The book is based on shoddy newspaper reports about the disappearance of a D&D player which was then later followed by a book by a private investigator on the case that clears up the inaccuracies Jaffe peddled. The player, James Dallas Egbert, has a pretty tragic story actually; it really sucks that Jaffe shitted on his situation for personal gain.

All this being said, I actually did enjoy this in a weirdo, nostalgic way. There's some completely idiotic dialogue about D&D and the people who play it that's really hilarious. But I think I mostly miss the made-for-tv movie events of the '80s that this fell into. Also, seeing a super baby-faced Tom Hanks is pretty entertaining.

Grab a copy of Mazes and Monsters on DVD.


  1. I ashamedly admit that this movie scared me when I was a kid. I felt so bad for Robbie. I watched this right after I started playing D&D and it wasn't long before I quit. My quitting had little to do with this movie and more to do with the fact that the game was too much hard work. If I couldn't be a dungeon master overnight then what was the point?

  2. I am sort of glad no one I knew growing up played D&D or else I may have found myself in a similar situation to avid D&Der Vin Diesel. Thankfully, I am in a much better place.