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Krull (1983)
A world light-years beyond your imagination.
Filmmaker(s): Peter Yates

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.

Krull (1983)


There may still be people who watch projects like this for adventure. Heck, there are even people who get their theology from such stuff, currently “Rings” and “Matrix.”

But for me, the allure is a matter of style.

This film was conceived in the shadow of 1979s “Alien,” and the 82 “Bladerunner,” both of which raised the bar on production design. The former introduced an organic art nouveau style as a way of envisioning alien artefacts. The latter set the standard for a consistent vision of design across the project.

Then in quick succession we have this, “Spacehunter,” “Dune,” followed by “Willow” and “Mom and Dad Save the World,” all of which feature redheads and an evil fortress of some kind.

There are implements and objects along the way that are notable for their design, but the test is always in the design of that fortress. “Krull”s fortress has some of the best design of all these, and the most inconsistent. In this case, the idea of organic design was taken to the limit with the castle itself as a being.

You get the impression that no one mind was in charge, that work continued until the end and that some major ideas were unimplemented. But what ideas! Some of this is the best work I know, beyond surreal to heavily metaphoric.

The bride is just an element in the design, almost a piece of furniture. She is the almost blank-faced Lysette Anthony, tressed up in amazing hair and an archetypical bridal gown. We don’t even hear her voice, instead Lindsay Crouse, coached by then-husband David Mamet.

Its a good thing too to judge from the DVD commentary: she sounds as vacuous as she looks.

Peter Yates is an interesting director: completely straight ahead. He takes this stuff seriously. I saw this together with his “Roommates,” similarly competent, proudly within a genre and ambitious in its conformance to theatrical values. “Roommates” also has an idealistic redhead.

Posted in 2003

Ted’s Evaluation — 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


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