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Paladin

Location: Prague, Bohemia
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Subj: Re: Krull (1983): Sword and sorcery review #16
Posted: Sat Sep 18, 2021 at 03:13:48 pm EDT (Viewed 88 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Krull (1983): Sword and sorcery review #16
Posted: Sat Sep 18, 2021 at 02:54:57 pm EDT (Viewed 102 times)

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I love me some Krull.

This is one of those VHS covers that always called out to me from the rental store and for some reason I never rented it. I think I saw ads for it on TV and I would tune in but it was halfway through and I couldn't follow it. So it was sometime in the 2000s before I ever sat and watched it on DVD.

The genre mashup is what I would say drew me in. Like you say it begins in a castle with medieval warriors and then a black fortress from outer space arrives on their planet with troops that look like the D&D Warduke shooting Stormtrooper blaster bolts. Krull is the name of the planet, right?

And then it's like the Magnificent Seven only instead of defending a town they're storming a castle. It reminds me of what John McTiernan said about Predator, that it wasn't supposed to be a good movie. It might have even gone straight to video. But every aspect of it was just a little better than it should be. The alien makeup, the effects, the actors, the one-liners, the music, the action, the way it's cut together, and it becomes a standout movie. Krull could have been Colwyn and a half dozen guys with swords, but instead it's a cyclops, a shapeshifter, a wizard with an evil witch for an ex, Liam Neeson as a highwayman that gets redeemed.

And then they have to go to the spider web, they go to a quicksand swamp or something, they have to retrieve the Glaive from the heart of a volcano. Everything is just kicked up a notch.

Colwyn is a bit flat. I was surprised to find that he played on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as the Starfleet traitor Eddington who enjoyed a decent run as a guest star. The actor, Kenneth Marshall, is apparently a big musical stage actor with a great voice.

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I think I was little drunk when I watched this for the first time because I was so amazed at the end when Colwyn finally confronts the Beast with the Glaive and it doesn't work, and then Colwyn learns that he can control it with his mind, and then shoot fireballs with his mind, I was like what in the holy hell is happening here? But I loved it!

Not only was it not a hit but it doesn't even seem to be a cult hit with much of a following. Kind of like another 80s favorite of mine, The Ice Pirates.


Hey, thanks. I suspected you'd be a Krull fan too. (Yeah, the world is called Krull but I think you'd only know it from the opening monologue).

Ive never been sure why critics and moviegoers didnt like it. As you say, it really doesnt hold much of a cult status as far as I know.

the sets are slightly cheesy, like you can tell the Beast's fortress is made of plastic rocks, but it was on the same level as other films of the era. And while Colwyn is the weakest character, I dont really blame the actor as he seems to have been written as too much of a goody-two-shoes.
And the world of Krull seems a bit underpopulated but it has a good variety of terrain and an interesting mix of creatures. And it doesnt take itself too seriously, striking the right balance.

It does a great thing in which you actually care when the secondary characters meet their ends.

I heard some rumour even that it was originally a dungeons and dragons script, which would have made some sense. But Gary Gygax denied it and he would have known. I think having the DnD name attached would only have helped as DnD was in its heyday in the late 70s and early 80s and the satanic panic would have been great marketing. But I reckon that was just a rumour somebody started when they saw similar elements.


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