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Subj: Sword and Sorcery review #14: Hawk the Slayer (1980)
Posted: Mon Aug 09, 2021 at 04:42:58 am EDT (Viewed 126 times)
This is one of the few S&S films that predates Conan (1982). I recall my uncle showing it to me on VHS as a kid and generally liking it. However, upon rewatching, I can certainly say that nostalgia was no influence here. This is terrible.
The plot is fairly cookie-cutter, but I don't really hold that against it. The quality of filming here looks more like a made for TV movie, with bad cuts and room echoes. The music is some electronic blend of bad video game synth-pop and the sound effects are cartoonish. It was filmed in Britain by uses really bad matte paintings for the exteriors of castles.
Apparently, it has a cult following but I think its in the its so bad its funny catergory.
The plot involves a pair of btothers who fought over a girl. The evil brother, Voltan, is played by Jack Palance who knows he is in a turkey. He scream/rasps about 90% of his lines. His younger brother, Hawk, who looks at least 20 years younger, is played by John Terry, whose face seems capable of conveying exactly one emotion throughout the film. Other than Palance, Terry is the only American among a host of Brits, making his accent stand out, ala Kevin Costner/Robin Hood.
It was originally supposed to be straight historical fiction, but they added in the mindstone, a gem in the hilt of Hawk's sword which makes it fly.
In the plot, evil Voltan kidnaps an abbess and demands a ransom. A loyal soldier goes off to find the only man capable of defeating him, his brother Hawk. Hawk then assembles a superteam of warriors to help him.
These include, a one-handed soldier who fires a crossbow (no idea how that works. Out of all weapons, a bow or crossbow clearly requires two hands).
A giant, who is just a big bald guy standing about 6 foot 4.
A dwarf, who is just a short guy standing around five foot tall.
An elf, who is an archer with perhaps the worst fake elf ears I've ever seen.
A blind sorceress, who actually does all the work. Her magic consists of glowing hula hoops, silly string, glowing superballs (called fireballs) and confetti to make the final fight look as if it was fought in a snow globe.
The heroes also have a tendency of walking away in the middle of her speeches, leaving the poor blind lady talking to no one.
She is listed in the credits as "woman".
Voltan's son gives us the best line: "I'm not a messenger. But I will give you a message...a message of death." He then gets killed.
most amazingly, they even tried to set up a sequel, with Voltan being taken away by a spirit to return.
Most sadly, other than Palance, everybody is taking this one so seriously, as if they think they are making something really profound. Its best to watch this with mates and some beers as its great fun to make fun of.
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