DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
4K UHD
International DVDs
Theatrical
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Sponsored Links

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Krull
Krull
Columbia/Tri-Star // PG // April 3, 2001
List Price: $24.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Gil Jawetz | posted April 1, 2001 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Rent It
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly

One of the wonders of DVD is the relative abundance of cult releases. A film like Krull (1983) may have something of a following, but it was pretty hard to come by in the VHS years. For some reason Columbia Tristar has now decided to release a pretty lavish special edition of the sci-fi flop and, while it may not convince skeptics that the film is a classic, it does provide an entertaining look at a quirky, somewhat forgotten space opera.

Following the plot of Star Wars pretty closely, Krull concerns young prince Colwyn and his struggle to retrieve his new bride Lyssa from the evil clutches of The Beast. Why The Beast wants Lyssa is never really clear; He just seems to be up to bad stuff. The Beast and his minions, The Slayers (creative names, huh?) operate out of their mobile headquarters The Black Fortress (which isn't really black). In order to find this lair Colwyn, played by the very Mark Hamill-ish Ken Marshall, gathers a quirky band of characters along the way, including the Obi Won-esque Ynyr, the Han Solo-type bandit Torquil , the Chewbacca-sized Cyclops Rell, the finicky C3PO stand-in Ergo, and the pint sized Titch, who, while not a robot, might as well be R2D2 if I'm going to make a point. The gang has to stop along the way to do things like retrieve the Glaive from a cave (I made a rhyme!) and enter the residence of the ancient Widow of the Web, whose giant pet spider is a pretty neat feat of stop-motion animation.

Given the fact that any dork with a PC can make crazy CG monsters these days there is something quaint about the Krull effects. While the Ray Harryhausen animation of the 50's still seems epic and amazing, 80's special effects tend to look totally fake and funny. There as some blue-screen sequences in Krull that are so unconvincing that they can only elicit laughter.

The acting is difficult to judge since most of the dialog serves the plot and most of the characters are defined by their single trait: The Hero, The Thief, The Wise-One. Marshall, who looks like the lovechild of Patrick Swayze and Bruce McCulloch, is not quite tough enough to pull off his warrior role, but the supporting cast seems more solid. It's worth pointing out Liam Neeson and Robbie Coltrane in early supporting roles.

Is Krull any good? Well, those who have fond memories of the film (I mostly remember the Marvel comic book) will certainly think so. There isn't much in the story to draw in new fans, I'm afraid. It's the kind of plot where something happens, then something else happens, and then the good guys win. Still, I'd recommend it to any fans of sci-fi, swashbuckling, sorcery, or just plain cheese-ball films.

VIDEO:
The video on Krull is far better than any previous release. It is in widescreen (non-anamorphic) and looks quite nice. It is a bit soft, but that seems to have been the style, and there is occasional dirt. Still, it works well. The cinematography is not the best in the genre, with some shot compositions totally unformed. Also, the color scheme is rather drab.

AUDIO:
There are two film soundtracks: A Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1. The 2.0 is muted and lacks punch, whereas the 5.1 is better, has a more range, but doesn't have the crystalline separation that many other the films have. It is always a little muddy. The films is also available in French, Spanish, and Portuguese, with subtitles in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, and Thai.

EXTRAS:
This is where this disc really surprises. There are two alternate audio tracks, one a commentary from director Peter Yates, and stars Ken Marshall and Lysette Anthony. Each participant was recorded separately and edited together. This is an entertaining and informative commentary, especially since the participants are so strange: Yates is totally in love with the film, Marshall in love with himself, and Anthony seemingly bitter over the whole thing. She reveals that her voice was dubbed and that she later married the head of the studio, a maneuver she dubs "The revenge of Krull", whatever that means.

A second commentary track features an article on the film from Cinefantastique magazine. This is a strange addition, but listening to it is far better than reading it off the tv screen.

The 22 minute Journey to Krull, narrated inexplicably by Happy Days' Tom Bosley, covers the entire process of making the film, from rehearsals, through shooting, and up to finishing the movie. This is an unusually thorough supplement and is fun to watch.

There is one extra that I've never seen before. The comic book is reproduced as something of a cartoon, with the dialog and music from the film playing over the images from the Marvel version. I'm not sure why this is necessary but, since I fondly remember reading and re-reading the comic, I find it kind of fun.

Trailers for Krull as well as the classics Jason and the Argonauts and Sinbad are included, as well as photos, sketches, bios, and notes.

FINAL THOUGHTS:
An incredibly well put-together package for such an unsung film, Krull is a surprise. It's too bad that there aren't more surprises in the film itself, but for it's time and genre, Krull delivers exactly what is expected which, to some, is great news.

Popular Reviews
1. 12 Monkeys: Special Edition
2. Tales From the Hood 2
3. The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame: In Concert: Encore
4. The Evil Dead
5. The Swarm
6. Truth or Dare (Syfy; 2017)
7. Three Identical Strangers
8. My Man Godfrey
9. Gold (1974)
10. Ocean's 8


Sponsored Links
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Sponsored Links
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use