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.


Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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8 thoughts on “Am I The Only One That Likes 1983’s Krull?

  1. Andrew Trapani @gramtrapper says:

    You are not alone…. Krull forever (and possibly a remake).

    Andrew Trapani

  2. Alpha Centaurian says:

    Krull was and is awesome. It’s a standard for movie night with my RPG group :)
    Right up there with Hawk the Slayer and Sword and the Sorcerer. Classics

  3. I remember seeing the commercial for Krull when I was 12 years-old and was so excited about the video game at a local theater’s arcade.

    I just loved the look of the movie and it reminded me of Conan but I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen it fully. I’ve stumbled across this movie while surfing cable but it was never at the beginning. I should watch it.

    One of my favorite movies that I’ve never seen.

  4. I truly am glad to see that I’m not the only fan of the film or at the very least remember it fondly. Allison…perhaps we need a post about the RiffTrax experience once you’ve seen it?

  5. Benovite says:

    You had to be a jock or not into fantasy/sci-fi at all to not like Krull. Despite its many similarities to Star Wars, it had more than enough to be entertaining in its own right.

    I mean obviously the box office take indicated that most people weren’t interested in going to see it in a movie theater (wish I had), but I can guarantee you that when that movie hit cable people watched it. I know I did, numerous times.

    Did Tron suck because it wasn’t a massive box office hit? Hell no. Did Blade Runner’s weak number$ point to a bad movie? Are you kidding?

    In the end what matters most to people is whether they’ve been entertained. Let the studio execs worry about opening weekend numbers and all that show “business’s crap they get paid for.

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