Krull (1983)

krull poster 1983 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Some decent FX, fun characters

The Glaive was worthless, too much of a Star Wars rip-off

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Krull

Studio:  Columbia Pictures/Barclays Mercantile Industrial Finance

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  July 29, 1983

MPAA Rating:  PG

krull glaive fidgetspinner colwyn lyssa lysette anthony ken marshall

My fidgetspinner kicks your fidgetspinner’s ass!!!

The planet Krull has been overtaken by the Beast and his army of Slayers.  It has been foretold that young queen and king will give birth to a child who will rule the galaxy.  Prince Colwyn (Ken Marshall) and Princess Lyssa (Lysette Anthony) have been betrothed in the hopes of unifying the kingdoms of Krull in an attempt to stop the Beast’s invasion, but when Lyssa is taken, Prince Colwyn find himself teamed with Ynyr (Freddie Jones), a magician named Ergo the Magnificent (David Battley), a cyclops named Rell (Bernard Bresslaw), and a band of outlaws in a last ditch effort to save Princess Lyssa and save Krull from the Beast forever!

Directed by Peter Yates, Krull is a science-fiction-fantasy film.  The movie was released to largely negative reviews and poor box-office return but has gained a cult following over the years.  The film also adapted into a two issue Marvel Comics series (November 1983-December 1983).

I saw Krull in the theater when I was young.  I didn’t care that it was a Star Wars rip-off or that it “borrowed” aspects of myth and fantasy, but to me, Krull was a slick action adventure movie.  Watching Krull now, it is hard to not think of the kid in me watching the movie, but I also don’t think Krull got a fair shake.

krull swamp elder killed

Hey twinsee…give me a hug!

Everyone wanted to be the next Star WarsKrull tried really hard.  It blended aspects of Arthurian legend and other fantasies like Greek mythology (I always felt that Krull felt more like Clash of Titans than Star Wars or Excalibur).  The results are so-so.  The movie’s problem is that it goes on too long with aspects not paying off.  The trip into the swamp is worthless and time consuming and essentially magic horses (like the eagles of The Lord of the Rings) get them where they need to be…begging the question why they didn’t capture them before.  It all ends with a weird fire-throwing battle with the Beast who seems to exist in another dimension and the Excalibur-like Glaive being pretty much worthless as a weapon.

The core cast doesn’t help.  The two leads of the movie Ken Marshall and Lysette Anthony are bland and Freddie Jones is a rather generic “wise man” Merlin/Obi-Wan Kenobi character.  The strength in Krull is the supporting cast.  David Battley of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie’s teacher) provides the humor by essentially playing the same role in a fantasy.  Bernard Bresslaw plays the big giant cyclops who kind of freaked me out as a kid.  The film features early appearances of Robbie Coltrane and Liam Neeson as members of the bandits of Torquil (played by Alun Armstrong).

krull rell cyclops bernard bresslaw

I foresee no sequels…

Visually, Krull excels.  Krull had a pretty big budget (part of its downfall).  The movie had some large and impressive sets but a surprising lack of fantasy creatures.  The movie’s claymation spider in the scene with the Widow of the Web (played by an aged Francesca Annis) also is impressive and scary.  The movie does get into some weird almost Salvador Dali-eque moments involving visions, fires, and strange warped video.

Krull is a highly flawed movie, but for me it is a fun movie.  I think kids will still like the adventure and it might be a fun movie to pop in when they are sick of watching Star Wars again.  Fortunately, Krull feels complete though you know they hoped to continue the story (it has a Dune-like set-up for future films).  I’m glad it gained its cult audience and that it isn’t forgotten in time.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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