Prince Colwyn sets off to rescue his bride who is held captive by the Beast, opposed at every turn by slayers and alien beings.
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: 13-SEP-2005
Media Type: DVD
Jason C. (JJC) from NEWARK, NJ Reviewed on 1/30/2008...
The year was 1983. Two months after I witnessed what would be the last installment (for a long while anyway) of "Star Wars," I witnessed another cool sci-fi flick that pretty much came from nowhere. I'm talking about the epic sci-fi fantasy film, "Krull."
A cross between "Star Wars" and "Excalibur," "Krull" follows the story of Prince Colwyn (Ken Marshall) who is about to be married to the beautiful Princess Lyssa (Lysette Anthony). However the Beast, a giant alien tyrant has traveled to the planet Krull, via his space castle known as The Black Fortess, with plans to conquer the Earth-like world and taking Princess Lyssa as his own bride. The Beast steals the Princess on her wedding day, by destoying her father's kingdom and all its people with his army of Slayers; all except for Colwyn.
Colwyn is found by the old and wise Ynyr (Freddie Jones), who tells Colwyn of the Beast and the journey he must set out to take to get back his bride. But the first stop is to obtain the Glaive, a flying blade capable of powers that will help against the Beast. Along the way, Colwyn and Ynyr meet up with a magician, a small band of outlaws and a giant cyclops, all who join up in the adventurous journey.
It's no doubt that "Krull" is a formula film. I mean all of us who adore "Star Wars" can see what Columbia was trying to bank on here, but "Krull" does have a heart. What I liked about it was the science-fiction mixed with medieval times. Great adventure, great fun and entertaining.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Grade 'B' movie gets an 'A'-grade DVD
Low-Ranking Reviewer | US of A | 06/16/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Unlike most reviewers here, I don't think Krull is as good as they say, let alone a classic. But the DVD quality and extras available on it make up for the film's shortcomings and really adds to the viewing experience. Another example of the DVD enhancing the actual film, beyond the obvious upgrade in video and audio. If you like this type of film, buy it. If you don't, a rental will do as it still makes for an enjoyable 'popcorn'-viewing experience. A few notes on the film:*visually, it's still impressive. From the psychadelic set pieces inside the beast's fortress, the design of the 'Slayers', the 'swamp' sequence(arguably the best scene in the film), the widow's lair, etc. Only the sparse-looking castle designs at the beginning look 'cheap'. The music is also rousing and memorable enough to draw you in.*the film should be given an award for not having an annoying child actor or grating 'comic relief' actor mess up the film. Both of these characters work quite well. In fact, the secondary characters(bandits, old man, cyclops,etc) all come off better(more natural) than the primary leads. Don't believe me? Can you imagine anyone else playing Luke Skywalker? No. But I could easily imagine someone else playing the leads in Krull. Btw, Lysette Anthony CAN act. She just doesn't do it very well in this one. *the film does a nice job(for the most part) of invoking a medieval yet far-off time and place, with its main weakness being the not-so-charismatic leads and not so great script. *One thing really bothers me though, the special weapon 'Glaive' is rendered pointless at the end when the two of them discover it's their love(ugh) that can defeat the beast, not the glaive-that and shooting fire out of Colwyn's hand. So why make such a big deal about getting the Glaive at the beginning? Other films you might want to check out: Excalibur, Dragonslayer, Clash of the Titans, Conan the Barbarian, & maybe Hawk: The Slayer or The Beastmaster."
Cheese Galore, But Still Wonderful!
K. Fontenot | The Bayou State | 05/01/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Take the whiz-bang fantasy of films like the "Lord Of The Rings" trilogy, mix in two parts "Star Wars," and add a pinch of modest flicks like "Legend," and you have the perfect formula for "Krull." Though the cheese factor is quite high, Ken Marshall, Lysette Anthony, and friends make the best of this fantasy/sci-fi flick.
Ten times better than the schlock on SciFi Channel, "Krull" has a little something for everyone. There's a nasty bad guy(The Beast) who is intent on taking over the universe with his floating fortress and his army of Slayers. Standing in the way is the love of Prince Colwyn and Princess Lyssa, which is said to bring about a future universal ruler and one of the coolest toys in the world of fantasy....the Glaive! There's a band of rogues who help Colwyn along the way. This group features future "Darkman" and "Schindler's List" star, Liam Neeson and future "Harry Potter" good guy Robbie Coltrane. There's a little swordplay, a little magic, and a little deception(gotta love the shapeshifters).
The acting isn't the best in the world, and neither are the special effects, but the story is interesting enough to move the picture along. Others have accused this film of ripping off films like "Star Wars" and novels such as "The Lord Of The Rings" books, but keep in mind that all of these stories, and just about every flick ever made for that matter, have borrowed something from other stories. Also, the tale of a prince searching for his damsel-in-distress has been around since storytellers first told tales.
The extras on this DVD are pretty limited. I haven't listened to the commentaries, because I'm not a big fan of such things, but the "Journey To Krull" featurette is a nice addition, and the obligatory photo galleries, trailers, etc. are all par for the course.
In closing, youngsters might be turned off by this movie since it honestly isn't up to par with its contemporaries of the time in both story and special effects. I won't argue with anyone that this film isn't as good as any of the "Star Wars" films, and it can't hold a candle to "Lord Of The Rings," but it is still a good film in its own right. If you grew up during this time, and still remember flicks like "Willow" and "Excalibur," you're guaranteed to fall in love with this treasure of the 80's.
Highly recommended to the over twenty crowd who remember when this flick came out."
An '80's classic!
W.E.B. | USA | 07/24/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Despite the predictable, formulaic plot, this film contains plenty of visual and symbolic creativity to entertain sci fi and fantasy lovers. Surreal images and stunning filmography dominate the entire movie, and sufficiently overshadow the somewhat weak characterization and acting that is no more than satisfactory. The pre-computer age special effects are good enough and, most importantly, put to good use. The plot maintains a consistent pace and doesn't become sidetracked from its original aim. The music is an upbeat, John Williams-like symphonic composition.The story takes place on the planet Krull, which has been besieged by an evil entity known as the Beast. He inhabits the Black Fortress, a mountainous structure that changes location at every sunrise. Price Colwyn embarks on a quest to destroy this evil after his father is slain and his bride imprisoned in the Black Fortress. The plot progresses in a way reminiscent of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign.Some intriguing oddities, like the use of driving bits (normally used in conjunction with carriage harness) on the riding horses, help to create an otherworldly feel through relative unfamiliarity. Medieval style weaponry and laser guns bring past and future together in an interesting combination. Symbolism involving the concepts of time and space is prominent and repeated in countless different forms.Though i personally like this film a lot, it's not for everybody. The lack of character depth and not-so-great acting are major counts against it, so i highly recommend renting it at your local video store before buying it."
The Best Movie Ever
lordgarth | 09/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What's better than a movie with swords AND lasers? There's magic in Krull, and it's not just coming from the blind wizard! Krull is the story of a prince whose marriage to the princess of a rival country will bring an end to their family's longstanding feud. Their wedding, however, is interrupted by reptilian-like aliens in Cylon-like armor who fire lasers at an essentially medieval-like peasantry. Throughout the film, the dauntless Prince Colwyn assembles a group of brigands, mages, and even a golden-hearted cyclops to help rescue his princess and bring about a more egalitarian future for his planet. The evil alien king--somewhat akin to Milton's Satan, but without the sour-grapes dialogue--plans to marry the princess and extend his fascistic grasp on an otherwise peace-loving aristocratically-organized political body.The political significance of Krull cannot be overstated; however, I do not want to detract from the amazing special-effects, the comic scenes, the heart-wrenching sacrifices, or the fantastic scenery. Additionally, the score is so dramatic, that it truly does become a character of its own. The leitmotif of the glave is one of the boldest moments in the history of film soundtracks (it even rivals "Alexander Nevsky"). Of course, Krull operates on different levels: one can read into the film if one likes, or one can indulge in the fantasy of it. Either way, the film is an essential in the development of American Genre Film. Because it is a "genre" picture, AFI neglected to put Krull on its list of the greatest movies ever. But if we could see past the labels of "sci-fi" or "fantasy," we'd certainly recognize that Krull tells the story of our own quests to find the princess in each of us."
More Christmas Panto than Star Wars with swords and sorcery
Trevor Willsmer | London, England | 12/16/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"At one point called The Dragons of Krull until someone noticed that they'd written the dragons out in one of the early draft screenplays, this 1983 underachiever was the end result of Columbia's desire for a big fantasy film - any fantasy film - to compete in the Star Wars stakes: the story came later, and came made to measure.
The result is a pic'n'mix of several genres, from swashbuckler to sci-fi as Ken Marshall's Prince must rescue his Princess (Lysette Anthony, dubbed, although on past form this is no great hardship) from the alien Slayers who have invaded his world. The notion of a medieval society literally fighting an enemy armed with scientific weapons with swords and sorcery is intriguing, but nothing here does it justice - where Lucas established an entire credible universe for Star Wars, we know nothing about this world: it exists purely for the purposes of the story.
This is more of a Christmas panto than anything else, with dialogue to match, although at least the latter improves when Marshall teams up with Alun Armstrong's outlaw band that includes Liam Neeson, a cockney Robbie Coltrane (looking all cloned up for a night in a gaybar) and even Eastenders Todd Carty.
Stephen Grimes' production design comes into its own with the organically designed Black Fortress, although his sets always look like sets (everything is peachy clean - even the swamps), leaving the paradox of an obviously very expensive film that still manages to look a bit cheap, for which Peter Suschitzky's photography must take much of the blame. Perfect on the exteriors, he consistently proves unable to match them with the interiors. Even worse, the camera feels like it is often in the wrong place (courtesy of director Peter Yates), and the editor seems more interested in what's going on in the sidelines than in the action itself, particularly in the fight in the swamp where the last Slayers are despatched in the background with the minimum of interest.
Not all is lost, however. There is one terrific sequence when Freddie Jones' Obi-Wan substitute must venture into a giant spider web to find out the location of the Slayer's Black Fortress from his long abandoned lover, Francesca Annis' Widow of the Web. There's heart, soul and a painful sense of lost opportunity to the scene that shines through, a magical moment that defies the lack of inspiration in the surrounding scenes and Freddie Jones' unrestrained ham (elsewhere his performance is pure "Can you hear me at the back, mother?" grandstanding) to create something quite touching. Similarly, Bernard Bresslaw's Cyclops, doomed to know the moment of his death from birth, benefits from a dignified, sincere performance that makes more of his scenes than they deserve. James Horner's, too, score is one of the film's greatest strengths, but the mix tends to lose much of it - a shame, because it is possibly his best work to date.
Columbia's DVD boasts a goodwidescreen transfer and a good selection of extras."