A Film on the Curious Sport of Medieval Combat

Friday January 19, 2018 Written by Amy

People fall into two broad camps – those who do medieval reenactments, and those who are fascinated by those who do medieval reenactments.

If you’re in the latter army, you’ll be surprised by just how much actual injury is involved in the sport of full-contact medieval combat.

“It’s more than just a sport,” says ex-military man Martainn. “It’s honour, glory, victory.”

This little gem of a film follows Martainn and his team the Steel Thorns as they bludgeon their way through the New Zealand medieval combat championships in their fetching chainmail.

There is a lot of head-bonking with pretty realistic, ouchy-looking weapons, and someone ends up with what looks like a broken arm.

We’ll leave it to the professionals, but it’s a good spectator sport. Perhaps an addition to the next Olympics? 

The film above, Bludgeon, made by Ryan Heron and Andy Deere, is part of Loading Docs, a Notable Pictures initiative with support from NZ On Air’s Digital Media Fund, The New Zealand Film Commission and Te Māngai Pāho.