Almost Super: Krull
Almost Super: Krull 1983
As you may have seen in my previous post, I just recently watched Krull for our latest As You Watch podcast. We decide the movie for each episode based on a short list of movies from the four of us, and Krull was picked from my list. I’ve enjoyed this movie since I was young, finding and watching every fantasy based movie I could find, so I thought this movie would also be a perfect fit with the Nostalgiathon hosted by Cinema Schminema and Andy Watches Movies, because while I still enjoy the movie, it turns out that practically no one else does. Including all four of my co-hosts for the episode. The pacing may be sluggish, the characters may be weak, the story may be derivative, but I still love this movie.
If you haven’t seen it, it’s a classic fantasy quest movie where the dashing young Prince Colwyn watches his castle destroyed and his betrothed captured by the Beast. The new king goes on a quest, helped by a wise old sage named Ynyr, recruits a motley group of companions, and true love saves the day and the galaxy. I say galaxy because even though the majority of the movie is based in the sword and sorcery of fantasy movies, the Beast comes from another planet and his storm-trooper-esque slayers fire laser rifles, but aside from those two mentions, the movie is pretty much straight up fantasy. I think one of the reasons why I enjoy this movie so much is due to my love of classic turn-based RPGs such as the NES and SNES Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior games (I’ve also recently been going through the Dragon Warrior/Quest remakes on the DS), which also have a similar story structure of collecting companions, the occasional sidequest, and fighting the end boss. It may be pure nostalgia for me in that department, but it doesn’t diminish my enjoyment of it while watching it again.
One of the best things to say about this movie is the design of it. From the iconic Glaive that the movie is pretty much known for, to the abstract designs on the Beast’s lair, to the great widow of the web set. I also thought the look of the cyclops was pretty impressive, even if his choice of weapon was rather unusual in a three pronged spear. I was also a fan of the comic relief character: Ergo the Magnificent. Short in stature, tall in power, narrow of purpose, and wide of vision. Even though through most of the movie he’s kind of an egocentric jerk, he still manages to be likable, and the one thing that everyone could agree was a great part of the movie.
Now, while I may watch this movie through nostalgia colored glasses, I do have to admit that this is nowhere near a perfect movie. For one thing, the pacing is terrible. It’s a long movie, and there are scenes where basically nothing is happening for extended periods of time. Like in the beginning, where he’s climbing the mountain to get the Glaive, or when they are all trying to capture the fire mares. I must admit that I wasn’t giving the movie my full attention through the entire runtime, which probably benefited to my enjoyment of it. I’ve seen it enough times that I know where all the good parts are, and bide my time between them.
The characters and plot of the movie are also relatively thin. Again, this is something I’m used to from old school fantasy RPGs. Colwyn is a generic swashbuckling prince who always seems to have a cheerful disposition, even in light of some of the hardships faced by the group of adventurers. Lyssa is the typical damsel in distress who spends most of her time running around the Beast’s castle and denying his advances, if you could even call them that. The Beast himself is really the weakest part of the movie, and I believe even when I was younger I thought the makeup and special effects used to pull off the Beast was laughable. I’m a fan of the show Face-Off, and over three days, almost any of those contestants could pull off a better looking Beast makeup than what they used in this film. The only good scene with the Beast was when he took on the form of Colwyn, but that was all too brief. There’s also the fact that the castle itself resembled body parts which looked so much better than they did on the Beast himself. And for all the buildup and coolness of the Glaive, when it is finally used, it cuts open a door?
But as far as bad movies go, and I’ve seen my fair share of them this year, I still genuinely enjoy this movie. It doesn’t have the over the top campiness that makes it easy to make fun of, but the actors do their best to take the movie as seriously as possible. I still enjoy the look of the spider in the Widow of the Web’s lair, I still enjoy the raid on the castle, I even quite enjoy the leader of the bandits. If you’re willing to give it a shot, I think there’s still a lot to like in this movie. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.
*Poster by Phantom City Creative