Thursday, May 26, 2011


The Beast and his army of Slayers have traveled across space and invaded planet Krull. What's odd about this is their mode of transport. The Beast flies a giant mountain through the galaxy. Yes, a mountain. Oh sure, it's got wings, and some sort of propulsion system, but it's still just a big pile of rocks. It can't be aerodynamic.

They've come to bust up the wedding of Princess Lyssa to Prince Colwyn. The Beast wants Lyssa for himself. So he sends the Slayers in on horseback right during the middle of the nuptials to start shooting the place up with their laser swords. And yes, I did say they were on horseback. Space travel they've figured out, but ground transportation is still outside their grasp. And yes, I did say they were using laser swords. No, they're not light sabers, but swords that shoot lasers. I guess if the lasers don't work, you can just chop off your enemy's head.

Colwyn is the lone survivor, and he is nursed back to health (i.e. given a Band-Aid) by an old hermit named Ynyr. Ynyr tells Colwyn the only way he can defeat the Beast and rescue his bride is by finding the Glaive, an ancient and mystical weapon. The Glaive, as it turns out, is little more than an overgrown ninja throwing star. But Colwyn's journey up the mountain allows composer James Horner the opportunity to pretend he's scoring an exciting film. We, the audience, are treated to an extended sequence of Colwyn climbing a few rocks that really isn't as interesting, majestic, or thrilling as the music would have us believe.

Truthfully, nothing in this film is as interesting, majestic, or thrilling as the music would have us believe.

After retrieving the Glaive, Colwyn assembles a small army of brigands and malcontents to help him save the princess. His group consists of a bumbling magician, a Cyclops, a seer, a Paul Rutherford look-alike, a boy in a Peter Pan costume, and about a dozen or so interchangeable rogues.

The troupe embarks on a series of quests in hopes of finding a way to the Beast's hidden lair. Yeah, it's a mountain, and probably hard to hide, but it moves to a new location every morning, so Colwyn and company are having a bit of trouble finding it. So they travel through swamps and deserts, across the countryside, while dodging the Slayers and their laser swords.

Sometimes our heroes have horses, sometimes they don't. That's a bit odd since we're never shown how they acquired said horses, or how they subsequently lost them. Sometimes our heroes have womenfolk around, sometimes they don't. That too is a bit odd since we're never shown how they acquired said womenfolk, or how they subsequently lost them. There is during all this plenty of interesting, majestic, and thrilling music to be heard, distracting and inappropriate as it is.

After much wandering and whatnot, our small army finally makes it to the Beast's mobile mountain fortress. The fortress is hidden in the Desert of Iron, a place that is, surprisingly, a big flowery meadow. They attack, all six of them now (and yes that includes the boy in the Peter Pan costume too), and despite being vastly outnumbered they successfully rescue Lyssa. It makes one wonder how the Slayers came to conquer planet after planet.

There is, of course, a final battle between Colwyn and the Beast, wherein Colwyn strikes his foe down with the Glaive. But if that ain't enough, Colwyn's palm doubles as a flamethrower, spewing out the fire that is his and Lyssa's matrimonial love. Seriously.

What's really disappointing is the Beast himself. He's shot through a blurry, distorted filter, so as we never get a good look at him. I assume this means the puppet looked too damn fake and the producers were trying to hide that by going all "arty" during the finale. Nonetheless, Colwyn roasts his rubbery ass, the fortress collapses (up, into space, I guess), and everyone lives happily ever after.

Except those who died along the way.

Krull is an over-long, dull sci-fi adventure film. Not recommended.

Directed by Peter Yates • PG • 1983 • 117 minutes

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