This got me thinking of how even amongst geeks, this film is often overlooked--lost in the shuffle amongst other heavy-hitting fandoms such as Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Harry Potter and Star Trek (I didn't include Doctor Who or Firefly in that list because they're more 'specialized' fandoms that not everyone follows (yes, there are geeks out there who don't like Firefly...it's sad but true)). Now, I know that I have a habit of going to bat for 'underdog' fandoms (one of them being Alien Nation which I covered in my blog), but what can I say? There's a lot of good films and shows out there that simply don't get the attention and recognition that they deserve.
Krull is one of them.
Released in 1983, Krull was one of the most expensive movies of its time (seriously, have a look...you will find no cheesy or campy special effects), and it used 23 different sets which expanded over 10 soundstages in London. Yet, despite all the work and effort that went into its creation and production, Krull was not at all well received at the box office. In fact, it would be safe to say that it flopped. Yet for the life of me, I can't figure out why.
Not fully fantasy but yet not fully science fiction, Krull uses elements of both genres and mixes them into a perfect balance so that neither overpowers the other. There's wizards, shape-shifting monsters, weapons that shoot lasers, weapons that are capable of electrocution, mystical weapons of legend, cyclopses, flying horses (not pegasuses mind you), and a fortress that teleports at every sunrise. Though at its core, Krull is the story of Prince Colwyn questing to rescue his bride, Princess Lyssa, after she has been abducted on their wedding night by the Slayers (the minions of an evil and powerful entity known simply as The Beast), the film is filled with adventure, violence, camaraderie, tragedy and just enough humor to keep the story from getting too dark.
Simply put, there's something for everyone.
Not to mention, the film is filled with familiar faces like Liam Neeson (seriously...this man needs no introduction), Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid!), David Battely (you'd recognize him from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), and Alun Armstrong (who has been around many times over on both stage and screen, and even originated the role of Thénardier in Les Miserables) just to name a few.
Of course, the music geek in me loves this movie for another reason as well, and that is the fact that it was scored by none other than James Horner, who aside from Danny Elfman, is my favorite film composer of all time. Who's James Horner, you might ask? Oh, I don't know...you might remember his work from little films such as Willow, Alien, Titanic, Glory and Braveheart just to name a few. Let's face it, the man is a musical genius whose musical scores are capabale of evoking deep feelings of love and bravery.
Then of course, there's the Glaive--an ancient and powerful, star-shaped weapon.
Just think of it as a precursor to Xena's trusty chakram...except with more attitude. Now, if you've never seen the film before, you might recognize the weapon from the Easter Bunny episode of South Park, during which none other than Jesus uses the Glaive during a battle. You can see him clutching it in his hand in the screenshot to the right.
Now, if Matt Stone and Trey Parker think that Krull was cool enough for them to allude to in one of their episodes (and let's face it, it's rare for them to compliment anyone or anything in their show), I think all of you who have not seen the film should perhaps take it as a bit of encouragement and look into it.
Am I promising you that you'll fall in love with it? No. My husband doesn't care for it in the slightest and will never sit down with me when he sees me watching it (and no, it's not because of the scene with the giant spider), but I have very fond memories of my two elder brothers and me watching it together many times during my childhood. It was literally a trickle effect, and by the I mean that one of us (usually me) would start watching it by ourselves, and as the remaining two would pass through the living room on their way outside or to the kitchen, they would always stop dead in their tracks before taking a seat in front of the television. It was a film that the three of us genuinely enjoyed, and believe me...with my brothers being 10 and 12 years older than me, it was next to impossible for us to find any common interests.
So with all of that being said, I simply ask that you give the film a try. The worst case scenario is that you don't like it, and the best case scenario is that you've found a new film to add to your collection.
Nerd up! ;)