Mythica: The Iron Crown (2016) poster

Mythica: The Iron Crown (2016)


USA. 2016.


Director – John Lyde, Screenplay – Jason Faller, Producer – Jennifer Griffin, Photography – Airk Thaughbaer, Music – James Schafer, Visual Effects – Blufire Studios (Supervisor – Matt Hoffman), Special Effects Supervisor – Kurt Knight, Makeup Effects Supervisor – Chris Hanson, Production Design – Lauren Spalding. Production Company – Arrowstorm Entertainment.


Melanie Stone (Marek), Jake Stormoen (Dagen), Adam Johnson (Thane), Kevin Sorbo (Gojun Pye), Jasen Wade (Rezzek), Ashley Santos (Caia-Bekk), James Gaisford (Thorsten), Matthew Mercer (Szorlok), Paris Warner (Zombie Girl). Eve Mauro (The Admiral), Christopher Robin Miller (Hammerhead), Nicola Poesner (Teela/Ana-Sett), Chris Rueckert (The Guardian)


Marek, Dagen and Thane capture the final piece of the darkspore in a raid on a land vehicle. They continue on in the commandeered vehicle, pursued by liches raised by Szorlok. Also on their trail is a trio of warriors who have been sent to obtain the darkspore. They are operating on behalf of the dwarf Hammerhead who wants to trade the darkspore to Szorlok for the Iron Crown that will allow him to become king of the dwarves once again. Throughout this, the group endeavour to take the darkspore to the Temple of Owls so that it can be neutralised. In the midst of this, Thane becomes certain that the late Teela’s spirit is inhabiting Marek.

The Mythica series was a low-budget attempt to create an original epic fantasy series. The series began with Mythica: A Quest for Heroes (2014) and continued through Mythica: The Darkspore (2015), Mythica: The Necromancer (2015) before concluding with the subsequent Mythica: The Godslayer/Mythica: The Dragonslayer (2016). The series comes from Arrowstorm Entertainment, a Utah-based film production company that specialise in low-budget genre films. (See below for Arrowstorm’s other genre films).

For what were essentially B movies made by professionals outside of the Hollywood mainstream and works that only shuffle around tropes of the Epic Fantasy Film, the Mythica films surprisingly well made. Anne Black’s first two entries, A Quest for Heroes and The Darkspore, served up the elements with a great conviction, although the quality dipped somewhat with The Necromancer from new incoming director A. Todd Smith, which ended up being the slightest of the series.

For its fourth entry, the series gets a new director in John Lyde who also directed the subsequent film Mythica: The Godslayer/Mythica: The Dragonslayer. Lyde is a prolific director and his works have vied between Mormon films such as The Field is White (2002), Latter-Day Biscuit (2005), One Man’s Treasure (2009) and Carthage (2017) to action fare such as The Collectors (2003), The Eleventh Hour (2008), Riot (2015) and Scarlett (2020). His other genre films have included Oƨombie (2012) with Osama bin Laden as a zombie, the Young Adult You’re So Cupid! (2010), the fantasy film SAGA – Curse of the Shadow (2013), Arrowstorm’s The Christmas Dragon (2014), the alien invasion film One Shot (2014), the Arrowstorm planetary adventure Survivor (2014), Mythica: The Godslayer, and the superpowered kid on the run film 626 Evolution (2017).

Thane (Adam Johnson), Marek (Melanie Stone) and Dagen (Jake Stormoen) in Mythica: The Iron Crown (2016)
(l to r) Thane (Adam Johnson), Marek (Melanie Stone) and Dagen (Jake Stormoen)

The surprise about John Lyde is that he makes the best entry in the Mythica series to date. The major reason for this is that Lyde construes the film around a series of smart, well choreographed and edited action sequences. This keeps the film constantly moving in a slick way that carries it over any budgetary shortcomings. The results are solidly satisfying. Lyde even throws in some creative spins on the familiar fantasy tropes, including having the heroes spend much of their time travelling/being pursued while in a magically empowered land vehicle with one group of pursuers following and attacking in airships.

As in the previous entries, the character interplay is a major component. This film does change the complement about – killing one major character off, having another decide to leave the party at the end. Teela had already been killed off in the previous film but this has her survive on inside Marek a la Spock/McCoy in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984). The ending the film reaches is a surprisingly downbeat cliffhanger – sort of the series’ equivalent of The Empire Strikes Back (1980).

Formed in 2011, the Utah-based Arrowstorm Entertainment have also made the likes of Dawn of the Dragonslayer (2011), The Crown and the Dragon (2012), Orc Wars (2012), Oƨombie (2012), The Shadow Cabal (2012), Dragonfyre (2013), Zombie Hunter (2013), Survivor (2014), Christmas Dragon (2015), Cyborg X (2016), We All Fall Down (2016), Magellan (2017), 626 Evolution (2017), The Appearance (2018) and the tv series The Outpost (2018-21).

Trailer here

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