The Maradonia Movie Trailer


The Tesches recently re-launched their website – – which manages to look more professional than any previous iteration while maintaining the utter ineptitude we all know and appreciate. According to the site, they are currently in post-production [!] on the Maradonia movie – now titled Maradonia – the Shadow Empire – which is 140 minutes long and “Coming Soon to a theater near you”.

Yeah, I doubt that. With any luck, we can buy a produced-on-demand DVD or a digital download, but no theater will be showing this garbage unless Gloria’s father rents out an entire theater for the world premiere. Which, come to think of it, I’m sure he’ll do.

The website lists each of the 6 Maradonia books (along with their page count, for some reason) and it states they’re published, even though Maradonia and the Battle for the Key was never published and made available for purchase. It also randomly says “3400 pages of Brimming Adventure” beneath the embedded YouTube trailer. Okay, since you helpfully included your page count, let’s do some quick math: 379 + 354 + 353 + 441 + 418 + 335 = 2280. You suck at math.

More interestingly, there is now another author listed:


I admit, I kinda always assumed that Gloria had help writing the books from her parents, but not too much help, since, you know, they’re terrible. But now that they’re coming right out and saying it, it raises two points:

  1. Does this mean they’re finally going to drop this “world’s youngest novelist” bullshit, since they were co-written with her father?
  2. Does she really have ANY excuse for how terrible they are, seeing as how they were co-written by a man in his 50s?

Setting that aside, let’s get to the trailer. Which is nine minutes long.

We open with angelic vocalizing as text cheerfully explains that Maradonia is “a world between the worlds”. Um. No, not really, it’s another world, but okay. Text reiterates the “3400 pages”, as if the page count of the book is supposed to build up excitement for the movie. Imagine of trailers for Lord of the Rings were crowing about how long the books were?

There’s a series of bits of text appearing on the screen about prophecy and passion, which don’t really make sense in any context. It’s a trailer, why are we spending time reading?


We learn there’s an Empire of Evil which also has something to do with no return from the underworld, which is weird, considering the second book in the series is called “Escape from the Underworld” and it’s about them…escaping from the underworld. I really don’t know what they’re trying to accomplish with this.


I’m guessing the fallen angel refers to Apollyon. The books never drew any parallels between Apollyon and Lucifer, despite the rest of their Bible plagiarism, however, the first Maradonia trailer explicitly made reference to it.

Then we learn that –


Oh come on! Spoiler alert! Why would you tell us that the kids are going to win???

There’s some more bad grammar – such as “History – rewritten in blood stain” and finally we get past the sepia-tinted bullshit and into the action…


…by which I mean more text on the screen. And they STILL have the 9/11 references. How has this been in development this long and they still haven’t had anyone tell them what a stupid fucking decision that is? So according to this prophecy, when 3,000 people are murdered, sparking off multiple wars and tens of thousands of deaths in the ensuing conflicts, a couple of kids get to ignore the problems in their own world and peace out to the mystical magical land of Maradonia to fix problems there.

In their defense, all of this text is set over some nice soaring helicopter shots over a beautiful valley, which I’m sure was the best stock footage money could buy.


Apparently there will be more Maradonia movies after this one! I pray to Cthulhu that this will actually happen.


And then we learn who directed this. Her father. Of course. God forbid they hire an actual film director who knows what the hell he’s doing. And didn’t they make a big deal about Gloria herself doing some directing? And camerawork? As well as writing the script and starring in the film? Either way, I’m sure it’s a family endeavor.

Anyway, hopefully you enjoyed these nice helicopter shots, because we’re not going to see professional quality footage for a while.


This one may literally have been drawn in crayon.

Next there’s a really, really, really bad CGI shot of a paper-mache dragon flying overhead. Actually, it may just be a single sheet of paper cut in an approximate dragon shape that is being swooped over the camera on a wire.


It’s not the worst flying effect I’ve ever seen, but that’s only because Birdemic exists.

There’s a far-too-long shot of people riding horses through a forest – that goes in and out of focus, as an extra feature – someone obviously left the autofocus on, which is the type of mistake they go over not making on the first day of any introductory high school class on filmmaking. We get a static shot of a random castle as horses whinny and dramatic music plays! And then…low production!



A black-robed figure strides past several guards (who are clearly high schoolers) wearing obviously toy plastic armor. And this is why you don’t try to make medieval fantasy movies without a budget. It looks like shit.

We’re now 2:15 in this trailer – longer than most actual trailers in their entirety – and still nothing has happened.

Still, the lion door-knockers with their spooky magical lightning and eyes that burst into yellow CGI flame do look kinda cool.


The power of Aslan compells you!

After another establishing castle shot that features the sky turning red, we’re treated to an eclipse and yet ANOTHER title card…and people began singing! When I first watched the trailer I thought they were singing the word “Manitobia” over and over again, which was confusing, until I realized they’re actually supposed to be singing “Maradonia” with an odd accent.

An evil-looking man shouts about “going for the kill”. I’m guessing he’s supposed to be one of the bad guys – Apollyon or Abbadon, no doubt.


Wait, what happened to that other bad guy from that other trailer? You know, this douchebag:


Maybe he was re-cast because his performance was too subtle.


There’s a moment or two of impressively bad choreography from some LARPers the production dug up somewhere, and we promptly cut into some terrible-quality stock footage of some battle that looks like it was filmed in the 1950s:


Does anyone know what film this is from?

There’s a few action shots – a boy with a toy bunny finding a corpse, Maya and Joey running through Florida with CGI explosions around them, more fire-breathing paper-mache dragons, and a dude with a katana screaming in the jungle, and a modern-day city.



We cut into a school classroom where a teacher is raving about “the color just POPS off the canvas”. This is undoubtedly Joey’s poster that won a contest and earned him a letter from a congressman and a banquet in his honor. Yes, all that actually happens in this book, and I’m so glad it’s made it into the movie as well.


A young lady freaks out about where the evil is coming from, standing in front of a painting which I believe is depicting 9/11. The evil bad guy spits out an IceCreamKoan, and then we meet…a random underling? Abbadon himself?


Have you ever heard of “peacocking”?


He rambles about how easy it would be to kill Maya and Joey, but all I can really see is his hat. It’s like some golden skullcap over his chain mail that’s set with an eagle figurine and four feathers. It’s simultaneously the silliest and least threatening thing I’ve ever seen, and this is supposed to be one of our Big Baddies.


She’s not anticipating the push at all.

We catch a glimpse of Joey shoving his sister into the pool, and Maya floating face-down, and a mermaid-fin, which is all well and good. Some random shots of Maya and Joey being unable to act and exploring a cave, which we already saw in the last trailer.

And then we get this:


Which is new, and also something I don’t recall from the books, in the re-released versions of the books, Hoppy (the grasshopper) appears and then turns into a dwarf. I’m guessing this is him. (H/T to brilliant reader Chris) I can’t really concentrate on what the guy is saying (something about ravens) because the wind is blowing his shirt up, revealing his belly.

They meet a snake with a snake that turns into a middle-aged women holding a snake who can’t act, and a kindly old man who starts a CGI fire with his staff, and some hooded witches who cackle and scream in the most over-the-top manner possible. I realize most of these actors realize they’re in a horrible D-lister movie, so they might as well go nuts with what extremely limited acting skills they have, but honestly, if you’re trying to do something on no budget, just make your actors commit to it. It’s like plays – people suspend their disbelief and stop thinking about the fact that actors are standing in front of a big black curtain.

After some random shots, Maya gives Joey a very fake-looking (but richly deserved) slap across the face, which I can appreciate.

A random witch doctor sings while CGI fire spreads around him.


It’s not convincing, even when he tries to call the spirit of “Gary” [???] to come forth. Nor is Maya trying to dramatically recite a Bible verse in front of a crowd of unseen people. Most especially is a scene of the elderly wizard shooting magic-bolts of very bad CGI dirt-explosions that incapacitate some soldiers.


Animated using Microsoft Paint.

One incredibly bad paper-mache dragon flying over an incredibly bad CGI castle later, and we get more shots of horses pulling carts, people riding on horses, people sitting and trying to look astonished, and inane dialogue. The music builds to a crescendo, and we get…naked Maya!


How the hell do I get out of this movie?

Or partially naked. I assume Gloria is contractually obligated to have at least one bathing suit scene in this movie to help her modelling career.

After some horror-movie-shots of people being tortured in a basement, we gather around the table of Apollyon’s council. Unfortunately, they don’t sing the Mother Earth Song. Fortunately, one of them randomly exposits: “Fire! Explosions! People will die!”


Then there’s a dude talking to a snake, which he calls “Leviathan” for some weird reason, and then he….then he…really awkwardly, of course…uh….puts the snake in his mouth. And it’s pretty obviously a live snake that he does this to. I’m not sure if he’s trying to eat the snake, or make out with the snake, or simply assert his dominance over the snake.  It is clear he’s trying to make sure he doesn’t hurt the snake, of course, but I wonder if the American Humane Society was monitoring this scene.

….Yeah, probably not.

Anyway, that’s about it. On the so-bad-it’s-good scale, I give it 11/10.

  27 Responses to “The Maradonia Movie Trailer”

  1. The dwarf is Hoppy. Remember? In the revision, they changed him to a dwarf.

  2. Ugh, The CGI is so terrible, I want to throw up. There were kids in my high school acting club who were better than Maya and Joey.

    One thing I noticed on the new site– Gloria and her father are now both listed as the authors of the Maradonia books.
    Speaking of which, about that book that never actually became available, I wonder if maybe they decided to wait until the movie was done production before they actually made the book available in print, out of the hopes that more people would buy the book after they saw the movie. Or maybe her parents told her they weren’t putting the book in print for her until she finished the movie. I find it fun to speculate.

  3. That was… glorious. Pun ever so slightly intended.

  4. Hahaha this is the best article/review of all. Pure gold.

  5. I’m disappointed by the lack of a Mother Earth song.

    This is going to be beautiful.

  6. Have you seen the IndieGogo fundraising page for the movie?

  7. Between the endless praise, financial drains, and directing his daughter for a gratuitous swimsuit scene, just how much more uncomfortable can Gloria and The Good Doctor’s relationship get?

  8. So much effort for a book with no fans.

  9. To be perfectly honest with you, as far as B-movies go, some of these effects are actually kind of competent. Not very, but it’s miles ahead of Birdemic. I do wonder, however, where they stole the music from. Or what poor starving artist did they abuse to make it.

    When I first saw the screenshot with the dragon I thought they stole footage from Skyrim. Come to think of it, some of these badly animated shots are sort of like secret love children of Skyrim and Birdemic. What an amusing thought.

    All in all, I’d give them real, honest thumbs up and A+ for effort if they just admitted this is a vanity project that they’re making for their own gratification. Had they just admitted that there’s really no fans, and it’s not some sort of blockbuster Hollywood production, I’d applaud them.

  10. The snake’s expression in that first photo is priceless.

  11. Oh my goodness this is glorious, I can’t wait for the movie!

  12. Oh god. I hope they actually complete this movie. This will be the new “The Room”.

  13. The exact role the father played in writing the books is mysterious. The books overall do feel like they’re written by a child, so maybe the father is responsible for the 9/11 rewrite and for some moralistic ideas?

  14. It’s also obvious that they spent a lot of money to make it. It’s not Hollywood level, but by the standards of an independent film, it couldn’t have been cheap. This is all quite bizarre. Like Pepito said, I’m hoping this becomes a hit in the sense that “The Room” did.

    And I agree, I would be happy for them if they just admitted they did this for their own enjoyment. That I could respect.

  15. Lol I’ve seen better effects in an Angry Joe episode XD

  16. I’m pretty sure that shot of the dragon flying overhead is from the opening scene of Skyrim. I looked and it’s not shot for shot, but then they use similar footage later in the trailer. That makes me think that they used a Skyrim mod to animate all of this, hence it looking like Skyrim but none of the camera angles being from the actual game.

  17. The dragon looks way too flat to be a Skyrim one. As noted in the article, it’s fairly obvious that it’s a papier-mache, whereas Skyrim dragons look 3d.

    There’re also no mods that alter the camera angles of the initial Skyrim scene, although, to be fair, in Skyrim it’s relatively easy to set up whatever angle you want.

  18. OMG. The woman playing Arabella (the snake lady with too much plastic surgery) is Gloria’s mom.

  19. Also, the witch doctor is the medium who is summoning the spirit of Justin’s father, Kerry
    (I know this because I just re-read the spork)

  20. They actually did it! I am so proud of them. I never thought anything would come after that failed indiegogo campaign. This is so awesome! Whenever it comes out, i will buy it. Iä Cthulhu!

  21. “I do wonder, however, where they stole the music from. Or what poor starving artist did they abuse to make it.”

    Trailer music is incredibly easy to find on YouTube these days. Although I have the sneaking suspicion that they hired someone to do the “Maradonia” part (if only because the quality of the rest of this movie makes it hard for me to believe that they themselves could produce anything halfway pretty like that).

  22. With Gold-Feather-Hat Man, his acting just made me think of Jeremy Irons, in Dungeons and Dragons.

    Perhaps it’s some form of Stockholm Syndrome kicking in, but I actually find myself not minding Tesch’s acting too much. Although that could be because we don’t get more than a few minutes of it at a time.

    “Firewall”? Oh my God, there’s some computer joke just BEGGING to be made…

    Oh my fucking God, they actually DID get a pretty black woman to play the one witch. *buries head in hands* Tesch, the points you won for putting in a POC in your story were lost for the racist description you gave her! It doesn’t help that her makeup reminds me of Zafrina the Amazon vampire from Breaking Dawn Part 2.

    Was…was that popcorn being made in the background of that “what kind of shield?” scene?

    The witches at Ye Olde Evil Table are toasting with plastic cups. XD That’s hilarious.

    I love the look on the snake’s face, at the end. The poor thing has this expression, like, “I don’t know how I ended up here. Help!”

  23. The books never drew any parallels between Apollyon and Lucifer

    In John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, Apollyon most certainly is a stand-in for Lucifer, however, and I’m guessing that’s where she got the name of the character.

  24. The witch doctor is Goran, and he’s saying “come forth spirit of Kerry” because Kerry is Commander Justin’s father. You can read about it in I think part nine of the Maradona and the Seven Bridges spork.

  25. I know late comment (especially it’s been a few years) is late. However, I had to comment. What is this shit? I have seen fan short films made with more professionalism. I actually looked at the website, and it looks way better. I just don’t understand why Gloria hasn’t just packed it all in and concentrate on her modeling career? *smh*

  26. I just wanted to say that I have not laughed so hard reading something in such a long time. I honestly cannot feel my cheeks right now and my stomach is killing me. You are gold. Thank you so much for this.

  27. Have you seen the movie yet?