Bearing a 1985 copyright, LEGEND OF THE WHITE HORSE, an unwatchable, ultra-cheap children's fantasy, surfaced belatedly as a home video release, despite Christopher Lloyd's presence in the leading role. Lloyd may in fact be wishing this turkey had stayed buried forever.
Jim Martin (Lloyd) a rebellious, out-of-work geologist, inexplicably accepts a job with a corrupt American mineral company to verify and rubber-stamp their environmental-impact report for a fictional Eastern European country so the company can move in and strip-mine it back to the Stone Age.
Arriving there with his young son Steve, Martin takes lodging with witchy Alta (Dee Wallace Stone) and her blind young ward Jewel (Allison Balson). Martin immediately finds that the company's data has been doctored to produce a favorable result and settles in for an extended stay to compile his
own data. Meanwhile, Steve starts cavorting with Jewel and her friend and protector, a white horse which, when Jewel is threatened, turns into a dragon and zaps her enemies with rays that turn them into tree stumps and stones. It emerges that Alta, far from being Jewel's guardian, actually intends
to sacrifice her to some kind of woodland spirit in return for eternal youth, with the help of Tai-Ching (Soon-Teck Oh), who wants to slay the dragon to enhance his own power.
When Martin tells the company he intends to rewrite their report, the company recruits a conveniently placed local thug, "Doc" Westmore (Christopher Stone), to bribe Martin. When that fails, Westmore attacks Alta's home, burning it down and trying to kill everyone there. In the
less-than-hair-raising climax, Alta, Tai-Ching and Westmore all fall to the dragon, leaving Martin free to bring Jewel, whose blindness is magically cured by the dragon, back to the States and deliver his damning report to the proper authorities.
Scripted by Robert C. Fleet from his own novel, White Horse, Dark Dragon, this cheesy, American-Polish co-production is a drag from start to finish. The story is largely incoherent, the characters dull and lifeless and the special effects ridiculously cheap and inept. Even the white horse looks
bored, with good reason. The plot promises magic and wonder and instead delivers Dee Wallace Stone (THE HOWLING, ET, CRITTERS) vamping around in a black wig and delivering her lines with a truly embarrassing mock-Marlene Dietrich accent. Balson is pretty and sings nicely, but when she offers to
take Lloyd and his son on a tour of her magical forest, they stumble into nothing more than a papier-mache cave. The dragon is also a kindergarten cut-and-paste reject that makes Godzilla resemble state-of-the-art technology.
Christopher Lloyd, who made his feature debut as Tabor in 1975's ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST, has parlayed his talent for portraying eccentric or downright insane characters into a very successful career, with such high-profile credits as BACK TO THE FUTURE, WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT and THE
ADDAMS FAMILY. Here, he looks and acts mostly sullen and tired, giving a performance that may not mark his place in film history but, under the circumstances, is unquestionably the most appropriate one to give. Sure to aggravate children of all ages, LEGEND OF THE WHITE HORSE is legendary junk.
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1991
- Rating: NR
- Review: Bearing a 1985 copyright, LEGEND OF THE WHITE HORSE, an unwatchable, ultra-cheap children's fantasy, surfaced belatedly as a home video release, despite Christopher Lloyd's presence in the leading role. Lloyd may in fact be wishing this turkey had stayed b… (more)