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Krull Appreciation Thread

Nickolaidas

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For no reason at all, I remembered this movie which was one of my favorites when I was a kid. A film which bombed in the box office when it came out, yet achieved a cult following after many years.

Krull is a mix of Star Trek and Lord of the Rings. Basically there's a fantasy medieval campaign setting where the kingdoms of the land are attacked daily by the army of a gargantuan monster only known as 'The Beast'. Now why a creature that comes from space is known to a medieval world is only ONE of the film's plot holes. The Beast's foot soldiers are simply known as 'Slayers' and they live to pillage, destroy and serve their master.


(The Dark Lord himself.)

To save the kingdoms, two kings form a truce because their siblings decided to be wed and strengthen the already weakened kingdoms. Prince Colwyn, played by Ken Marshall and Princess Lyssa, played by Lysette Anthony and dubbed by Lindsay Cruise (because Anthony's voice was not mature-sounding enough for the producers). The two main characters proceed with the wedding only to have it crashed by a battalion of Slayers who literally obliterate everyone there in the castle - be it soldier or townsfolk.

Colwyn fights bravely, as well as every fighting man, but the Slayers seem unstoppable, wielding futuristic weaponry and causing damage to their opponents just by clashing blades with them. Lyssa is being told to escape the castle while escorted by select troops, but they are intercepted by a Slayer party. They protect their princess to the last man, but they cannot prevail against the Beast's underlings. The captain of the Slayers kidnaps Lyssa (though I'm not sure if 'kidnap' is the right word when no one is left alive from her family and subjects), in order to take her to the Beast. In the end, no one seems to have survived when the Slayers leave the castle in flames and cheering amongst each other as they ride through the fire and the smoke.


Colwyn is the only survivor of the siege, and is treated by a wondering hermit who basically tells him the plot and informs him about the Legend of the Glaive, the campaign's Excalibur so to speak. Colwyn and the hermit Ynyr (more widely known as the Old One) go to a volcano and retrieve it, but Colwyn is told not to use it unless it is for the final battle. In their journey to the Black Fortress (the Beast's castle), Colwyn and Yinir meet quite a few characters who join them in their quest. Ergo the Magnificent (think a Monty Python roleplaying as Orko), Rell - a powerful cyclops who knows the exact time, place and nature of his death from the day he was born, and Torquil - a bandit leader accompanied by his band of cutthroats and murderers.

Our band of (would-be) heroes faces many challenges, perils and monsters until the final battle of good vs evil is waged in the end, where True Love conquers all. For you see, Colwyn isn't the only one interested in Princess Lyssa. The Beast wants her to be his bride, even though it is not quite explained why an alien dark lord wants a particular human to be his mate, other then to play the now-extinct damsel in distress trope.

The movie is a product of its time, pure 80s goodness and goofiness. Yet, this picture was surprisingly dark at many points. As a kid, I was literally freaked out by many action set pieces, many scenes of which are literally burned into my mind. There's a sequence where the group has to traverse the ground that the Beast transforms into quicksand via his magic, Ynyr journeys into the cobwebs of a gargantuan spider in order to seek out an old acquaintance of his who is the only one who can move the plot at that time, and the final battle of Colwyn vs the Beast is a product of dated visual effects giving way to creativity in order to pull off a battle between a normal human and a giant alien.

This movie also had a lot of creativity in terms of other things. For one thing, the castle of the Beast - the Black Fortress - has the perfect defense from any kind of attacker. It teleports to a different continent on every sunrise, making an army besieging it utterly impossible.



Its interior is no less awesome. Aside from a space invading tyrant, the Beast clearly has some interesting decorating skills.



Secondly, the foot soldiers of the Dark Lord, the Slayers, are among some of the most capable enemy fodder I've ever seen on cinema and TV. A small group of them is an encounter guaranteed to kill a few of the heroes and even the protagonist has a hard time fighting them. I loved everything about them - their alien design, their weaponry being a mix of laser rifles and swords/spears, their ability to cause electric shocks to an enemy simple by clashing their weapons with the metal swords of the heroes, everything. Heck, even their deaths were original, showing an alien brain parasite screaming like a siren as it slithered and burrowed into the ground.


The soundtrack was made by James Horner (RIP) and it really gives a sense of fairytale, magic, love and dread constantly intertwining into a pretty cool background music.

In the end, a cheesy 80s flick that I'll always love and cherish. In my headcanon, I agree with the people who say the film was originally meant to be a D&D movie, but the license / rights deal never happened so they went with this instead (it was officially debunked, but I don't care).

So, anyone else seen this amazing cheesy and epic film?
 
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ClanOfNone

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A staple VHS rental of my childhood. James Horner is my personal GOAT composer, RIP you magnificent bastard.
Also the first movie I remember seeing Liam Neeson in.
 
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Loved this movie while growing up, I tried to make my own huge spinning blade so many times. The cyclops freaked me the hell out though.
 

Dr Bass

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I played a the Atari game for it before I ever knew it was a movie. I was very very young though. Wouldn’t have been allowed to see it I think. :messenger_beaming:
 

SirTerry-T

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When I was a kid, my Dad had this three pronged, translucent yellow handled screwdriver...I used to pretend it was The Glave and "be Krull". Nice enjoyable movie, up their with Hawk The Slayer...just goofy fun films that felt like far, far better films when watched through younger eyes.
 

bitbydeath

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Fantastic movie and one I wouldn’t mind seeing remade with today’s special effects.
Rell was the original Hodor.
 
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jason10mm

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Krull was awesome. The Glaive, split into 5 pieces, was the perfect quest macguffin. The wedding vow fire powers made no sense but fuck it.

For the record, the Slayers had a spear weapon that could fire off the end like a giant spike, they then flipped it around to use as a sword.

This was the first, or one of the first, films with Liam nesson as well. If they remake it he should be the old sage.

Every damn character in the film had a story and their attitude and costume told it for them. It is a cheesy masterpiece

Before LOTR defined (and in many ways, severely limited) fantasy, we had a lot of them. Conan, Red Sonja, Willow, Deathstalker, Dragonslayer, Barbarian Queen, it goes on and on. For some reason they could be made on the cheap in the 80's but now require a huge budget to look good.
 
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Hammerite Zealot

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I really liked the movie but there was something missing to make it a great movie. Hard to tell what.
PS. Why was this glaive weapon so underused. It would saved many lifes if used earlier, it was powerful just not good against last boss.
 

Kilau

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It seemed like this movie was on cable every weekend growing up and I loved it. I knew it wasn’t amazing but I enjoyed it. I also love the 1984 Dune so take that into consideration.
 

Stuart360

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Always loved this film. The film actually flopped at the US cinema, and i was always puzzled why. I think the film is quite gory and scary for children at that time i suppose.
Awesome characters and agreat sci-fi/fantasy crossover.

The score was also fantastic as this clip shows -

Also something i always found quite funny, the cyclops character was played by the big bald guy from the Carry On films lol.

 
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gatti-man

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I loved this movie as a kid. Even if it’s cheesy, creative movies are always something I like. The beast was so cool and the villains in general were really well done.
 

Setzer

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I fondly remember seeing this movie with a couple of friends at a local theater sometime in like 1984/85. On Saturday's they had a matinee special where you got to see 2 movies for $5. We saw this one and the Last Starfighter. Think I was 12 yrs old at the time and I loved both movies. Despite being cheesy sci-fi films, they're all-time classics for me.
 
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nkarafo

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I remember being impressed with the huge spider as a kid.

Is it stop motion? Spiders walking must be a pain to animate.
 

BadBurger

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It's a real gem. Prior to The Lord of the Rings it was rare that anyone made films that went so unabashedly fantasy as Krull did. I also wouldn't mind a remake using modern effects, so long as it keeps the same feeling and emotion of the original. This film, at least for children, is genuinely frightening and gnarly at times, for example.
 

Nickolaidas

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the dark lord scared me back in the day , really creepy
I think it was even creepier when the Beast was part of the Black Fortress in the movie cover, as well as carrying Colwyn and Lyssa.


EDIT: Lmao, in the bluray version, one of the selling points is Liam Neeson as they use him for the back cover.
 
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Nickolaidas

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Fantastic movie and one I wouldn’t mind seeing remade with today’s special effects.
Rell was the original Hodor.
They really did the 'gentle giant' trope real justice with Rell. Despite having an unnerving appearance, he's kind and friendly and definitely the strongest character in the group. He's one of the few heroes whose presence intimidates the Slayers.
 

Pejo

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What a classic. More creativity in it's pinky than Hollywood has a whole right now. Time for a rewatch, thanks OP.
 
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Alx

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Despite the budget/tech limitations, that movie had incredible creativity. I loved the flaming horses that could cross a country in a single night of riding.
Also that movie and Tron made me like the « throwable weapon » gimmick.
 
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OmegaSupreme

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I see a remake starring Chris Pratt happening in the next five years. Also, I read "Kull" in the title and was like wtf? Does that movie have a cult following?

Disappointed Kevin Sorbo GIF
 
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ClanOfNone

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haven't seen it but the setting sounds awesome.


It really is, as others have pointed out it was way more creative than anything you see nowadays.
A fantasy setting where the big baddie was essentially an invading alien force, complete with blaster weapons and a teleporting fortress.
A race of cyclops that sacrificed their 2nd eye to the Beast in order to "see the future," but were cursed with only being able to see their own demise.
Clydesdale horsies with flaming hooves that could ride through air and shit.
All this and more steeped in layers of cheese and practical effects that only the 80's could provide.
This is the kind of movie Roger Corman WISHED he could make.
 

FunkMiller

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If we ever get past this endless fucking factory line of superhero films, I’d like to think the fantasy genre might make a big comeback, and Kroll could be the kind of project worthy of a remake.
 

jason10mm

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I shudder to think of what modern Hollywood would do to Krull.

Prince Colwyn: Princess Lyssa, give me your hand! With our vows complete we will have the power to defeat the Beast!

Lyssa: Screw your cishet patriarcy! You are nothing but male oppression wrapped in a trimly bearded form only slightly pleasing to the eye.

Colwyn: But without our united powers we will all be slaves to the Beast!

Lyssa: Your micro aggressions in calling him the B word hurt me. This teleporting castle is my safe space. Please leave!

The Beaat: Let them fight.....
 
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Nickolaidas

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I shudder to think of what modern Hollywood would do to Krull.

Prince Colwyn: Princess Lyssa, give me your hand! With our vows complete we will have the power to defeat the Beast!

Lyssa: Screw your cishet patriarcy! You are nothing but male oppression wrapped in a trimly bearded form only slightly pleasing to the eye.

Colwyn: But without our united powers we will all be slaves to the Beast!

Lyssa: Your micro aggressions in calling him the B word hurt me. This teleporting castle is my safe space. Please leave!

The Beaat: Let them fight.....
Fun fact:

In one of the earlier drafts of the script, Lyssa was to be the final antagonist of the movie - probably accepting the Beast's offer and becoming a Dark Mistress or something.
 

Nickolaidas

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If we ever get past this endless fucking factory line of superhero films, I’d like to think the fantasy genre might make a big comeback, and Kroll could be the kind of project worthy of a remake.
I think that a campaign setting like Krull would work much better as a TV series ala the Witcher, rather than a movie. One of the biggest gripes people had with the film back then was the underdeveloped relationships of the characters, specifically the lightning-fast romance between Lyssa and Colwyn. A TV series establishing the kingdoms, their feudal relations and the slow coming of the Slayer armada would work wonders.
 
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jason10mm

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Fun fact:

In one of the earlier drafts of the script, Lyssa was to be the final antagonist of the movie - probably accepting the Beast's offer and becoming a Dark Mistress or something.
There is definitely room for a story about an advanced race trying to bring modern (to them) technology, the arts, and an effective system of government not based on "who is your daddy" but told from the perspective of the ones being colonized who should be grateful that their feudal system is being replaced by a local meritocratic democracy operating under the auspices of a benevolent dictator.