Tag Archive: films


one of my oldest memories is krullsettling down on a sunday afternoon to watch a piece of tacky 80s sci-fi or fantasy. films like Tron, The Dark Crystal and Willow are all films that i have faint memories of sitting down to watch between the ages of 5 and 10, only for them to disappear from my consciousness until years later when some rattle at the back of my head made me pick them up again. Krull was always one of the most mysterious of these films, for the simple fact that i’d try and describe it to people, “it’s got a big castle and they shoot lasers and ride around on horses!” only to get blank looks back, people obviously doubting the memory of a five year old viewer. i managed to tear the knowledge from someone on a long forgotten message board a few years back, leading me to finally get hold of the DVD and watch it again. this afternoon, i decided to relive those sunday afternoons of old and curled up in a chair to watch it.

krull actors

David Battley (left), Freddie Jones (second left), Liam Neeson (third left) and Alun Armstrong (right)

now this is probably the point at which (if you hadn’t read the title of this post, anyway) you might expect me to confess its utter rubbishness, ‘best left as a fond memory!’ i hear you cry. well actually no! because while i can watch it now with a far more critical eye, it hasn’t actually lost any of that magic which made me think about it year on year through the 90s. looking at the cast list now, it reads like a who’s who of british actors, yet in 1983, this was a breakthrough role for many of them. Liam Neeson and Robbie Coltrane have probably gone on to have the most successful careers, but Alun Armstrong (New Tricks), Todd Carty (Eastenders), Freddie Jones (Emmerdale) and the gorgeous Lysette Anthony (Corrie, Hollyoaks and others) all star, along with David Battley, bassist in Eric Idle’s comedy band The Rutles. for the proper geeks like me, we even spot Ken Marshall in the lead role, who later went on to star as Commander Eddington in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

as has been noted in countless reviews of the film, a cross between The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, we see the heroes embark on their epic quest to rescue the captured princess, battling against cyborgs and clones, while encountering giant spiders and seers. there’s something quite quaint about the basic special effects, though the faceless slayers provide an element of horror, with their inhuman wails upon dying remaining as clear in my memory as the day i first sat down to watch the film on that rainy sunday afternoon. krull filmupon reaching the lair of the The Beast, the heroes start dropping like flies, with most of them meeting a grizzly end at the hands of slayers. this fantastic (meant in the literal sense) yet slightly naff world, coupled with the appearances of many a future soap star, is why it remains such a favourite of my youth though. there’s something quintessentially British about the film that makes it charming even now, and while it doesn’t really stand up to its yank counterparts of the time (Star Wars, Blade Runner, E.T., Star Trek II, Dune were all american contemporaries), it’s one of those films i can’t help loving. having snored through a viewing of Blade Runner the other day in yet another attempt to see what the fuss is about recently, there’s no doubt which one i’d rather be watching. sure, it’s technically inferior in almost every way, but that’s not necessarily what i want from a film every time. Krull is funny, it’s exciting, it doesn’t take itself seriously, and it contains just the right amount of british silliness to make it a classic in my eyes. i might be alone in that, but meh, i’ve never been a trend setter.

my first thought when i heard this, was ‘oh my god, this is the most awesome news i’ve had all year’ (you can tell it’s been a rubbish year for me so far). the second thought i had, was ‘this could be really really shit’. of course, my third thought, was ‘who cares, this is going to be the best thing to happen in ages!’. as you might be able to tell, i’m pretty damn happy that one of my favourite cult films ever – Tron – is getting a sequel only 28 years after the original came out, in the form of Tron Legacy. you can watch the trailer if you click this link here!

i can’t remember when i first got to watch the film, but seeing as it was released a year before i was born, i’m guessing it was on tv at some point in the late ’80s.  for years it was one of those films that were just a vague memory from my childhood, i couldn’t remember the name of the film, and i could barely remember what happened in it, apart from the super cool bike chase sequences and the laser frisbee fights. it was only years later when trying to describe this obscure film from my childhood to a flatmate at uni (after years of baffling anyone i mentioned it to), that they said casually, ‘oh, you mean Tron, yeah, it’s ok’. finally after all these years, i could actually go into a shop and seek out this lost film from my childhood. a similar story surrounds my quest to find Krull, after years of wondering what the hell that awesome film i saw in 1988 was, with only the flimsiest of details to describe it to blank-faced friends.

anyway… onto Tron Legacy. the good news is that they’re retaining some of the characters and actors from the original, with Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner reprising their roles as Flynn and Tron, although the setting comes over 20 years into the future of the original, as Flynn’s now grown-up son discovers the computer system his father disappeared into years earlier. the film even has John Hurt and Michael Sheen making appearances, and as if the film couldn’t get any better, Daft Punk are doing the soundtrack, and rumoured to be performing cameos in the film itself. from the trailer, it looks like the futuristic, electro-neon feel of the original film has been maintained, with the now dated (though advanced for 1982) special effects given a makeover for the year 2010. it’s too early to be making predictions or reviews at this point, but with the news that Tron Legacy will be presented in 3D digital and Imax 3D, i’m fairly sure that it’s going to be a massive hit, and i actually can’t wait until its december release date, later this year.