Robin Hood and a merry band of medieval superheroes are busy fighting evil in the wilds of Mt Warrenheip.
More than 100 extras converged on Kryal Castle yesterday to film a jousting sequence for medieval action fest The Siege.
The film’s writer, producer and lead actor, Paul Allica, said the folklore around Robin Hood had undergone drastic changes for the film.
“We’ve reinvented a lot of the characters, so instead of Friar Tuck, he’s a weapons expert named Tuck who is amazing with a sword and a spear,” he said.
“We’re trying to do something that hasn’t been seen before, and it’s a big challenge on a low budget, but it’s starting to look really cool.
“I remembered coming to Kryal Castle as a kid, and I thought it would be cool to essentially make a medieval The Expendables film.”
The idea for a superhero spin on the Middle Ages came while Mr Allica acted alongside Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger in China.
Actor Tom McCathie said he’d just finished binge-watching Game of Thrones when he got the call to star as Merlin.
“He’s very Falstaffian, a curmudgeon that drinks too much and is politically incorrect,” he said.
“He has no boundaries, so it’s not much of a stretch for me acting-wise.”
Mr McCathie said he’d personally created 20 litres of fake blood and 15 feet of intestines for the shoot.
“I think they’ve really lucked out with the cast and crew, because everybody is essentially working for nothing, but it’s been really easy.
“Even though we’ve had some teething problems and logistical nightmares, everything has been dealt with using a can-do attitude.”
The 20-day shoot has been about making every moment at the castle count, with starts at the crack of dawn and finishes well past 2am.
Actor Peter Roordink said his role as Little John required intense stunt training for the action sequences.
“They’ve been very patient with us, even when we did like ten hours of fight scenes straight, which was really tiring,” he said.
“I just get to smash people, which is really good, and no one gets to hit me back.”
Wicked Queen actress Wallis Murphy-Munn said the reality of being a professional actor in Australia is that you don’t get much time to rehearse.
“A film like this never comes up, so that’s why I really wanted to be involved,” she said.
“All day, everyday, l’m blown away by the camaraderie and amazing spirit and energy behind this project.”
Mr Allica and his co-director Shaun McFadyen have invested their life savings in the film, crowd-funding to try and cover the shortfall and a $25,000 insurance quote.
“Coordinating everyone has been a joy, there’s a lot of good will,” Mr Allica said.
“People want to make films like this and there’s not much of an opportunity to do them because we have a small industry in Australia.
“I want to create films in Australia which are fun and exciting, and that people actually want to go out and see, here and internationally.”