Synopsis of Movie

“Power is fleeting, love is eternal.”

From Conan The Barbarian to the Star Wars sequels, the early 1980’s saw an endless array of science-fiction and fantasy films become popular at the box office. Krull was one of the most interesting films to emerge from this trend because it was science fiction and fantasy at the same time. It gave viewers the best of both worlds and gained a devoted fan following in the process.

The story begins with the planet Krull struggling to recover from attacks by the Slayers, an army of fierce, helmeted warriors who work for a mythic creature known as the Beast. Two nations join forces to stop the Beast and decide to seal their union by having handsome Prince Colwyn marry the lovely Princess Lyssa. Their wedding day becomes a tragedy when the Slayers attack.

The Slayers kill the kings of both nations, wound Colwyn, and kidnap Lyssa so she can become the Beast’s bride in his Black Fortress. Just when all seems lost, Colwyn is visited by the brave Yynr. He pledges his loyalty to Colwyn and aids the prince by helping him recover the glaive, a mystical five-bladed weapon that is the symbol of his nation, from its hidden location in a mountain.

Once they have recovered the glaive, Colwyn and Yynr set out to find the Black Fortress and free Princess Lyssa. In the process, they gather a ragtag band of bandits, including a heroic cyclops and a young boy who can shape-shift into various animal forms at will. These brave heroes must fight their way through constant attacks by the Slayers, obtain clues from people like the Seer and Widow of the Web on how to find the Black Fortress, and do battle with scary creatures like a giant spider. Their mystical journey ends in a battle royale between Prince Colwyn and the Beast for the fate of the free universe.

Krull never became the big hit that Columbia Pictures hoped it would be, but it did become an enduring cult favorite. It’s easy to see why: it was a film designed for the fantasy-loving kid in all of us, pure and simple. Borrowing from sources as diverse as Star Wars and Excalibur, the movie blended sci-fi and fantasy into a mysterious, intriguing world that has never been duplicated by another film.

Screenwriter Stanford Sherman, who would later write The Ice Pirates, brought a pleasing fairy-tale style to the story, and director Peter Yates used the flair for action he developed making films like Bullitt to draw maximum thrills from the battle scenes. The film’s regal-sounding score, written by future Titanic composer James Horner and performed by The London Symphony Orchestra, further added to the grand, adventurous feel of the film.

Krull was also blessed with a magnificent and unique visual style. The film’s otherworldly settings were brought to life through a combination of well-chosen Italian locations and some beautifully-designed sets. Of course, colorful special effects made up a big part of Krull’s eye-candy appeal. The glaive, which is like a giant, mentally-controlled ninja star, was especially impressive. Every kid who saw this film walked out wanting a glaive of his or her own. There were also some cool monster movie-styled effects, the best example being what happened to the Slayers when they died: their helmets would split open, unleashing a gaggle of squid-like things that would shoot out and burrow into the ground.

The film further benefited from sincere performances by a well-chosen cast. Ken Marshall, who rose to prominence by playing Marco Polo in a hit television miniseries, made a good, old-fashioned hero in the swashbuckler mode. Lysette Anthony was lovely and quite eye-pleasing as the fair Princess, while respected English actors Freddie Jones and Francesca Annis added a bit of old-school class as Yynr and the Widow of the Web. Krull was also notable for its supporting cast of future stars: Liam Neeson later gained worldwide attention with roles in films like Schindler’s List and Robbie Coltrane would become a recurring character in James Bond films like Goldeneye.

Though it is nearly two decades years old, Krull continues to be a favorite on cable and home video. This is mainly because it has developed a fervent and devoted following of fans over the years who adore the film for its endearingly odd combination of genres. If you want to see a film with a totally unique sense of the fantastic, then Krull is a voyage well worth taking.

Movie Release History

1983 - Krull

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Prince Colwyn Ken Marshall
Princess Lyssa Lysette Anthony
Ynyr Freddie Jones
Widow of the Web Francesca Annis
Torquil Alun Armstrong
Ergo David Battley
Rell the Cyclops Bernard Bresslaw
Kegan Liam Neeson
Seer John Welsh
Titch Graham McGrath
Turold Tony Church
Eirig Bernard Archard
Velta Belinda Mayne
Bardolph Dicken Ashworth
Oswyn Todd Carty
Rhun Robbie Coltrane  
Merith Clare McIntyre  
NennogBronco McLoughlin  
DarroAndy Bradford  
Quain Gerard Naprous  
Menno Bill Weston 

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