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Hordes of the Things - Hordes of Laughter!,
This review is from: Hordes of the Things (BBC Audio) (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Many years ago, in a land far far away, a Wizard named Tolkein published the book that defined the fantasy genre - Lord Of the Rings. In the years that followed, many many parodies have been made of this masterpiece. None have really worked, apart from 'Hordes Of The Things'.
Obviously inspired by the radio production of LOTR, to which it audibly bears a great resemblance, it follows the trials and tribulations of Prince Vagenin (Simon Callow in grand blustering form), Agar the hero and Wizard Radox the Green (Frank Middlemass in good voice) as they try to save Albion from the ravages of The Evil One. Also notable is Paul Eddington as King Yulfric the Wise (with an odd habit...) and Jonathan Lynne (creator of Yes Minister) as the Dwarf who is a little sensitive about his height.
This works well for one reason - it shows us just how absurd fantasy can be. Remove three jokes and ask the actors to take it a bit more seriously and this would have been a decent swords and wizardry adventure. As it is, just a few comic twists and suddenly we have a laugh out loud funny two hours, which works it's way up to a great ending (it's worth listening just to find out who the six legendary heroes really are!)
It strikes me as odd that this work isn't better known, or accorded the 'cult' status that it deserves. Definitely worth a punt form all fans of LOTR (especially the radio version) and comedy fantasy like Pratchett.