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Krull - 80's Cinema At It's Best (i.e. Worst)

As part of the community service my lawyer made me agree to do, I subjected myself to a near lethal dose of Eighties by watching Krull. Allow me to share my pain with you with this review.

Krull is not unlike other Eighties movies in that it has flying horses, unnecessary plot holes, and of course, really really bad hair. It doesn't so much steal things from Star Wars as it does take them without Star Wars' knowledge or consent. If Dune was "England's answer to Star Wars" then Krull is Satan's answer to "are you evil?".


If flying horses on fire is wrong, then I don't wan't to be wrong

We start off in space where, despite there being no spaceships whatsoever in the film, we still get a Star Wars like intro complete with Star Destroyer. The Star Destroyer that isn't actually a Star Destroyer but a really big mountain fortress, lands in the desert, in the world of Krull! Flying mountains from space are just one of the many things I miss about the Eighties.

Beast type things called Slayers come out from the fortress and start ravaging the lands and generally being arseholes. This apparently goes on for a while. The two most powerful kingdoms of the land decide that they must put aside their differences and their acting abilities and fight side by side to rid the land of the Slayer menace. Seeing as how their "armies" consist of about 30 people, I'm going to assume for the sake of hilarity that their "differences" arose when one of their great grandaddies had sex with the other's great greandaddies sheep without asking, since that's the sort of biased impression I have against feuding country folk.

They decide that the best way for them to achieve this alliance is to marry their children. Fortunately they change their minds and marry the children to each other instead. The princess whose name I didn't bother learning (so we'll call her Fatima from here on) seems quite pleased about this. Her father, who set the damn thing up in the first place, isn't so keen on her marrying Beardman (yeah okay I also forgot the protagonist's name so I made that up too). He says "good fighters make bad husbands". For reasons that aren't at all clear to me now, I found this hysterical at the time.


I'm getting too senile for this.

Fatima and Beardman are getting married when suddenly, and with honestly no warning at all, the Slayers attack! The Slayers kill both kingdom's armies (which given the size of said armies, doesn't take long) and kidnap the princess. The fight scene is brief, proving once again that there is a God. Storm Troopers may not be able to aim but at least they didn't fire absently into the sky.

Obi-wan Kenobi (under the pseudonym of Emir in this film) walks into the castle and revives Beardman, who has a bit of a scratch on his shoulder. Everyone else is dead. Beardman says "You came down from the grand mountains", to which Emir replies "Yes, I am needed now". Like all powerful beings, Emir waits for the end of civilisation before lending a hand. He tells Beardman not be such a Goddamn baby about his dead family/kingdom et al. because it's up to him to save Krull! But first he must get the mythical Glave, the only thing that can destroy the Beast (oh yeah by the way there's a beast or something in the fortress thing which commands the Slayers).

Emir and Beardman then travel through the mountains to retrieve the Glave. Before the last climb Emir says something like "You must go alone from here on", which is another way of saying "I'm a lazy bastard". So Beardman's stunt double scales the rest of the mountain and reaches the entrance. Beardman then goes in to find that the Glave is resting at the bottom of a shallow pool of lava. What to do? He decides that the best course of action is to reach in with his hand and take it out. Which he does. Hurray for the power of the Eighties!


Cursed are those who have crap haircuts

Once back down in the forest it's time for the comic relief - who looks very much like Steve Coogan - to make his entrance. He does this by flying into a lake while on fire and proceeding to drown. Being the benevolent beings that they are, both Beardman and Emir start laughing at the recently oxidising and now drowning man. This tells us rather unsubtlely that he is indeed the comic relief, something that we need reminding of throughout the film. The man drags himself out of the pool and announces himself as "Ergo the magnificent. Short in stature, tall in power, wide of vision, and narrow of purpose". No one punches him in the face. Saying that the comic relief is tragic is being kind. Since I'm not kind I can say that it would be less of a strain to give birth through my penis than to force a laugh out for this retard.

Back in the fortress the Beast is trying to marry princess Fatima for no apparent reason.


"I'll be in the real Star Wars some day. Yes I will."

Beardman and co. are now walking through a canyon which may or may not be filled with escaped convicts. It turns out it is. Instead of murdering the hell out of the Prince who indirectly imprisoned them, the convicts decide that it would be a better idea to go along with Beardman on his quest as extras and get killed. Hurray! It's Star Wars' own Liam Neeson and <cough> <mumble>'s own Robbie Coltrane in amongst the cons.

It was at this point that I either fell asleep or blacked out from carrying out my threat of holding my breath until the film stopped being stupid. In either case, I woke up to find that our heros were now in a cave with a blind old man (who we'll call Fred because I never caught his name) capable of seeking out anything through time and space and projecting an image of that thing in the air. Oh the irony! Since Fred can't actually see the image he finds, he doesn't spend all day looking at naked girls. Instead he sits in the middle of the room being pissed off about not being able to see hot nekid chicks. Our heros have apparently come to see him to find the way to the fortress. Fred's vision is blocked however by the Beast so they all head off to a swamp to find the Emerald Something or Other where the Beast can't interfere with Fred's vision.

While travelling through the forest Fred tells one of the cons that "Death and power are close cousins". The con tries to decipher the deep meaning behind this but I instead prefer to believe that Fred said this because he is very old and crazy. I also like to believe I'm Dwarnive the Oppressor.


Making people wear wedding dresses is just one of the evils the Beast enjoys

Back in the fortress the Beast is trying to get Fatima to wear a wedding dress so that he can marry her (he may be an evil overlord beast but he still respects tradition). We still don't know why he's trying to marry her and we never will. For some reason the Beast has horns coming out of his eyes. I'm guessing this is to convince us that he is indeed evil and has other interests which are even more evil than marrying people. Fatima runs around screaming a bit.

Whilst in the swamp Fred is killed by a "changeling" who takes his place in the party. They discover what's happened when one of them realises that Fred is acting a little too well for a main character in Krull. They dispose of the imposter and get over Fred's death rather quickly. Unfortunately there's another way to find the fortress and so the movie's not over yet.


I won't lie to you, you're going to die really badly. Also you're ugly.

Emir must go and seek the Black Widow who has been sentenced to live in a cave with a giant spider for killing her son, Emir's son! Dum-dum-dum! She says that she killed their son because she needed to direct her anger at Emir somewhere when he never came home. Now I'm no marriage councilor, and Lord knows I sometimes pretend I am, but maybe she should have punched a pillow for a bit or something instead. Killing your own son seems a little drastic. Since she hates Emir so much and has been improsoned for so long in a tiny cave with only a giant spider to drive her insanity and hatred towards him, she decides to help him in his quest. Emir gets back from the cave of the crazy lady unharmed, and then drops dead for some reason. I'm not sure why exactly it was that he died, I was too busy crying because of the tragic story the crazy lady told about Emir, her son, and the lost love. And by crying I mean laughing.

So anyway he dies and the party move on. I suppose no one is really that bothered since no one really knew him before this morning. Which begs the question of why they're all following him to their obvious deaths. But now's not the time for such ponderings, it's the Eighties!

They somehow find a herd of super fast horses which they're to take to the fortress before it disappears again tonight. They saddle up and set off. Through the power of the Eighties, the horses feet start to catch fire, presumably because they're going so fast. Also by the power of the Eighties (but partially by the power of stupid) the horses start flying.


Love is napalm death.

While scaling the fortress Robbie Coltrane dies from bad special effects, or possibly a laser beam, I couldn't tell which. This is odd since the guards on the fortress are firing randomly into the sky. If you want my opinion, and since you're reading this then you obviously do, Robbie Coltrane shot himself so that he could get a speaking part as he dies.

Beardman finds the Beast and shoots the Glave into his chest, the Beast dies. Hurray! Or does it? Ooohhh. The Beast is alive but what to do? The Glave is still stuck in the Beast's chest. Princess Fatima explains to Beardman that it's actually love which is the real weapon that can kill the Beast. With that she puts a fireball into his hand representing their love and he uses it to shoot flames at the Beast. So for all those who have wondered what love is, now we know, it's napalm death. For some reason the fortress starts to crumble into the sky (yes, upwards). They all escape and live happily ever after, except for the ones who don't, they die.


Krull (1983)
Starring: Ken Marshall, Lysette Anthony
Director: Peter Yates
Crap: Yes
Synopsis: You'd think that with horses that can fly when they catch on fire, a giant sentient Ninja star, and a baddie with horns coming out of his eyes you'd have to try very hard to go wrong. And you'd be right, they tried very hard.
Runtime: Too damn long.
Genre: Bad fantasy.