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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 3 October 2010
Everyone can think of one of those movies that is "so bad it's good" and this movie is the king of that kind. It has very little plot, the cinematography, locations, production values, costumes, etc. can generously be described as "on a budget," the acting is mostly bloody awful (though in fairness, it might simply be that even the most gifted actors couldn't utter some of the lines of this film's dialogue believably), the special effects are about as cheesy as effects ever get, and the musical score is an unholy combination of orchestral music, meets spaghetti western, meets 1970s disco; all of which means this movie should be almost physically painful to watch, but somehow not only is it not, it's actually a blast, especially if you get together and watch it with a group of friends. John Terry turns in a rather wooden, but nonetheless decent performance (and his seriousness plays well against the other actors, who are clearly just having fun while collecting the paycheck) as the hero, who is pitted against his evil older brother, played by a Jack Palance 25 years his senior, who not only killed their on-screen father, and Hawk's betrothed, but has now kidnapped a group of nuns and is holding them for ransom (are there no depths to which he will not sink!). Hawk is aided by a blind witch who helps him assemble a band of comrades consisting of a one-handed man (who shoots a magic, self-cocking, repeating crossbow that has a rate of fire nearly that of a machine gun), a giant (who is really just a rather tall bald guy), a dwarf (who is really just a rather short guy with a bullwhip and gross eating habits), and an elf (whose acting is so phenomenally stiff and mechanical I suspect him of actually being a robot specially constructed for the film).

No need to spoil the, uh... plot, for any interested viewers who may read this. Suffice it to say that the movie really is every bit as bad as it sounds from reading this... and I almost guarantee you will enjoy it. How this manages to be the case, I can't explain. Other movies have bad plots, bad dialogue, bad acting, bad music, bad effects, etc., and are simply awful movies. One watches them and wishes one could get that two hours of one's life back. This movie is somehow different, and manages to be fun despite (and perhaps even because of) its numerous flaws.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 19 June 2004
When Ben Elton and Rowan Atkinson wrote the last episode of the first series of black adder it is obvious they had watched this film FAR too many times, but in many ways the Hawk The Slayer is funnier than the spin off blackadder episode, more ham than you local butchers with a healthy dose of low budget cheese this film will keep children and adults alike spellbound, it keeps up the quirky tradition of british sci-fi/fantasy series' like Dr Who or The Tripods with cardboard sets, dodgy effects, and the sound guy given far too much time to play with the studios synthesiser equipment, but here like with the series mentioned lies the films charm, very toungue in cheek, very funny and very very Entertaining from start to end.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 4 March 2011
Ahhhh, Hawk the Slayer.

In the days before Lord of the Rings, CGI or even The Net, we had films like this.

This movie was doubled with Saturn 3 as a feature in 1981 in the UK and you have to wonder why as one is a flawed but well acted sci-fi movie and the other is a silly sword and sorcery flick.

Apparently aimed at kids some of the violence is nasty (albeit bloodless) with both goodies and baddies being sadistic in the extreme (the Giant's offing of the slave trader and Voltan's killing a nun).

John Terry's po faced and wooden acting is funny and he is totally miscast (resembling an estate agent with a big sword) but this is part of the movie's lovely awfulness.

While touches of genius are occasionally to be had (setting the entire thing in a forest, the repeating crossbow) the film is more remembered for its overacting and crappy special effects (the teleportation device seems to be left over from Superman).

However, it is ultimately putting its heart into it and you've gotta love that ridiculous disco pan pipe theme or the fact that they cast Bernard Bresslaw as a giant and a short arse as a dwarf rather than invest in decent special effects and hiring one of the Time Bandits.

Roy Kinnear's cameo as a terrified tavern owner is funny and you have to wonder why Hawk didn't challenge Voltan to sword fight much earlier in the movie (or why they didn't just let One Armed Crossbow Man and Crow mow down the baddies while they stood back and watched).

Silly, but a lot of fun with pizza and a stack of beer.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2001
I give Hawk the Slayer three stars because it gets one star if you view it as a serious film but five if you take it as a comedy. Most of the critics slaughter it, calling it 'dire' and 'atrocious'... If only the director and producer had agreed to release it as a spoof. It would have been hailed as a classic. It does bear some great one liners however, like "Or else what...My fine friend?" and "He is called......Hawk!" If you are into fantasy or even just sci-fi, you will love this movie. It is everything that makes the fantasy genre fail rolled into one movie, and consequently, you will split your sides. Oh yes, and the soundtrack is a classic. A kind of Neo-Disco panpipe affair. All in all, if you find flash gordon funny, then this will be the funniest film you've seen since Airplane! or The Life of Brian.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 May 2009
Fantastico! This has to be one of the cheeseyest British fantasy movies ever. It has Jack Palance as the baddie, DR. Who sound effects and a great story line of two bothers falling for the same bird and one turns to the devil for help! Bernhard Breslow of the Carry on films plays the 'Giant' for goodness sake! How cool is that! Any how if you love 70's Dr. Who dogy special effects & Sound effects this is a must.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 16 March 2005
This is possibly without doubt the funniest film that has ever been made. From the start wheater it is the acting, plot or the obviously high budget special effects, this is a most for anybody with a sense of humour. No money to go out, wanna stay home and get drunk with the lads....stick this on and i assure you, you will not be dissappointed!! Worth it just for the soundtrack alone!
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on 7 July 2014
Very good purchase! Great product and highly recommended
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
‘Hawk the Slayer’ deserves top marks. Not because it’s that good, but simply because of the effort put into it. It is truly an awful film with few genuinely redeeming features, yet it’s played ‘straight’ all the way through. Someone wrote online, ‘If the ‘Carry On...’ team ever made a serious ‘sword and sorcery’ film then it would be this.

Therefore, the only people who will ever get anything out of this film will be those who can appreciate those ‘so bad they’re good’ films, or people (like me) who watched it as a child and still have nostalgic feelings towards it (for the record, me and my friends ‘played’ Hawk the Slayer in the playground in junior school).

I will start by listing (at least some) of this movie’s bad points (mainly because it – technically – doesn’t have any good ones). All ‘bad points’ can also be looked at as good points because they’re so laughably fun. The acting. Oh dear. On the one hand you have Jack Palance who does his best to hiss his way through every scene going and on the other, you have John Terry (no, not the footballer, although his acting may be at least on a par with our leading man’s) who has a daft haircut which goes some way to take your mind off his acting abilities. He teams up with a giant (who isn’t very tall), a dwarf (who isn’t very short), a man with one hand (or rather his ‘missing’ hand wrapped in a bandage) and an elf (who acts like Mr Spock only with less light-heartedness). These famous five then take on Jack Palance’s merry men in a variety of different places in the British woods.

Then you have the special effects. They consist of people being killed by coloured ping pong balls and covered (to death) in silly string (no, seriously).

The action scenes have to be seen to be believed. By repeatedly using fast-paced editing shots on someone firing a bow and arrow or crossbow, you get an almost ‘machine gun-like’ effect (the bad guys don’t stand a chance!).

It’s fair to say that Hawk the Slayer is the best of the worst films ever made. It’s so bad you have to see it to believe it. Then, if you still haven’t had enough, I could also recommend Star Crash (which is so bad it’s good, only in space instead of the British woods).
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2009
Brilliant film if you love the 70's/80's era. Similar style to The Beast Master and full of actors you will reconise. My favourite thing about this film is the secial affects, it show how well it worked without the computer generated affects we have today.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Hawk, after seeing both his father and bride die at the hands of his malevolent brother, Voltan, sets out for revenge and the chance to live up to his title.

Tooling himself up with the "mind-sword" and recruiting a motley band of warriors: a giant, a dwarf, a one-armed man with a machine-crossbow and an elf with the fastest bow in the land; Hawk leads the battle against Voltan to free the land from the forces of evil and avenge his loved ones......

This is one of those movies that you have heard about and know that it has a cult following, but have never had the opportunity to get to see. On the rare occasion when it popped up on TV (the horror channel of all places) I had no choice but to put it on my planner and watch it.

It's a daft movie for sure, but it has some really funny moments, and some of the casting is pretty genius, such as Bernard Bresslaw as the Giant.

If the movie were made today, it would be compared to LOTR as the main characters are so alike, but back then it had similarities to A New Hope, so it was called a rip off to that movie.

Palance steals the show right from under everyone's feet, his spouting of lines is beyond camp, and these sort of performances were rife in the early eighties.

The rest of the cast are forgettable, just full of people that you would have seen in British sitcoms throughout the nineties, and people wearing silly ears and firing hilariously edited arrows.

Not for everyone that's for sure, but if you like movies like Krull, Deathstalker, or just general films of people walking through woods, this is for you.
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