1983 was a weird year for film.
Conan The Barbarian and The Beastmaster had just broken the modern iteration of the Sword & Sorcery genre mainstream and showed that these films had major box office potential.
Also in 1983, Sci-Fi continued it’s dominance of the ticket sales, showing no slow down from 1982.
Someone decided why pick a genre when you can have both?
So Krull was born.
A fantasy movie with distinct Sci-Fi elements can work, lets face it, that is what Star Wars really was, but Krull is not the example to use.
Directed by Peter Yates (The Deep), Krull really should work on some level and yet, absolutely did not find it’s audience in 1983, losing over $30 million of it already exorbitant $47 million budget.
This effectively killed any chance of making this a multi-level franchise (comic books, action figures and a video game were all planned and scrapped once the movie bombed).
Krull was never going to work and it was only after the fact that one can dissect why this is.
Most people like to point out how both Liam Neeson and Robbie Coltrane made this movie before they became famous and while that is true neither of them have any real screen presence here, they are just kind of there. Star Ken Marshall (later of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) is just bland in Krull and does nothing to make you care about this charisma vacuum he creates around him. Lysette Anthony is gorgeous as usual (I fell in love with her on the 1991 Dark Shadows as the French witch Angelique), but for some reason it was decided they would dub her voice with an American actress in Krull which is quite distracting. David Battley is so far past irritating as the “comic relief” that he makes his scenes pure agony. The rest of the cast are so forgettable you won’t even notice when they get killed.
The plot is nonsensical at it’s best and downright derivative at it’s worst (what else do you expect from Stanford Sherman the man that used to write for the 60’s Batman).
The characters have absolutely zero of the titled character to them and lack any sort of recognizable motivation outside of “The script says I do this”. The special effects are inconstant at the high end and borderline laughable at the low end. The story is non-existent and nothing in this film makes a lick of sense not matter how hard you try. That is not even accounting for the fact that this 120 minute movie is bloated beyond belief with scene after scene of people walking, people riding horses, people milling about, people looking for things, people climbing on rocks etc… this could have been a 60 minute movie if all of the unnecessary crap was trimmed out of it.
Also did anyone else note that the plot of Krull (such as it is) is a Super Mario movie? The princess in flowing white gown gets kidnapped and is being forced to marry a powerful lizard creature while her lover and his friends battle mini-bosses to find her and eventually go down a sewer to bop the bad guy on the head to win?
The only positives are the Slayers are scary (if not completely ineffectual at their jobs) and The Beast is nightmare inducing but again is petty bad at his job of being this badass we are continually told he is.
This film is a chore to watch sometimes.
This is why the Rifftrax guys are there to help you. They just had their Rifftrax Live: Krull event and man did they give new life to this turd of a film. The jokes come at the expense of everything I just mentioned but also the very film itself. It’s hard to explain but Krull deserved this kind of drubbing. What was weird though was how brutal some of the jokes were in this.
Yeah, the Rifftrax guys give great zingers but there were three specific jokes that were particularly mean spirited this time around including making fun of the lost Thai soccer team. I was not offended but just surprised since these guys don’t usually go that low.
What really annoyed me with this Rifftrax though was this was the first time technical glitches really effected the show. I have been to many of these live showings and this was the first time the feed cut out multiple times on us. Initially it was a couple of times the screen would blink in and out for about 10 seconds (no audio or video) while the movie and riffing proceeded but by the end of the event we lost the feed for a full minute sitting in the the darkness and silence of the theater only to return having missed that minute of this live event. I get it that technical issues come up but this was irritating. I hope the replay is fixed.
Oddly these events usually have a short or two before the main event but due to the excessive running time of Krull these were forgone this time. The funny pre-show slides are still present though.
If you missed Krull get the beating that it deserved for the past thirty-five years, there’s still an opportunity to see the film August 25th. For theaters and showtimes, click HERE.