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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

the oh-no! DVD of the week: ‘Billy Owens and the Secret of the Runes’

Totally not a Harry Potter ripoff:

Billy Owens is back for another enchanting adventure! Along with his three fellow friends in magic, they come together to help their teacher, Thurgood, when his soul becomes trapped in an ancient amulet. Legend says that inserting the empowered amulet into a cursed scepter will unlock vast powers and unworldly Viking treasures! Now, with the powers of magic, friendship and teamwork, our four young heroes must take on the evil wizard, Mr. Mould, to find away to release Thurgood before he is trapped in the amulet forever!

Kurt Dahlke at DVDtalk says:

[T]his movie is so aggressively bad it seems willful. It’s like [director Mark] McNabb wants to insult everyone. OK, so the acting is terrible, the story is weak, the special effects are reprehensible, and nothing much happens. Nevertheless, McNabb manages to throw in a few sequences that are so jaw-droppingly awful you have to hit rewind and watch again. You get plenty more endless shots of kids doing nothing much, working on a mystical tree-fort or ambling around a carnival, and you get disturbing levels of incoherence and incomprehensibility.

Ooo, ooo, ooo, there’s a trailer:

It looks like it was shot in someone’s backyard…

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