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Movie Marathon Idea: Cult 80s Fantasy Epics

September 21, 2010

These are the films we own but don’t display.  They are noble examples of what can happen when technology can’t live up to a screenplay’s vision.  They are scions of  the School of Hammy Acting.  They are…well, they are FANTASTIC, is all I’m saying.  Here are three cult classic 80s fanstasy epics  that you need to bring out of hiding ASAP…

3.) Legend (1985)

Yes, it stars Tom Cruise (affecting a weird Irish/British/What the Hell I’m Just an American accent) as a feral forest boy destined to save a princess (or just girl if you are watching the inferior American cut) from Evil itself.  Legend, directed by Ridley Scott, is a masterpiece that was ripped to shreds by a studio determined to enforce what they believed Americans wanted to see.  It wasn’t until the Director’s Cut was released in  2002 that Scott’s original “Fractured Fairytale” vision was restored.  With the original story, soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith and additional footage included, the new cut was a vastly superior film.    For more info, check out this incredibly detailed website by Sean Murphy and Geoff Wright – the ultimate uber-fans:

2.) Krull (1983)

Krull gets an undeserved bad rap.  Released the same year as Return of the Jedi, it suffered in comparison.  Krull‘s ambitious story pits the heirs of two kingdoms (Lyssa and Colwyn) against the alien “Slayers” trying to conquer their psuedo-medieval world.   Part Celtic mythology and part 1950s Sci-Fi serial, it stars some of the most interesting actors of the 80s/90s in minor roles (Liam Neeson, anyone?).   The action sequences aren’t half bad for the early 80s, and some of the cinematography still holds up almost thirty years later.  Krull is a heck of a lot of fun if you are willing to suspend your disbelief for a mere two hours.   For more information than you could ever possibly need about Krull, here’s the full wiki treatment:

1.) Ladyhawke (1985)

Although it is the story of petty thief Philippe Gaston (Matthew Broderick) that frames this Richard Donner film, it is the cursed romance between French damsel Isabeau (Michelle Pfieffer) and Captain of the Guard Navarre (Rutger Hauer) that steals the show.   Cursed forever by an evil bishop (John Wood) who wanted Isabeau for himself, she is a hawk by day and a maiden by night, while her lover Navarre is a man by day and wolf by night.  Doomed to be forever separated, but always haunted by the memory of their love, the two travel together without ever being able to touch or speak in their human forms.  Philippe is as entranced by their predicament as we are, and sets about on a journey to free the two lovers from their torment.  Ladyhawke is romantic cheese at its finest, but the screenplay is quite good, and the quality of the piece is enhanced significantly by the acting of leads Michelle Pfieffer, Rutger Hauer and John Wood.    For more info., see the 80s Movie Rewind entry, with trivia galore:

That’s all for this week’s entry.  Feel free to comment with any future Movie Marathon Ideas you’d like me to attempt below….

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