Bullet Points: Krull
Krull is one of those movies that I have heard about for years but until recently I had never seen it. I’ve seen the poster, the stills from the film, and things written about the legendary weapon called the ‘glaive’, but it wasn’t until a friend passed an amazing Blu-ray copy my way that I finally sat down and watched it in all its glory. And glorious, it was. Especially if you’re like me and enjoy the types of movies that neither take themselves too seriously or ones that deserve to be taken seriously. If you’re even slightly intrigued by a movie that mixes sci-fi, adventure, 80’s cheese, and a big budget capable of fitting the film with costumes and sets that look awesome then you’ll enjoy Krull as much as I did.
Synopsis: On a distant planet named Krull, an alien race called “Slayers” are laying waste to all the kingdoms of men. Led by a creature called “The Beast”, the Slayers attempt to kidnap the princess of kingdom on the day she is to be married to the gallant Colwyn. Now, aided by an ancient seer, a sorcerer, a cyclops, and a band of mercenaries, Colwyn must battle the Slayers and win back his bride from the clutches of The Beast.
- Someone needs to play some more Stronghold: Good Lord! Whatever the names of these kingdoms are, they sure as hell don’t know how to set up decent defensive structures around their place. The Slayers move slower than Jason Voorhees and they most certainly aren’t the smartest creatures around, so for them to sneak up on these guys the way that they do is outright lunacy.
- Getting the Glaive: The glaive is the key to the entire movie. Once Colwyn gets his manicured hands on that weapon you would expect him to turn into a true badass. Wesley Snipes killed a buttload of vampires with one in Blade but we don’t get to see Colwyn use his until the very end of the film. If I had made this movie, I would have made the scene where retrieved the glaive a little more entertaining, thrown in training montage with his mercenary buddies, and given him one good fight scene in the finale.
- Ergo the So-So: David Battley, who I remember most from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, is my favorite part of the entire movie. While he is essentially the comic relief here, it’s the perfect role for him and it’s a much needed character for this movie to keep the tone that it has.
- The Silver Spider: Maybe I’ve been spoiled by Peter Jackson’s Tolkien films but I couldn’t help but be disappointed with the giant spider that we meet halfway through the movie. Yes, I’m aware this movie was made in 1983, but I would have at least liked to see it kill one or two of the nameless mercenaries that Colwyn had in his crew.
- The Fortress of The Beast: Much like the White Castle that we saw at the beginning of the film, the fortress of The Beast is the kind of thing that could be on MTV Cribs. It was stylish and unique, and yet very very stupid. The heroes just cruise right up to it on horses spewing flames out of their butts, then climb up the wall and slid through a crevasse. Again, these architects need to step their games up.
- Poor Cyclops: He wasn’t the unstoppable one-eyed monster that we thought he would be but the cyclops tore some shit up while he was around. The story they tell is that these creatures can see the future but only when and how they’re supposed to die. Talk about a buzzkill. If you don’t keep to your destiny they say you’ll get really painful death, and after Colwyn and his boys took off on those horses then I just assumed that the cyclops would die in the wildfire that ensued afterwards. Sadly for old one-eye, his death scene was much worse than the suffocation from the fire ever could have been.
- Fashion Sense: I don’t know what to call Colwyn’s pants other than pirate yoga pants.
- The Element of Surprise: It’s arguably one of the most important aspects of any attack on an objective. Knowing that, riding up to the fortress on horses trailing a mile-long flame isn’t the best way to attack your nemesis.
- The Real Arseface: I haven’t seen the new AMC show Preacher yet, but I do know there is a character named “Arseface” in it. At times, I wasn’t sure if the cyclops had an eye on his face or a sphincter. An honest mistake.
- And just like that…: All good things come to an end, but some come quicker and more unexpectedly than others. I had hoped for a more prolonged fight with some of the Slayers or with The Beast. They did invade this entire planet, yet they only seemed to have about 9 guys guarding their fortress. Maybe they were all at lunch. Let’s not even talk about The Beast. He reminded me of boss at the end of an 80’s video game. The ones where it was really hard to get to the main bad guy but really easy to defeat him. That’s kinda what The Beast was like.
The Verdict: “Power is fleeting, love is eternal”. That is a line spoken by the lovely Lysette Anthony, in a accent that certainly doesn’t sound like her own (her lines were dubbed prior to the films release), to The Beast as he tried his best to force himself into the heart of the beautiful princess. It’s also a line that sums up the entire premise of the film. We’re never really told or shown much about the courtship of Princess Lyssa by Colwyn, but we know that these two attractive people make a better match than Lyssa and that ugly Beast fella. I mean, as viewers, we kind of assume that The Beast and his Slayers are evil because they’re attacking cities and kingdoms but they even said themselves that the different groups had been fighting for years against each other before they finally joined forces against the invaders. Maybe The Beast wasn’t really such a bad guy. He had a kickass pad that disappeared and reappeared in different places everyday. That would be hell for your postman but awesome if you’re really into checking out new restaurants or something. Maybe it was the naivety of the 1980’s. How many movies featured good guys with feudal lords and Kings or Queens leading them? A lot. Placing Krull in 2016 seems like it would take on a completely different tone. The mercenaries would have been former workers, toiling like slaves for the king, only to watch their families suffer and starve. Their only way of feeding their children being to rob passerbys. There would certainly have been a more diverse cast. The sorcerer would now be a woman, the cyclops a tranny, and the fire horses (damn their emissions) would be replaced by solar-powered hoverboards. In the end, Colwyn would have seen the error of his peoples ways, eliminated the monarchy, and established a democratic rule where each of the remaining citizens would have a say. It would all be so perfect…..Naaahh, I think I’ll stick with the 80’s version.