Turn Back The Clock
Distributed By: Columbia Pictures
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Have you ever watched a movie as a kid and loved it so much that some scenes are still very vivid to you as an adult yet you couldn’t remember the name of the film? Such was my predicament when searching for this science fiction movie I had watched in my youth and now desired to own as an adult. I remembered a long journey taken by a hero who met friends along the way that helped him achieve his goal…though what that goal was, I couldn’t remember. I talked about it with many different science fiction aficionados and came to realize that this movie might in fact be named Krull. Hearing that I was interested in purchasing this film, a friend bought it for me for Christmas. I was stoked! I couldn’t wait to pop it into the DVD player.
The movie begins with a joining of enemy forces through the marriage of the leaders’ children. Prince Colwyn and Princess Lyssa are about to be married, uniting their families’ kingdoms against their mutual enemy, an alien being known as the Beast and his army of Slayers. The marriage is interrupted by an attack on Princess Lyssa’s castle. The princess is kidnapped by the Slayers and brought to the home of the Beast, a mountain-like spaceship known as the Black Fortress. Lured by the prophecy that a princess with the same name of an ancient one would bear a child destined to rule the galaxy, the Beast has decided to force Lyssa to marry him and fulfill the prophecy by bearing his child.
Prince Colwyn must rescue his love from this cruel fate, but there is no way that he could possibly hope to destroy the Beast and his Slayer army alone, especially when the Black Fortress never stays in the same location for more than one day. Aided by an elder known as Ynyr, Colwyn strikes out on a journey to gather help for his cause. He must first retrieve the Glaive, an ancient and powerful (and might I say, totally cool) weapon located in a lava cave. Having accomplished this, Colwyn begins his journey. Using his natural skills as a charismatic leader, Colwyn soon amasses a small army made up of a Cyclops, a shapeshifting magician and escaped convicts. But will this army and the skills of a gifted Seer be enough to save the princess and bring an end to the evil Beast and his army?
Watching this movie as an adult, I realized a few things. First – this was not exactly the movie I remembered. I had, in fact, mixed this movie and another movie – Hawk the Slayer – together. I remembered scenes from this movie, but kept looking for scenes from the other one as well. Happily, this did not detract from my enjoyment of Krull. Second – Prince Colwyn, portrayed by Ken Marshall, is incredibly hot! Third – the Glaive is a totally cool weapon and, although ownership of such a neat weapon would probably be illegal, I wish I could have one. (Note to friends and family: Please do not buy me one for my birthday, Christmas or any other holiday as I know this weapon is definitely not something I could possibly own legally. Thank you.)
Realizing that this movie was created in 1983, one can’t help but admire some of the special effects for Krull. The opening scene featuring the Black Fortress landing on the planet Krull and the Widow of the Web lair scenes offered up some of the more believable effects. Of course, some of the effects were a tad cheesy. Take for instance, the Fire Mares, wild horses that supposedly traveled so fast that flames flew from their hooves. Various close-ups of actors riding Clydesdales that seem to be soaring with flames following in their wake were just not believable.
Costume, set design and speech created the feel that the movie Krull was taking place in a time much like that of Earth’s King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. It’s a swashbuckling fantasy adventure with a little bit of science fiction added on to make things interesting. Actors chosen for the various roles portrayed their parts well. The characters were likeable and easy to relate to. Movie fans will note the early film appearances of such greats as Liam Neeson and Robbie Coltrane.
Krull’s musical score was created by James Horner. I haven’t been much of a James Horner fan over the years, citing that many of his soundtracks sound the same. However, the musical score he composed for Krull has a very different feel than his later works. Horner created the perfect sound for a sci-fi/fantasy action/adventure film.
The DVD version of Krull contains numerous special features, including commentaries, a Marvel Comics video adaptation, photo galleries, theatrical trailers, talent files, production notes and an original featurette called Journey to Krull. The featurette is narrated by none other than Tom Bosley, the voice behind the old television show That’s Hollywood and the actor best known for his role as Richie Cunningham’s father on Happy Days. Journey to Krull features interviews with cast and crew and a behind the scenes look at how sets, special effects and costumes were created for the movie.
Krull is a fun ride through the worlds of fantasy and science fiction. The film is a cult classic that will stand the test of time. Although the graphics are not exactly on par with those of today and the storyline contains a couple of holes, Krull is definitely an enjoyable adventure.