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Krull (1983)


From the sky will come the Black Fortress. From the Fortress will come the Slayers to devour the planet of Krull. Then shall a girl of ancient name become queen...she shall choose a king...and together they shall rule the planet. And their son shall rule the galaxy.


Yes, the synopsis is very vague. And no, little of that happens in the film. It's more along the lines of Slayers kidnap princess, not-the-cast-from-Lord-of-the-Rings save her. Glaive. Yeah. I think that's right. There's also no son. Sequel bait in the synopsis? That's new.

Anyhow. Krull is one of many, many, early eighties Star Wars-type sword and sorcery affairs. Its plot is simple, but asserts itself to try and achieve "epic" with a run time to match too, rolling in at nearly two hours. Largely what sets it aside from other films is the sense of grandiose that the makers have achieved. The only thing that puts me off praising the film more highly is that upon researching it, its budget was far in excess of Return of the Jedi, coming out in the same year.

Obviously, you can see where the money went.

And yes, that is Liam Neeson in the back there (not in Star Wars, not yet). 

One of the shining lights of the film is the cast. Lead, Ken Marshall, went on to do little else - not much more than some TV - but the rest of the cast is made up of a bizarre rag-tag of actors. Yes, Liam Neeson is a player. But also Bernard Bresslaw (pictured above as the cyclops) who was the star of many Brit sex farce comedies, the Carry On films. Todd Carty from EastEnders, Alun Armstrong from New Tricks, Freddie Jones (Emmerdale), Lysette Anthony (Hollyoaks), and the list goes on. It's actually pretty weird that most of the cast went on to be soap actors on Brit TV.

But it all works rather well. With the direction of Peter Yates (Mother, Jugs & Speed) the running time goes by pretty quickly. It's an enjoyable romp.

Just don't expect too much of the over-hyped sweet, sweet, glaive. He's not allowed to used it until the time is right. You know, the climax. Or the hyped female lead, Lysette Anthony, who rolls no more than twenty minutes of screen time.

With impressive effects, good direction, and a solid cast, the film works well. An over bloated budget makes you want for more, but without that knowledge, you really don't expect anything above what you're given.

The answer of whether it is it good is therefore left to the ravages of time. Casting is good. F/X is good. Acting, good. But overall a little... uninspiring.

But not unworthy of a couple of hours from someone who likes a little dated fantasy.

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