Krull (1983) – reviewed by George

Krull is an original, while still reminding you of other fantasy films. It is a quest picture with a mysterious weapon, the glave, as its first object, and then a second quest to storm a fortress and use the glave to rescue a princess, so it has a similarity to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, or Monty Pythom and the Holy Grail for that matter. It begins with a huge, roughly straight-sided black mountain moving into view in space, like the spaceship in Star Wars: A New Hope, and the mountain actually is a spaceship: it has a flat back surface and it lands on that – no flames, just a puff of earth as it touches down. And now it looks like a huge black fortress with towers at the top, and jagged crevices on its sides. And there’s an ancient prophecy, as in so many movies, from The Lego Movie, and Exodus: Gods and Kings to Star Wars, the Narnia films, and even Harry Potter.

Here the ancient prophecy says, “Many worlds have been enslaved by the Beast and his army, the Slayers… that the Beast would come to our world, the world of Krull, and his Black Fortress would  be seen in the land, that the girl of ancient name shall become queen, that she shall choose a king, and that together they shall rule our world, and that their son shall rule the galaxy.”

Filmed in Italy and Lanzarote, and at Pinewood Studios, London, the film is quite beautiful, and the effects are excellent. Stanford Sherman wrote the screenplay, Peter Yates directed, and these others contributed mightily: Visual Effects Photography by Paul Wilson, Optical Effects by Robin Browne, and Visual Effects Supervisor – Derek Meddings. The music is suitably epic, and adds both lushness and heft to the action. It was composed by James Horner and is played by the London Symphony Orchestra.

The cast includes Ken Marshall as the Prince, Lysette Anthony as the Princess, Freddie Jones as the semi-sorceror Ynyr, and Francesca Annis as the Widow of the Web, who is protected by a very realistic white/transparent giant spider. Liam Neeson plays one of the gang helping the prince; at close to the beginning of his career (Krull is his fifth movie role and ninth appearance counting TV) he gets 8th billing and says 20-30 words.

Suspenseful and surprising, with action set pieces very well done, and two beautiful leading ladies.
Thanks, Andy!

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