I have a soft spot for Krull (1983). It was critically maligned, and didn’t do big business at the box office, but the attraction of Krull for me is its purity. It’s centre of gravity is in the good, a substance somehow invisible, but tangible, and which energizes.
Krull is not the most professional piece of filmmaking, but it does have at its core the power of a good myth.
Krull is like a combination of Excalibur and Star Wars, where medieval meets science fiction fantasy.
The planet of Krull has the hallmarks of a medieval setting, with lush country side, mountains, and desolate areas such as caves and craggy rock faces.
There’s armoury on the Slayers, riders on horseback, castles, kings, queens, princes and opposing tribes.
In terms of the influences of a film like Star Wars on Krull, there are laser weapons, a wise old man, a hero and a princess, and the influence of evil.
Good attempts to save the day.
The prince searches for a mysterious, powerful weapon, like the lightsabre that Luke Skywalker used, to destroy the beast.
It is also a myth of peculiar charm. It has its own lines of wisdom, philosophy, and ways, that make it peculiarly Krull.
The story of Krull
The story goes that a wicked beast roams the galaxy, seeking whom it may devour, with domination on its mind. The beast can change at will, and even appear to look good.
“There is no love in it,” says the film’s princess. This beast is a cold-hearted snake.
The beast lands on the planet Krull in a fortress. The beast’s soldiers, the Slayers, ransack a castle, leaving a prince wounded and his princess captured. With the assistance of a wise old man, the prince goes in search of his princess—who has been taken to the beast’s fortress—to bring her back, as well as destroy the beast. With the prince come a crew of supporters, one played by a young Liam Neeson, and another played by a young Robbie Coltrane.
The fighting scenes are a bit tinny. Krull is not perfect. But it’s still has that invisible touch. A wise and disenchanted widow, surrounded by a giant spider’s web, whose name only one knows, may be familiar, but its wrapped up in Krull’s invisible touch. The power of its myth is optimistic, positive, and restorative. With the rousing James Horner score, it’s stirring.
Krull (1983) ***½ Starring: Ken Marshall, Lysette Anthony, Freddie Jones, Alun Armstrong, David Battley, Bernard Bresslaw. Writer: Stanford Sherman. Director: Peter Yates