Usually, I don't go for dactylic sword-and-sorcery flicks. Even as a kid, I recoiled from bombastic epics such as Dune and Conan the Barbarian. They just didn't appeal to me. All I saw was sand, immeasurable drifts of sand. You have to admit; these movies are fucking full of sand. Hell, Krull is two lounge singers away from being Ishtar. But I'm beginning to feel my way through this subgenre. I don't know why I didn't see it sooner, but this stuff is custom-built to jounce my juniper shrub. I'm finally mature enough to recognize that a bunch of cool monsters are buried beneath all of that sand. RAD MONSTERS FTW! WOOT, MOTHERFUCKER! WOOT!

Clearly, I'm at an age where I can appreciate the finer things in life. Y'know, like giant spiders and...um, unidentified beasts in ambulatory fortresses. Krull was released in 1983, and most genre geeks compare it to a certain sci-fi film that enlivened the box office in 1977. While it's true that the similarities to Star Wars are palpable, it doesn't really matter in the long run. This is still a powder keg of anencephalic entertainment (you'll have to obtain your own reference books; I can't do everything). The story is familiar. A final boss from outer space lands on planet Krull. He abducts the princess, effectively spoiling her wedding ceremony and undermining the efforts of a crackerjack catering service, I'm sure.

It's up to Han So...er, Colwyn to save the damsel in distress. In order to fulfill his heroic prophecy, he must locate the light sa...er, the Glave (a cuspidate ninja star) and gallantly enter the Death St...er, the Black Fortress to battle Darth Va...er, the Beast. You know what? Fuck it. I don't care if Krull is a ripoff. It exceeded my expectations. The special effects are adroit, the fight choreography is swift and the characters are well-written. To be specific, I was struck by the scene where Ynyr (the Obi Wan doppelganger who acts as a sage mentor) shares a tender moment with a former flame. Granted, said flame is guarded by a giant spider, but somehow, writer Stanford Sherman imbues their brief exchange with emotional resonance.

The pacing is kept in check. This is one of the shortest 120-minute films I've had the pleasure of watching, if that makes any sense. On the clammy end of the cotton plug (ew), the climax is defeasible. The Beast is subverted rather easily, and no, I don't consider that to be a spoiler. What, you imagined Krull ending with a shot of the Beast nailing the princess? In actuality, our badass mutant villain is emasculated almost immediately. Boo. Hiss. That won't stop me from recommending this rip-roaring adventure, though. God, that's something a proper, punctilious critic would type. Then again, a proper, punctilious critic wouldn't use a Robert Z'Dar scale, now would he? I win!

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