Krull - Colwyn

Am I The Only One That Likes 1983’s Krull?

Krull was a movie that made a big mark on me when I was young. I can recall watching another 1983 film at my local Drive-In, in this case it was Superman III. Standing in line at that fabled concession stand I happened to glance over and see the poster for Krull. All thoughts of my Chilly Dilly pickle were gone, so I slipped under the railing and went to get a closer look at that poster.
Krull - Movie Poster

I will admit I was drawn to the visage of the Beast first. I had already turned eleven at that point and while not frightening, it certainly demanded my attention. Throw in the odd weapon that I would later learn was called the Glaive. I knew I had to see this film. In addition, after Superman III they actually showed the trailer for Krull!

[Via] Trailer Dwelling

I ask you, how could I not be blown away. Return of the Jedi had finished the Star Wars trilogy and yet I still hungered for space adventures. The very fact that this was a mash-up of sword and sorcery and science fiction was all the better. It was tailor made for a burgeoning cinephile like myself!
Krull - Slayers

Furthermore how can you resist a film with a trident throwing cyclops?

Upon seeing it, in all honesty, I was blown away. While of course there are a few elements from Star Wars that were borrowed for Krull. I am speaking of the Hero’s Journey in this regard. Prince Colwyn is helped on his quest to rescue Princess Lyssa by the appearance of Ynyr. A wise old man that obviously acts as the Obi-Wan Kenobi of the film.
Krull - Freddie Jones

Naturally another element that Krull borrows from Star Wars is the Glaive. While it might not be a weapon from a more civilized time, it is ever so much as elegant as the weapon of a Jedi. As well as being a symbol of the royalty of long ago on the Planet Krull as we are told in the film. Most assuredly though I realize that like Lucas did with the lightsaber, the film’s ancient Glaive is a throwback to the likes of King Arthur’s Excalibur or even Hrunting from Beowulf!
Krull - The Glaive

On a side note. If I were thrust into the digital universe of the OASIS from Ready Player One. I can tell you without a doubt that in one hand would be the Glaive, and the other TRON’s identity disc.

Here is the rub though, it appeared that I was in the minority of those that loved the movie. The neighborhood kids definitely didn’t see all that I loved of Krull. Judging by the box office they weren’t alone. With an estimated budget of 47 million dollars – it earned only 16 million. It was pretty much savaged by the critics of the time. Case in point, this vintage review by Siskel and Ebert.

[Via] Gradepoint

I would add that it seems that maybe Gene and Roger in this particular case weren’t paying attention to the film. In addition, did Ebert knock 1981’s Dragonslayer? Now in truth Krull has obtained a cult status. Partly I am sure because of the embarrassment of riches it had with its cast. Liam Neeson, Robbie Coltrane, Freddie Jones, and Alun Armstrong to name a few.
Krull - Alun Armstrong

Let’s not fail to mention that the movie also boasts a fantastic score, by the late and great James Horner.

[Via] 200 Verde

I still find the movie to be just as thrilling as in my youth. I say this having fully removed those rose-tinted spectacles. Is it a perfect movie, most assuredly not. Krull is however an entertaining film, definitely deserving of a better score than 33% on Rotten Tomatoes, friends.
Krull - Rell

I’ve rambled on about things I like about Krull so how about watching something very special?


Thanks to DeeDee Bigelow’s YouTube channel, we can see Ken Marshall, who played Prince Colwyn hold the Glaive in his hands after 30 years.

Fantasy Zone - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Fantasy Zone (1986)

Sega’s Fantasy Zone is CTupa‘s pick for his Retro Arcade Art project for this week. This is a game that while I knew about it didn’t have the chance to play it in the arcades. The very first encounter I had with Fantasy Zone was in fact on the Sega Master System. One of numerous titles that in High School I was able to rent and play on the weekends with one of my best friends. I will admit however that I wasn’t exactly enthralled by the cutesy style of Fantasy Zone at first.
Fantasy Zone - Sega Master System

It wasn’t until I had a chance to play the game for myself that I noticed how awesome it was. Cute as well as brightly colored backgrounds aside, Fantasy Zone is a frantic scrolling shooter.
Fantasy Zone - Frantic Shooter

The backstory for the game involves the ship a Player will pilot, known as Opa-Opa. The Player is tasked with beating back an alien invasion to the Fantasy Zone. All in the attempt to bring back peace to the land and it’s inhabitants. You don’t believe me? See for yourself!
Fantasy Zone - Backstory

To do this however means that the Player must take out a certain number of enemy spawning bases. Which can be tracked by the line of colored boxes at the bottom of the screen. Doing so will trigger a Boss Battle and very quickly these become prime examples of the difficulty of Fantasy Zone.
Fantasy Zone - Bases
Fantasy Zone - Boss Battle

Thankfully very much like the main protagonist from CTupa’s earlier pick Chack’n Pop. The cartoonish Opa-Opa has more than a few tricks up its sleeve. For example if you fly to the bottom of the stage and touch the ground, the Opa-Opa will engage…feet. Allowing you to stroll across Terra firma if you so wish.
Fantasy Zone - Feet

Keeping with some of the cartoon-like aspects of Fantasy Zone, the fact that the Opa-Opa is kept aloft by both an engine and wings shouldn’t shock you.

Playing Fantasy Zone gives you WINGS!

In the game at the very least there are shops you can visit. By way of balloons that appear at the start of each level. Paid for by the gold coin dropped by your enemies. Yellow balloons allow the option of switching weapons as well.
Fantasy Zone - Shop Balloon

Fantasy Zone - Weapon Upgrade

Learn from the mistakes of my youth, friends. Fantasy Zone is an absolutely fantastic arcade title. It has certainly received not just ports to the popular home consoles of the day. But sequels as well such as Fantasy Zone II – The Tears of Opa-Opa, Fantasy Zone: The Maze, and Super Fantasy Zone to name a few.

Now that you know the basics of Fantasy Zone, why not watch it in action?

[Via] World of Longplays

As always with CTupa’s Retro Arcade Art project, you can purchase the artwork featured in this post. The originals are ink and watercolor and are 5″x7″ on 8.5″x11″ size paper. You can hop on over to Christopher’s Official Site to contact him as well as check out more artwork from his project!

I hope you won’t forget to check out CTupa’s previous entries in his Retro Arcade Art project as well!
Retro Arcade Art - Christoper Tupa

Norman Normal - Title Card

Toon In: Paul Stookey’s Norman Normal (1968)

Friends, Norman Normal is a different offering for Toon In. For one thing it happened to be scored by none other than Paul Stookey. Indeed, the very same Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul, and Mary. In fact it was co-produced, co-written and even features voice work by Stookey as well. Norman Normal also is one of the lesser seen Warner Bros. animated shorts.

[Via] John 1948Ten

I mention that Norman Normal hasn’t been seen by many. That could be because it was released as a cartoon special for it’s adult sensibilities. Nothing to worry about of course in regards to language or the like. It is because it follows Norman as he basically confronts the issues of life that are weighing heavily on his mind.
Norman Normal

Our main protagonist in Norman Normal is a ball bearing salesman. Right off the bat he shares with us, thanks to the many doors in his mind, an ethical quandary concerning his Boss. Who by the way is voiced by Stookey as well, actually most of the characters that Norman encounters are voiced by the singer-songwriter.
Norman Normal - Boss

While his Boss wants him to land a new client by getting him to drink too much, we see that Norman Normal is thankfully of stronger morale character. Not that he isn’t finding himself confused by what is expected of him. So he decides to visit his Father to seek advice. I will naturally leave it to you to decide if he has been given sage advice or not.
Norman Normal - Father

Finally we get a chance to visit Norman at a company party. Where as you can probably guess, things aren’t exactly peachy-keen. On display is more of personal issues of others that they try to foist on their co-worker.
Norman Normal - Party

The part of Norman Normal is voiced by Dave Dixon. It really is an interesting animated short. Certainly worthy of your six minutes of time. While it was originally released on February 3, 1968 there are still powerful as well as relatable messages within it.

Now, settle back and dive into Norman Normal!


Stark Trek II - Book and Record

Retro Records: Star Trek II – The Wrath Of Khan

Audio, the final frontier. These are the continuing voyages of Retro Records and this time we have Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan! In truth I had an interesting time trying to nail down when this was released. I have found sites that claimed it came out in 1985. Others purported however that is was 1984. Since of course I couldn’t see the inside of the book itself I had to keep looking. Finally I did indeed come across the correct information and Buena Vista’s adaptation of 1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan looks like it was published in 1983.

I have mentioned in the past how much time I spent alone as a child. While there were neighborhood kids to play with when visiting my Grandparents. I mostly entertained myself when at home with my books and toys. Granted the Atari 2600 and a subscription to the Buena Vista book and record club went a long way to helping too.

With this adaptation of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, you can safely assume they have streamlined the film a bit. Of course they have also toned down quite a bit of the death count from the movie. Which is totally understandable considering the age of their target audience. That doesn’t mean they don’t take the opportunity to show off a mortally wounded Khan!
Star Trek II - Wrath of Khan - Khan

Honestly this 1983 adaptation does a fine job of presenting the overall story from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Although I am going to have to bring up that the impersonation of Admiral James T. Kirk…is odd to my ears.
Star Trek II - Wrath of Khan - Page 1

This is the first Buena Vista book and record that I have noticed they colored out a background character’s face. Seriously, what is going on back there? Did Scotty accept an trainee from Ariannus – maybe another mutation?
Star Trek II - Wrath of Khan - Scotty

Most importantly of all, Buena Vista managed to capture the excitement of the movie. Yet again while not showing us all of the poor crew members of the Enterprise that were hurt and killed during the epic space duel. You still however get that thrill as well as the tension of the film itself. Thanks to not just the narration but the chosen photos used throughout the book.
Star Trek II - Wrath of Khan - Chekov

Grab your favorite snack and beverage. Relax and travel back to 1983 as we listen and read Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

[Via] Secret Cavern

Since we are on the topic of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. How can we pass up a moment to not listen to that epic theme from the late and great James Horner?

[Via] Jedi King 12

Retroist 9 to 5 Podcast

Retroist 9 to 5 Podcast

On today’s show I talk about the eighties comedy classic, 9 to 5. I start off talking about how I would lay around listening to Dolly Parton, much to my sister’s confusion. If only she had joined me, she would have been much happier, but she was just too much of a punk.

A lot to say about this film in a short amount of time. I talk about the production, the director, writers, musical, tv series and Broadway musical. This is a very talented cast, so it was difficult to just not spend an episode praising them. I manage to keep my praise to a low roar, but I think my fandom is pretty apparent.

9 to 5 was huge hit when it came out. It dominated the box office, only being beaten by one film, The Empire Strikes Back. If you haven’t seen the film or have not seen it in a while, I hope this show will help persuade you to check it out.

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Thanks for listening to the show and I hope you have a great weekend.