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4.1 out of 5 stars78
4.1 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 9 October 2007
KRULL of course can not be compared to LOTR, EXCALIBUR or CONAN THE BARBARIAN, but it is a very watchable and quite honest fantasy movie (and there is not a lot of good quality productions in this field).

The story is about the planet Krull where humans reached Middle Age level of development, with some magic involved here and there. Suddenly, one day, an alien spaceship arrives and its one and only crew member, known simply as The Beast, sends his offsprings/soldiers/slaves, half-intelligent Slayers to conquer the planet. Faced with certain destruction two rival kings, rulers of the main powers on Krull, decide to unite their forces by marrying their children and then abdicating. By creating one united empire they hope to be able to face the army of Slayers and other monsters the Beast creates. Unfortunately, The Beast has other plans - and the wedding will be a very tragic one. All of this is just the very beginning of the film...

KRULL is well paced, full of adventures, quite spectacular visually and is reasonably well interpreted. Ken Marshall, whose promising career somehow stopped in the middle of the 80s gives here a very honest performance as Crown Prince Colwyn. Alun Armstrong plays here Torquil the Bandit Leader, who helps Colwyn in his quest - and he really finds here a role right for him and especially for his face... Liam Neeson, who in this time was in the early stages of career, plays another bandit, knife playing Kegan who is Torquil's right hand.

There are many interesting ideas in this movie, which nobody found before and which were not used since. The greatest finding of all was to make the Black Mountain mobile - the main citadel of The Beast is his old giant spaceship, which has the shape of a dark mountain, and which vanishes every day during the sunset, to reappear in a totally different place on the planet. It presents to the heroes a very unique problem - they are all willing and ready to face the villain, the problem is they simply never know where the heck he will be next morning...

Another good finding are the Slayers. We do not know exactly what are they, but it seems they do not have a mind of their own and they certainly never speak. It looks like they are a kind of biological robots, with a part of Beast's living flesh as their hard drive, heart and brain in the same time. They certainly are dangerous - they climb walls, they walk under water and they shoot some primitive energy weapons (one shot per weapon - and clearly they can not reload out of their fortress) before going to close combat with wide blade short spears. There are also some other nice ideas in this movie, but you desserve to discover them by yourself.

All in all, this is a very honest and very watchable fantasy movie, now a little forgotten but worth (re)discovering. Not exactly a masterpiece but a very nice watch.
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on 28 December 2000
I first saw this film as a wee, ankle-biting nipper, hot as it was on the heels of such sci-fi epics as Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica. This tale delved very much more into the territory of sword and sorcery, immersing you in the story of Colwyn as he seeks to save his girl from the "Beast", an interstellar-travelling, Stalinesque villain. The special effects may look dated when compared to the more modern day oeuvre, but you'll marvel at the bad 80s hair, Lysette Anthony's overdub, the early performances of pre-Qui-Gon Liam Nesson and EastEnders' Mark Fowler, and the fact that Bernard Bresslaw can play anything other than Sid James's sidekick. Freddie Jones also turns in a fantastic performance as Colwyn's Obi-Wan Kenobi style advisor, so you'd be mad to miss it! It also takes a much darker tone than many other space-based dramas, so watch out for a few surprises at the end.
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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 score is one of the film's greatest strengths too, 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 - audio commentary by Peter Yates, Ray Lovejoy, Ken Marshall and Lysette Anthony, Cinefantastique article commentary, documentary Journey to Krull, Marvel comic book adaptation with music and dialogue extracts, 4 stills galleries, and trailer.
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on 31 January 2002
This is a movie from the good old days when effects weren't considered to be the be-all and end-all of a good action film.
The film is good fun, and the heroes are likeable. This is one where you'll be supporting the good guys throughout.
The various challenges that the protagonists face throughout also add to the fact that this is more than just a no-brainer action movie.
A fair few good guys get wasted along the way which is nice to see every now and then as it brings a bit of darkness to the film and provokes different emotions depending on who goes.
Although when the Prince fights the 'end-boss' it ends up a little cheesy (you'll know when you watch), you'll still be satisfied as to the outcome at the movie's conclusion.
The plot, acting and even the dated effects are all good and set this film in the right frame as one of the best fantasy films so far alongside Willow (although it can't touch The Lord Of The Rings, which no other fantasy film can do anyway.) .
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on 29 May 2015
Old and dated fantasy classic!Like other reviewers state this will play on uk bluray players if you have a top menu or title menu on your remote.Just hit title menu after it tells you its not region compatible and play from main menu.As for the film yes its cheesy and dated but still holds a charm if you like fantasy and magic films.
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on 3 May 2009
Classic 80s fantasy; low-budget, but with a strong cast of then unknowns - notably Robbie Coltrane and Liam Neeson in early screen roles - plus old lags such as the great Bernard Archard; the film is great escapism and simply good fun from the 'they don't make 'em like this anymore' school. Think 'Willow', 'Excalibur', 'The Princess Bride', 'Hawk the Slayer', 'Conan the Barbarian' et al; the true golden age of sword and sorcery fantasy movies.
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on 30 July 2015
Took a gamble on this region A blu-ray import and it actually plays no trouble on my ps3, so its region free! Hurray

A menu comes up saying this isn't compatible for your region but if you press the ' top menu ' button on your remote (or square button on ps3/ps4) it goes through to the actual menu which lets you play the movie fine! :)

Its a very very bare bones release : it has no chapter select, no subtitles and no extras but im just happy to have it on blu-ray as its actually a really good transfer :)

If you also have the dvd, you could pick up one of the 2 disc 11mm amaray bluray cases off ebay maybe (costs about £1.50~) , and put it in the same case with the blu-ray if you wanted keep it for the extras n stuff that the DVD has.
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on 17 June 2008
Krull is a great film from before CGI if it was made today it would be an epic on the scale of Lord of the Rings. It has a great story and a first Rate Cast who give a great performance. I know it is a bit limited in that it cobines Fantasy and Sci-fi but it was made at a time when only the Star Wars films had made top class FX and this film was shot using mainly a British cast and crew using their skills that are as good as most other film of the time. Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings could not be shot at this time and Krull was as good as you got till CGI came along and so I rate this a great film but maybe if made today would be a mega hit.
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on 25 January 2005
Always enjoyed this film. Looks great with an awesome James Horner soundtrack.
A prince on a distant world recruits a magician, a cyclops and a gang of robbers to help rescue his bride-to-be from the evil Beast and his army The Slayers. Look out for Liam Neeson as one of the robbers. Very action-packed and charming film, special effects are fine and its great to see the movie in widescreen finally after years of watching pan and scan versions on tv. Extras are good too with a documentary, behind-the-scenes art-work and photos, and a presentation of the original MARVEL COMICS movie adaption backed by voices and music from the film itself.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 13 October 2014
I’ll start off my saying that Krull isn’t a particularly great movie. Secondly, I’ll also add that I love it. I think part of its charm is its cheapness and the fact that it tries so hard to be Star Wars (but with swords). I saw it when I was a boy in the eighties and I think it’s the perfect film for any boy, largely because they won’t have seen too many films and will only marvel at the special effects (which, but today’s standards, aren’t that special) and enjoy the ride.

It’s about a princess who’s captured by a beast (or ‘The Beast’ to be precise) and taken off to his castle where she must marry him. That is of course unless the handsome prince doesn’t rescue her and save the kingdom. So, nothing too original there.

It’s hard to say why Krull is so good. You just have to appreciate it for what it is. The lines are pretty corny, but they are delivered with such gusto that you can forgive their failings. Also, don’t expect too much logic. The baddies (or ‘Slayers’) use laser guns which only really shoot about two shots before they decide to just use them to bludgeon people with them. Why? Who knows, just go with it.

Then you have the thumping soundtrack from James Horner. Eagle-eared viewers will notice that the soundtrack (no matter how good it is) is pretty much ripped off from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, but it’s so good, there’s no hard in hearing it again.

So, in summary... dialogue = bad. Special effects = not special at all. Originality = non existent. Characters = a little annoying (Ergo, I’m thinking of you). But, despite all that, I still love it. It’s a classic ‘so-bad-it’s-good’ type film. If you’ve seen (and loved) any or all of: Flash Gordon, Masters of the Universe, Star Crash or Hawk the Slayer, then this is in their league (and, for the record, I own all of them – classics!).

It’s worth it alone for the fact that you get to watch (arguably) one of the greatest fantasy weapons ever seen on screen – the Glade – a kind of mind-controlled throwing star.
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