"Krull: A Cult Classic that Blends Fantasy and Science Fiction"

14 May 2023
In 1983, a unique fantasy film called Krull enchanted audiences with its magical tale of love, heroism, and otherworldly creatures. As we look back at this cult classic through a new lens, it's fascinating to evaluate its quality in the context of its era and ponder how it would fare in today's world, post the visually stunning and epic live-action Lord of the Rings films. 

Join me on this insightful journey as we delve into the world of Krull, uncover some trivia, discuss the plot, and discover the gems hidden within this underappreciated film!

krull film poster

Krull whisks us away to a distant planet, where the young Prince Colwyn embarks on a perilous quest to save his beloved Princess Lyssa from the clutches of the evil Beast. This seemingly straightforward plot soon unfolds into an epic adventure as Colwyn assembles a ragtag group of allies, including a wise old Cyclops, a shape-shifting magician, and a band of outlaws known as the Slayers.

The film skillfully combines elements of fantasy, science fiction, and mythology, creating a captivating and imaginative world. While the story may not be the most original, it is filled with enough excitement, heart, and spectacle to keep audiences entertained. The film explores themes of love, destiny, and the power of unity, resonating with viewers even today.

krull film

Krull boasts a talented ensemble cast that brings life to its vibrant characters. Ken Marshall shines as Prince Colwyn, infusing the character with both bravery and vulnerability. Lysette Anthony's portrayal of Princess Lyssa is captivating, showcasing her strength and determination. Notable performances also come from Freddie Jones as the wise and lovable Cyclops, and Liam Neeson, who makes an early in career appearance as the valiant and honorable bandit, Kegan.

The film's visual effects were groundbreaking for its time, creating fantastical landscapes, mesmerizing creatures, and stunning battles. While the effects may appear dated by today's standards, they still possess a certain charm that adds to the film's nostalgic appeal. It's important to appreciate the technical achievements of Krull, considering the limitations of the era in which it was made.

krull film spider

In the world of post-Lord of the Rings, with its grand scale and meticulous attention to detail, Krull may struggle to find its place among modern fantasy epics. However, it's unfair to directly compare it to the visual splendor of Peter Jackson's masterpiece. 

Krull deserves recognition for its ambitious storytelling and imaginative world-building. It stands as a testament to the creativity and audacity of '80s fantasy films, which laid the groundwork for the genre's evolution.

Krull may not have achieved the same level of commercial success as some of its contemporaries, but it remains a cherished gem for fans of '80s fantasy films. Its legacy lies in its imaginative world, memorable characters, and the sense of wonder it evokes.

As we reflect on Krull through a new lens, let's appreciate the film for what it is—an enchanting adventure that took us on a magical journey, reminding us of the power of myth and the enduring allure of the unknown. While its visual effects may have aged, its heart and creativity continue to resonate with audiences.

Looking back, Krull stands as a testament to the spirit of adventure that fueled the '80s fantasy genre. It was a time when filmmakers dared to dream big, even if the technology wasn't always able to keep up. In today's world, where CGI reigns supreme, it's refreshing to revisit a film that relied on practical effects and imaginative set designs.

One of the film's most remarkable aspects is its score, composed by James Horner. The music perfectly captures the ethereal beauty and epic grandeur of the story, enhancing the emotional impact of each scene. It's a testament to the power of a well-crafted score to elevate a film beyond its visual limitations.

Krull also showcases the talent of director Peter Yates, known for his work on films such as Bullitt and Breaking Away. Despite the challenges of bringing such a fantastical story to life, Yates managed to infuse the film with a sense of wonder and excitement. His attention to detail in creating the world of Krull, with its mystical landscapes and intricate costumes, adds depth to the storytelling.

While Krull may not have garnered the same level of recognition as other fantasy films of its time, it has developed a devoted following over the years. Its cult status is a testament to the film's enduring appeal and the nostalgia it evokes for those who grew up with it.

In hindsight, Krull is a film that deserves to be appreciated for its ambition and its ability to transport us to a realm of magic and adventure. Its legacy lives on in the hearts of those who still find joy in its enchanting story and memorable characters.

So, as we look back on Krull with a new lens, let's celebrate its unique charm, its imaginative world-building, and its ability to ignite our sense of wonder. It may not have the same visual prowess as modern fantasy films, but it continues to hold a special place in the hearts of fantasy enthusiasts, reminding us of the power of imagination and the enduring magic of the movies.

krull beast monster

Krull film trivia

1. Krull is a British-American science fantasy film released in 1983 and directed by Peter Yates.
2. The film was produced by Columbia Pictures and was a collaboration between British and American production companies.
3. Krull was primarily filmed in the United Kingdom, with locations including Pinewood Studios and various outdoor landscapes in England.
4. The film's budget was approximately $27 million, making it one of the most expensive films of its time.
5. The screenplay for Krull was written by Stanford Sherman, who also worked on other science fiction projects such as "The Monster Squad" and "Ice Pirates."
6. Krull features a blend of genres, combining elements of science fiction, fantasy, and adventure.
7. The film's visual effects were created by the British company, Apogee Productions, known for their work on movies like "Superman" and "Aliens."
8. The iconic weapon featured in Krull, known as the "Glaive," was designed by Ron Cobb, a renowned production designer and concept artist.
9. The film's score was composed by James Horner, who would later go on to create acclaimed soundtracks for movies like "Titanic" and "Braveheart."
10. Krull faced mixed reviews upon its release, with critics praising its visuals but criticizing its narrative and character development.
11. Despite its mixed reception, Krull has gained a cult following over the years, with fans appreciating its unique blend of fantasy and science fiction elements.
12. The film's legacy includes inspiring various video games, tabletop role-playing games, and serving as a source of inspiration for other fantasy films that followed.


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

At The Astromech, you can expect to find a variety of articles, reviews, and analysis related to science fiction, including books, movies, TV, and games.
From exploring the latest news and theories to discussing the classics, I aim to provide entertaining and informative content for all fans of the genre.

Whether you are a die-hard Star Trek fan or simply curious about the world of science fiction, The Astromech has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and join me on this journey through the stars!
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