Readers of my Dune article convinced me to seek other epic flops. Today I look at the fantasy/sci-fi hybrid Krull. The trailer tells me that a Darth Vader type and his storm troopers will invade a medieval world and kidnap a princess for… reasons. Then the prince will gather a large D&D style party to battle them. The trailer introduces far too many characters. I’m assuming a third of them will be dead before the final battle. Let’s see if I’m right in this spoiler filled recap.
Act One: A Kidnapping
“A blatantly derivative hodgepodge of Excalibur meets Star Wars.” ~ Variety
Scene One: Castle Krull
NARRATOR: The Beast has come to Krull. The prophecy says the Princess will bear a son who will rule the galaxy!
PRINCESS ZELDA: Father, I must marry Prince Colwyn to form an Alliance between our Kingdoms to fight the Slayers!
PRINCE COLWYN: I’ll fight them till I’ve won or till I’m dead! That was meant to sound cool but I said it like a toddler.
PRINCESS ZELDA: This ceremony involves me lighting your hand on fire. That’s probably important.
STORM TROOPERS SLAYERS: STOP THE WEDDING! THE PRINCESS IS OURS!
(Slow moving laser sword fight. The Kings and a lot of soldiers die. Prince COLWYN is knocked unconscious.)
PRINCESS ZELDA: I’ve been kidnapped 15 minutes into the film. Guess I’m a sexy lamp trope.
Scene Two: Mount Doom
DOCTOR: You’ll need the Glaive! I’ve spread some poultice on your hairy chest. Now you must climb Mount Doom in your skin tight pants.
PRINCE COLWYN: Enjoy the view Doctor.
(Prince climbs for 4 minutes. He dodges silly falling boulders.)
PRINCE COLWYN: The Glaive’s a boomerang? It’s buried in lava. But we’ve established I can touch fire.
(He takes the Glaive. Angelic choir sings.)
Scene Three: Black Fortress
BEAST: MARRY ME! WE’LL HAVE A MAGICAL BABY!
PRINCESS ZELDA: How? I thought you were the Darth Vader guy from the trailer but you seem to be a giant brain, slime, thing.
Act Two: Gathering Allies
Scene Four: Hyrule Field
DOCTOR: The Green Seer will help us find the teleporting Black Fortress. Also, I had a girlfriend who died. And I need to take your shirt off again… to treat your wound.
PRINCE COLWYN: Keep this up and we’ll need a safety word.
MAGE: I’m your second party member. I’m rude but I can turn into animals! (Turns into a goose.)
BANDITS: We carry different weapons. Like Ninja Turtles. There’s Liam Neeson, Robbie Coltrane and some others you don’t need to keep track of.
CYCLOPS: I can see the time of my own death. It’s probably around the end of the movie.
PRINCE COLWYN: Join me warriors! “All men need company!”
MAGE: Slow down buddy. Buy us dinner first.
GREEN SEER: Take my boy apprentice and I to the Emerald Swamp Temple to cast a Fortress tracking spell.
BOY: I’m precocious!
SLAYERS: We’ll stop you with our gun swords! Pew pew pew!
(Cyclops and the heroes kill the Slayers. They melt into pink slime and tunnel into the ground. I thought this would prove important but… it doesn’t.)
PRINCE COLWYN: It’s a good thing none of you can aim.
Scene Five: Black Fortress
PRINCESS ZELDA: This place is full of Freudian Hallways. It’s like Frozen 2 in here.
BEAST: I MADE YOU A PRETTY WEDDING DRESS!
PRINCESS ZELDA: You keep changing shape. Now you’re all eyes and mouths.
BEAST: PRETTY COOL, RIGHT?
PRINCESS ZELDA: I guess.
Scene Six: Swamp
BANDITS: We’re sinking in quicksand!
(Prince Colwyn saves nine bandits. The tenth bandit drowns.)
GREEN SEER: There there. You still have 14 allies.
EVIL SEER CLONE: Make that 13!
(Evil Seer Clone kills the Green Seer and takes his place. It sneaks up on the Prince.)
CYCLOPS: Not so fast!
(Cyclops kills the Evil Clone.)
DOCTOR: Looks like we’re gonna need another Seer. Let’s find my dead ex-girlfriend. The Widow of the Web.
Thoughts, 60 minutes in.
I found this on a list of “box office bombs.” It’s not bad so far. Just generic. Find the McGuffins. Rescue the Princess. Etc. Etc. The sci fi meets fantasy gimmick has underwhelmed as the Black Fortress isn’t all that futuristic. The actors are pleasant enough and the homoerotic subtext is amusing. There are too many characters, but it’s pretty clear which ones are important. I’m looking forward to the Widow of the Web.
Act Three: Sacrifice
Scene Seven: Spider Lair
DOCTOR: Pooky? Can you help me find a teleporting fortress?
WIDOW OF THE WEB (She’s old): How dare you. I killed our son when you left me.
GIANT SPIDER: Serving Medea realness. Can I eat this guy?
WIDOW OF THE WEB (Now she’s young): No. I’ll tell you where it is. But then you’ll die.
DOCTOR: Still love you Pooky.
DOCTOR: The Black Fortress will appear in the Iron Desert tomorrow. (He dies.)
PRINCE COLWYN: Sad. Let’s catch some flying horses to take us there! (They do.)
Scene Eight: The Black Fortress
SLAYERS: We have white uniforms now. We look even more like Storm Troopers. Pew Pew Pew!
(The Cyclops and most of the Bandits are killed.)
ROBBIE COLTRANE and LIAM NEESON: We’re not famous enough to survive yet! (They die.)
MAGE: I’ll turn into a tiger to protect the useless child!
PRINCE COLWYN: Honestly, you were all pretty useless. It’s time to use the boomerang Glaive!
BEAST: YOU THINK YOUR TOY CAN STOP ME! WHY I’LL…
(Prince Colwyn throws the Glaive into the Beast’s chest.)
BEAST: OH NO! I’M DYING! I’M DYING! I’M… PSYCHE! (Takes the Glaive out of his chest.)
PRINCE COLWYN: Now what do I do?
PRINCESS ZELDA: I’ll light your hand on fire like I did at the wedding ceremony!
(Prince Colwyn shoots the Beast with fire hands.)
BEAST: YOU CAN DO THAT? THEN WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THE ENTIRE SECOND ACT?
(The Beast Dies. The Princess and the five surviving heroes flee the crumbling fortress.)
PRINCESS ZELDA: At least twelve people died for us Colwyn. Let’s go make a magic baby.
“[Krull was] sort of a fairy storybook that moves; a fairy tale with a life, a reality of its own. I very much wanted to make a movie with some old-fashioned romance to it, yet a movie where things always moved.” ~ Director Peter Yates
They could afford a giant spider and a creepy fortress but they couldn’t afford a fight choreographer. And what was the point of so many heroes? Why not a handful that you could develop throughout the film? What did Colwyn learn on his quest? What was the purpose of the Glaive? And why devote a whole chapter to the Doctor? Still I liked the Spider, the Beast designs and the Prince Colwyn’s tight pants.
Reviews for Krull were bleak and the film never made back it’s 27 million dollar budget. Have you seen it? What were your thoughts?