Film: Quest Of The Delta Knights

"I sing of the glor-i-ous Delta Knights
They lived in Europe somewhere..."
Tom Servo, "Air on a Delta Knight"

Quest of the Delta Knights is a 1993 Direct-to-Video fantasy/adventure sword and sorcery film wholly lacking in sorcery. It's another one of those movies that wouldn't have a page on this wiki were it not for Mystery Science Theater 3000 and its Season 9 appearance.

The plot concerns a young boy named Travis (nicknamed "Tee"), who is sold into slavery after he is orphaned in an attack on a caravan. Tee is bought by Baydool (a slumming David Warner), a beggar man who is secretly a spy for the Order of the Delta Knights, a society dedicated to knowledge, justice, eradicating evil; the usual heroic stuff. The knight makes Tee his apprentice as he covertly opposes the dastardly Lord Vultare (also a slumming David Warner), who is looking for the fabled Lost Storehouse of Archimedes, rumored to contain all manner of ancient-high-tech doodads that would allow their wielder to Take Over the World.

The duo infiltrate Vultare's castle to gain access to a map leading to the storehouse, but afterward Baydool is captured, and Tee's attempt to rescue his mentor ends badly. So, Tee sets off to find the Storehouse before Vultare can, joining forces with an Italian cad named Leonardo who is also a member of the Order, and a serving wench named Thena. Along the way they have a few scrapes with Vultare's forces, Leo hits on and gets hit by the girl, the party gets captured by a disturbingly merry band of masked bandits, and it turns out Thena is a princess or something. In the end they find the Storehouse, but wouldn't you know it but Vultare's been following them the whole time! Fortunately the villain gets Distracted By The Shiny artifacts and zaps himself to death, and Tee blows up the Storehouse, reasoning that mankind is not yet ready for its secrets. But Leonardo rips off most of the gadgets inside of it, so it isn't a total loss. The end.

The film is mainly notable for being confusingly nebulous in terms of temporal or physical setting. Also, several viewers have noticed that the first act of Delta Knights ("mute" orphan slave is bought for an insultingly low sum, freed, and adopted by a "crippled" beggar who is a spy for a secret organization) is essentially Robert A. Heinlein's Citizen of the Galaxy IN MEDIEVAL EUROPE!.

Quest Of The Delta Knights contains examples of:

  • Anachronism Stew: And how! The extras were workers and patrons of a local Renaissance Faire who provided their own costumes. So some Mooks wear horned Viking helmets, others wear armor, while still others dress like pirates and sultans. Archimedes' notebook, which becomes the foundation of the Order, is bound with ancient staples. And as mentioned earlier, Tee uses bombs to bring down the Storehouse, and also has a crude pistol (though to be fair, gunpowder weapons had been present in Europe since the 14th century). Tee's gender neutral parent thing tries to assault Vultaire with a sai.
  • Ancient Tradition: The Delta Knights. According to MST3K, the Order's still around, but based on their outfits and habits it's strongly implied we now know them as Shriners. These days, instead of fighting evil they mostly run an annual pancake breakfast, where they try to raise enough money for next year's pancake breakfast.
  • Archimedes Founded A Secret Society: The Da Vinci Code, eat your heart out.
  • Artistic License - Geography: Everyone's speaking English, but "Vultare" sounds vaguely French, Leonardo da Vinci is hanging around, and supposedly Archimedes of Syracuse has a storehouse nearby.
  • Atlantis: Apparently where Archie got all his good ideas.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Attempted with Leonardo and Thena. Failed mostly because Leonardo turns into an unlikable jackass from the moment they rescue Thena from slavers.
  • Big "NO!": There's a silent one from Travis in the beginning.
  • Bigger Bad: The Mannerjay, who's the super-evil ruler of Whereeverthehellitania, but she never gets involved in the main conflict in any way.
  • Breast Expansion: Apparently, finding out you're a princess causes your breasts to enlarge.
  • Broken Aesop: The Order shouldn't possess Archimedes' secrets because such power could corrupt those who possess it. Doesn't say a hell of a lot about Tee's opinion of the man who raised him (a member of said order)
  • California Doubling: Filmed in Marin County on the grounds of the local Renaissance Faire (they've since relocated to Casa de Fruta, about 100 miles south).
  • The Chick: Thena
  • The Chosen One: Tee.
  • Covers Always Lie: This is a one of the posters for this movie. Should we be alarmed that the poster doesn't even get the title right?
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    Baydool: This is an atlas. There are maps in it.
    Pearl: Yeah, that'd be an atlas.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Travis, after he has long, fake hair.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Thena turns out to be the long-lost Princess Athena of a neighboring country, a fact revealed during an improbable run-in with her brother and his friends, who are running around being bandits for some reason.
  • Historical Domain Characters: Archimedes and that git from Vinci, Leonardo.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Thena the bawdyhouse princess.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Tee's blowgun.
    • Baydool uses a pan of his own urine.
  • In the Past, Everyone Will Be Famous: Leonardo of Vinci.
  • Kid Hero: Tee.
  • Loveable Rogue: Probably what they were going for with Leo.
  • Made-for-TV Movie: Originally a Sci Fi Channel made-for-cable movie.
  • My Girl Is Not a Slut: "Athena was always a princess!"
    Crow: Or a cheerleader, or a naughty nurse.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Tee pretends to be a mute while a slave.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Baydool's disguise as a simple beggar allows him to move around freely, like a good pair of underwear.
  • The Obi-Wan: Baydool to Tee.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Athena, and how.
  • Older Sidekick: Leo again.
  • Plagiarism: "So Leonardo was a moron who stole all his ideas?" From Archimedes, who also stole them.
    • The opening scenes also rip off Citizen of the Galaxy word for word.
    • An orphan boy who doesn't know he's the heir of great power meets a crazy old man who turns out to be a member of an ancient order of knights who fight evil, learns the ways of the order before the old man is killed by a fallen knight, and teams up with a scoundrel and a princess to destroy the powerful superweapon before the bad guys can use it. Ring a bell?
  • Prophecies Rhyme All the Time: "The arrow will show / Where the Father did glow / From the house of the One / Treasures are given..."
    Crow: dah dah, dah dah, dot dah dot... bliven.
    • "...from Father to Son."
  • Psychic Powers: As part of his Chosen One kit, Tee has a danger-sense of sorts, warning him of imminent disaster.
  • Rags to Royalty: Thena, as mentioned above, is one of these of the Sleeping Beauty variety.
  • Ray Gun: The centerpiece of Archimedes' stash is an Atlantean death ray powered by "Corgon Crystals" or something. Vultare overcharges it and gets fried.
  • Red Baron: By his own account, Vultare has many nicknames along these lines, such as the Scourge of Iberia and the Panther of the Pyrenees.
  • Shown Their Work: No matter how inaccurate the rest of the movie is, the writers did get some facts on Archimedes right, notably how he reflected the sun's light as a weapon and the basic circumstances of his death. They also knew that Leonardo da Vinci was called that because he really was from Vinci, rather than treating it as his surname (he didn't have one).
  • Spider-Sense: Tee, though it rarely does him much good given how many times it gets him captured or his friends killed.
  • Spy Speak: The shibboleth of the Delta Knights.
    It's a nice day if it doesn't rain.
    It's always a nice day if it doesn't rain.
    If the sun isn't too warm.
    Mike:(As Tee) So you're a Delta Knight too, huh?
  • Theme Tune Cameo: The opening theme is a re-use of the theme from the 1980 sci-fi movie Battle Beyond The Stars.
  • Training Montage: Guaranteed to be the goofiest and least believable one you will ever see in your entire life. Or at least the second.
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Leonardo and Thena.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: So, what became of that woman Vultare was answering to, anyway? Or the wizard working for them?
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Leonardo openly calls out Tee's decision to destroy the lost storehouse of Archimedes, and especially pointing out that he had no right to do so. Tee simply claims The World Is Not Ready and Archimedes gave him the right. Amusingly, unknown to both his actions were irrelevant since Vultare managed to blow it up independently.
  • Wizard Beard: Baydool's fake beard, which according to Pearl also doubles as a toilet seat cover.
  • The World Is Not Ready: Tee's reasoning for destroying the lost storehouse at the end of the film.
  • Unfortunate Names: Baydool?
    • "No, wait- that's my intestinal condition..." - Pearl
  • Ye Goode Olde Days: Much of the movie was shot at a Renaissance Faire in California, using staff and patrons as extras, which may explain some of the anachronisms.