Krull (1983)

Krull (1983) is like Star Wars but was on some critic’s lists as one of the turkeys of 1983.
On the other hand, Krull does have a cult following, of which I am not a member, although I was seduced by the film’s mythical qualities. One of the attractions of Krull is that it is centred in good, an abstraction somehow invisible but touchable.

Krull is medieval meets science fiction fantasy. The planet Krull has the hallmarks of a setting from the Middle Ages: lush country side, mountains, desolate plains, caves, and craggy rock faces. There’s armoury, riders on horseback, castles, kings, queens, princes and opposing tribes.

A wise but disenchanted widow, surrounded by a giant spider’s web, whose name only one knows, may be familiar.

In terms of the influences of Star Wars on Krull, there are laser weapons, a wise old man, a hero and a princess, and the influence of evil. The prince searches for a mysterious, powerful weapon, like the lightsabre in Star Wars, to destroy a malevolent beast.

Even so, Krull is more traditional than Star Wars. In that film, the hero doesn’t marry the princess, in Krull there’s a protagonist engaged to the princess.

The story goes that a wicked, all seeing beast roams the galaxy, seeking whom it may devour, with domination on its mind. The beast can change at will, and even appear to look good. “There is no love in it,” says the film’s princess.

This beast is a cold-hearted snake and lands on the planet Krull in a fortress with no good deed on its mind.

The beast’s soldiers, the Slayers, ransack a castle, leaving a prince wounded and his princess captured.

With the assistance of a wise old man, the prince goes in search of his princess—who has been taken to the beast’s fortress—to bring her back, as well as destroy the beast.

Along with the prince come a crew of supporters, one played by a young Liam Neeson, and another played by a young Robbie Coltrane.

The fighting scenes are a bit tinny. Krull is not perfect. But it’s still has that invisible touch. The power of its myth is optimistic and with the quietly rousing James Horner score, stirring.


Krull (1983) Starring: Ken Marshall, Lysette Anthony, Freddie Jones, Alun Armstrong, David Battley, Bernard Bresslaw. Writer: Stanford Sherman. Director: Peter Yates.


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