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NZIFF Q&A: Bludgeon

If you’ve ever wanted to put on actual armour and be pummeled by medieval weapons, then documentary Bludgeon is for you. As it may be for anyone wondering why the hell Kiwis would want to do this, and what the hell they are all about. Filmmakers Ryan Heron and Andy Deere share more about their film, playing at the NZ International Film Festival.


FLICKS: Please summarise your film in EXACTLY ten words.

RYAN HERON: Fear. Wolves. Passion. Steel. Journey. Honour. Tragedy. Victory. Family. Valhalla.

ANDY DEERE: When jocks meet geeks. This is not tiddlywinks. To Valhalla.

What is the hardest thing you’ve ever hit anyone with, or been hit by?

RH: I got bottled in Australia once, that was shit.

AD: I once bottled Ryan in Australia.

Have you ever had an interest/hobby/obsession that people found unusual?

RH: No, but Andy’s Dad collects WWII planes. Not models, the actual planes. So I’m thinking about getting into that.

AD: A lot of people found spending all my spare time making a movie about medieval fighters pretty unusual.

How did you come across Nick and the Steel Thorns?

RH: Martainn is an old school friend of ours. He was interested in having us do some filming to promote the sport he’s so passionate for. I don’t think he ever envisaged we’d be filming for three years and I’m sure he was sick of us by the end of it. We met Nick through Martainn.

What’s the main thing that you think the medieval combat community has in common with one another?

RH: They’re a very inclusive community.

AD: They are a very welcoming and open community. They seem to really have fun with everything they do and they’re incredibly passionate about their sport.

What is the single most impressive thing you discovered or saw while making this documentary?

RH: For me, it was the physicality of medieval armoured combat, they really don’t fuck around. And also Justin Stockbridge’s skills at making armour – such an incredibly talented guy.

AD: Our friend Martainn taking on some giant fighters and standing his ground there in Bohurt.

Has making this film meant you are now converts – either as spectators or potential participants?

RH: I would love to have a go. The guys have offered a few times but it was always at the end of training when the armour was drenched in their sweat.  I just couldn’t stomach it.

AD: I would like to give it a go but I would prefer it to be open horseback.

What was the last great film you experienced?

RH: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

AD: Call Me by Your Name.



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