Writer: Stanford Sherman
Composer: James Horner
Starring: Ken Marshall, Lysette Anthony, Freddie Jones, Francesca Annis, Alun Armstrong, David Battley, Bernard Breeslaw, Liam Neeson, John Welsh, Graham McGrath ,Tony Church, Bernard Archard, Robbie Coltrane
More info: IMDb
Tagline: A world light-years beyond your imagination.
Plot: A prince and a fellowship of companions set out to rescue his bride from a fortress of alien invaders who have arrived on their home planet.
My rating: 6/10
Will I watch it again? No.
The film opens with a rousing orchestral score from James Horner that clearly feels like it's much bigger and better than the film deserves. It's a hell of a lot busier than the visuals. Like a lot of Horner's scores, you'll hear elements (and almost entire themes) he's used before (and again). Despite that, it's a fantastic score that goes a long way in selling the film and making it more enjoyable than it would have been with any number of other composers that were doing lower budget fantasy films at the time. Low budget you say? IMDb says the budget was $27M. That's a fuckton of money for 1983. STAR WARS had a budget of $11M AND that was six years earlier. The effects in KRULL are cheap looking in comparison. It has that sci-fi space TV show look from BUCK ROGERS and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. But let's forget about that.
Was it fun? Yeah, a little. I could have done without the pandering to kids by having a kid in it and the silly sorcerer wannabe. It was fun seeing early roles for Liam Neeson and Robbie Coltrane. The stop motion translucent spider was badass! The action was OK and some of the sequences were too long (like the extended finale that just wouldn't quit). Lots of people died with barely any emotion from the survivors. I know what you're saying, "But hey, Jim the Movie Freak, they had more important things on their minds like the quest to save the planet and shit." Yeah, there's that but they also had way too many things that trivially slowed them down. If they were hell-bent for leather to finish the quest then they would've stayed more focused. It's a mildly amusing film that had Horner's score entertaining me more than anything else. It's taken more over thirty years to get around to watching it. I'm surprised I didn't see it in the theater but I played the ever-loving shit out of the arcade game way back when. I wouldn't mind dropping a few more quarters into that machine.
The Columbia special edition DVD has a nice anamorphic widescreen print with a few extras with two commentaries (one cast and crew and the other behind the scenes) and a 22-minute featurette on the making of narrated by Tom Bosley of all people. What's funny about is how the beginning and end of it tries really hard to put this film up there with the great films of fantasy.