Director – John Bradshaw, Screenplay – Kevin Commins, Jeremy Levy & Angela Mancuso, Producers – Robert Vaughn, Photography – Russ Goozee, Music – Lou Natale, Prosthetics Supervisor – Carlos Henriques, Production Design – Gavin Mitchell. Production Company – Chesler-Perlmutter Productions
Sebastian Roche (Belleros), Nazneen Contractor (Philony), Carlo Rota (King Orthos), James Kidnie (General Actae), Mimi Kuzyk (Queen Caria), Rae Dawn Chong (Mayda), Robert Clark (Tello), Santino Buda (King Dorian), Andrew Jackson (Cyros), Tig Fong (Zo)
As a young boy, Belleros sees his father killed by the soldiers of the tyrant Orthos. Many years later, Orthos kills Dorian, ruler of the peaceful land of Tyrrin, as part of his plan to claims the kingdom’s territories. After seeing her father beheaded, Dorian’s daughter Philony flees and comes to the blacksmith’s smithy run by the now adult Belleros and his son Tello where she asks for weapons to fight back. After realising they are both wanting revenge against the same tyrant, Belleros decides to join her. Orthos retains his youth due to the sorceries of his general Actae. Actae now uses Orthos’s blood to raise a chimera to hunt and kill the surviving Tyrrin people. Belleros and Philony seek the aid of the witch Mayda who serves the powers of light. She uses her magic to bring a pegasus down from the stars to oppose the chimera. As Belleros and Philony fly off on the pegasus to fight Orthos, Orthos sees the pegasus’s blood is a means to become fully immortal, ignoring Mayda’s warnings that its death will mean the end of the world.
Pegasus vs. Chimera was one of the numerous fantasy films made for cable and dvd release in the 1980s. These were riffing off the success of The Lord of the Rings at the box-office and offering up cheap dragon films or variations on Greek myth and the Arthurian legends. Most of these were desultory efforts that lacked any substantial flight of fantasy and were caught down at the level of offering up cut-rate CGI creature effects.
Pegasus vs. Chimera is no different. Its title seems to be a quick attempt to incorporate the fad for ‘versus’ films that we had following Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus (2009) and a variety of other B-budget monster movies premised around throwing together either hybrid creatures or ridiculous fights. Pegasus vs. Chimera is routine in all regards. The plot features epic destinies – a king conjuring creatures of darkness to kill while seeking the secrets of immortality; the good guys encountering a magician who works for the forces of light and draws a pegasus down from the stars to aid them in their conflict; the end of the world dependent on whether the pegasus is killed or not. Despite its epic reach, the film has a underwhelming mundanity of delivery – the chimera killing an entire kingdom amounts to no more than a couple of peasants in the woods; the resistance consists of half-a-dozen people gathered in a cave; the pegasus scenes consist of the actors pretending (badly) to sway about on horseback.
Pegasus vs. Chimera is not bad, just uninspired. The creature effects are competent, no more, no less. John Bradshaw, a regular in the arena of the cable-made tv movie, directs with the disinterested lack of effort. He is only churning out filler material and knows it. None of the scenes generate the slightest tension or excitement. French-born actor Sebastian Roche is far too polite and quiet spoken to do the role of the quintessential Man of the People blacksmith turned hero, while Nazneen Contractor is another starlet with so little presence she could just be an extra in the background. On the other side of the coin, Carlo Rota launches into his bad guy role with the hamminess of week-old pork.
John Bradshaw has been a regular director of B-budget Canadian thrillers and action films for video and cable. His other genre outings include Specimen (1996), Breakout (1998), Killing Moon (1999), Reaper (2000) and They Come Back (2007), as well as a host of Christmas fantasies.
Chesler-Perlmutter, headed by Lewis Chesler and David B. Perlmutter, have produced a number of genre productions, almost all for tv with the likes of the anthology tv series The Hitchhiker (1983-6) and films such as Model By Day (1994), Hostile Intent (1997), Bone Daddy (1998), Aliens in the Wild, Wild West (1999), The Excalibur Kid (1999), Teenage Space Vampires (1999), Zebra Lounge (2001), Cybermutt (2002), Still Small Voices (2006), They Come Back (2007), Red: Werewolf Hunter (2010), Aladdin and the Death Lamp (2012) and Witchslayer Gretl (2012), among others.