[box cover]

Krull: Special Edition

There were two major genres of B-movie in the early 1980s: cheesy sci-fi epics hoping to jump on on the Star Wars money-train, and sword-and-sorcery yarns in the mold of Conan the Barbarian and Excalibur. Trying to meld these two adolescent fantasies is the oddly ambitious-yet-lackluster 1983 epic Krull. Ken Marshall stars as a dashing warrior king leading a rag-tag band of fighters and fools on a quest to rescue his bride (the cute but lifeless Lysette Anthony) from the clutches of The Beast in the mysterious Black Fortress. If this sounds to you like uninspired fol-de-rol, you're right on — and yet it feels like cast and crew had higher, more serious aims than a mere rip-off, and a little of this purpose rubs off. The sets and photography are often as elaborate and striking as the characters and plot are dull and labored. And the special effects and make-up aren't very hot, either. Oh, and then there's the manic, hyper-triumphant, gratuitously omnipresent score by James Horner. There's not much of substance to recommend this derivative piece from erratic director Peter Yates, but the interior of the Black Fortress shows brief flashes of impressionist, nearly hallucinatory, brilliance, if you're into that sort of thing. With Liam Neeson in an early role, and Freddie Jones. Columbia TriStar's Krull looks just fine in this 2.35:1 transfer, with audio in DD 5.1 and Dolby 2.0 Surround. Includes one commentary with Yates, Marshall, Anthony, and editor Ray Lovejoy, and another audio track, just over an hour long, featuring a preview article from the November 1982 issue of Cinefantastique Magazine, which comments on, amongst other subjects, expectedly stiff release date competition from Porky's 3 and Smokey and the Bandit 3. Also includes a 1983 behind-the-scenes featurette narrated by Tom "Mr. C" Bosley, a Marvel Comics video adaptation, and extensive galleries of photos and design concepts. Keep-case.
—Joe Barlow

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