More Trivia from Krull
Krull - a beautiful world, but one damaged by hostilities between nations. All of the conflict was forgotten when the Slayers arrived, led by the indescribable monster that lived in The Black Fortress.
In order to combat this new threat, an alliance is reached, and will be sealed by the marriage of Princess Lyssa (Lysette Anthony) and Prince Colwyn (Ken Marshall). The wedding is almost complete, when the castle is attacked by the Slayers and despite desperate fighting, they manage to kidnap Princess Lyssa and carry her off to the Black Fortress. Colwyn vows to find her and rescue her.
This could be a problem. You see, the Black Fortress moves overnight. It just vanishes and reappears somewhere else. So, in order to know the location of the fortress, Colwyn has to gain the foresight of the Seer. In this, he is fortunate to have the guidance of Ynyr (Freddie Jones) who accompanies him on his quest. They need to find the Seer, but first they need two other things: more men (for they will certainly meet the Slayers again in combat); and the Glave, a weapon that's kind of like a five-bladed throwing star, that Colwyn will need to defeat the monster. The Glave is in a high cave on top of a mountain, sat in a pool of molten rock. The men are more difficult to gather together.
There's Ergo The Magnificent ("short in stature, tall in power, wide of vision, and narrow of purpose", played by David Battley, who many will remember as the rather slimy school-teacher in Willy Wonka); Bernard Bresslaw as Rell, a Cyclops who knows the date of his death and therefore keeps his own company but is always around when you really need him and a group of bandits that Colwyn manages to enlist. These include cameos from Liam Neeson, Robbie Coltrane, and Todd Carty, who UK readers will know from EastEnders and as Tucker Jenkins in Grange Hill.
After an arduous trek through the forest they find the Seer, who gives them the location of the Black Fortress, and then leads them towards it. Following a brush with Francesca Annis as the Widow of the Web, a spider-woman with a taste for male flesh, the Seer is killed by the Slayers who then ambush the gang, but thanks to Rell's interception they all escape.
Finally they arrive at the Fortress. They have to get inside before dark, else it will leave them behind and their quest is finished forever. This they manage to do, but only at the expense of Rell, who manages to force open a crack in the rocks and holds it open long enough for the others to enter, but then is crushed.
Inside, the monster tries many tricks to separate the gang, but they finally arrive in the centre of the Fortress for the final showdown. Colwyn must kill the monster, find Princess Lyssa and get out of the Fortress before it is destroyed...
Many of the reviewers of this movie at IMDB are polarised about the offering - they are either totally for the movie, or totally against it, with one even suggesting that Krull is a great cure for insomnia! I kind of fall between the two - it's a good movie, where the performances are generally adequate, the music score is standard fare and the location shooting is much better than the studio stuff (and it's easy to tell the two apart, much easier than it should be).
However, this approach ignores the strengths that the movie does possess - a better than average story, and some of the performances are great, particularly from David Battley as Ergo the Magnificent. He plays the simple country magician extremely well, refusing to allow the fact that he's a poor magician to stand in the way of his desire to impress people. Bernard Bresslaw is never stretched in the role of Rell the cyclops, but it's good to see him playing a straighter role than he ever got in a Carry On movie. As for the leading players, Ken Marshall saw too many heroic movies before playing this one, Lysette Anthony is beautiful and sexy, but as far as acting goes, rumours of her talent have been greatly overstated. Freddie Jones is good, but is limited to a few wise words and knowing glances as he guides Marshall through the maze.
Overall, it's an OK flick. If you get the chance to watch it again, do try. But don't be too upset if you miss it.
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