Sunday, February 12, 2012

Obsessed With Krull

There are a lot of films I liked when I was, say, ten, which I still like today because I liked them then.  Maybe it’s a gentle wistfulness, nostalgia, associating a film with a time in my life when my biggest care in the world was the newest issue of The Amazing Spider-Man and collecting all the hard to find He-Man toys.  Like Snout Spout, or Modulok, or Mosquitor.  What young man’s He-Man collection is complete without the Orko figure?  WHOSE I ASK YOU?!

Or maybe they’re just good movies.  Although I’ve often times been told otherwise.

I know this happens because I’ve seen movies widely considered classics I should have seen when I was young, but do not much enjoy as an adult man.  I will give the biggest example of this, in hopes that it does not cost me my entire 42 person readership.  Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

I am sure if I would have seen this film when I was 16, I would have reveled in Bueller’s metaphoric middle finger unabashedly waved at the establishment with youthful enthusiasm.  But when viewed as an adult, probably around age 28 or so, I was a little bit nonplussed.  A little bit indifferent.  A little bit bored, to be quite honest.

I know, I know, I’m throwing myself under the bus.  I’m a damned fool.  Shouldn’t have let the cat out of the bag.  The barrage of negative e-mail and/or Facebook comments I will receive will cost me a healthy dose of my psyche and force me, in my later years, to believe I only enjoy films with Matthew Broderick in them relegating me to a life in my mid-80s, alone in a nursing home, watching and rewatching Godzilla and thinking about just how goddamned good it is.

On the flip side, The Goonies is one of my favorite movies, and I’ve known plenty of people who didn’t originally see The Goonies who eventually viewed it as adults based on its reputation as a cult classic (or is it just classic?), and just don’t “get it.”  How can you not like The Goonies?  The camaraderie, the adventure, the pirate ship, that little shriveled up old woman who always plays a gruff, unlikeable biddy!

Goonies and Ferris withstanding, the one film I, personally, have become absolutely obsessed with is Krull. The weird thing about loving the movie Krull is it isn’t even in the same league as Ferris Bueller and The Goonies.  Love ‘em or hate ‘em, seen ‘em or haven’t seen ‘em, if you are my age and have any semblance of pop culture knowledge, you have heard of ‘em.  However, I run in to people all the time who have never even heard of Krull.  To me this is disastrous.  An oversight of momentous proportions. 

Or maybe it’s just because Krull isn’t a very good film.  After all, that’s what I’ve been told, on many occasions.

My parents owned a lot of movies on VHS.  And a lot of them were crappy.  They owned Solarbabies for God’s sake!

I would be hard pressed to say, growing up, I watched any 80s film more than Krull, Willow, or Return of the Jedi.  Well, we did also “own” a taped VHS copy of Ewoks: Battle for Endor which I watched repeatedly.  Fine piece of cinema, that.

But I still enjoy Krull when I watch it today….which is probably more than I can say of Battle for Endor, although I haven’t even attempted to watch it since that fateful day in 1987 when my parent’s VCR destroyed our copy.  A mournful day.  Soul wrenching, really. 

The one thing I love about Krull, next to the pure, unadulterated glee I get from watching it, is the borderline repulsive amount of memorabilia available.  There was a Marvel comic book tie-in.  There was a Krull card game, board game, a stand-up arcade game, a pinball machine and an Atari cartridge.  And, despite all those fine options, not a single, solitary action figure.

Wasn’t the action figure the reason to be a small, male child in the 80s?  If my friends were coming over and we were going to break out the board games, we were going to play Fantasy Forest or Crossbows and Catapults  Krull the board game is way too complicated.  I should know.  I own it.

Since Krull isn’t very popular, or maybe more apt to say unpopular, most of its memorabilia goes for a song and a package of off-brand beef jerky sticks on EBAY.  So I happen to own the card game, the board game, the soundtrack (ON VINYL!), and the comic book adaptation.
 Here’s the card game, fresh off EBAY, along with the two decks. 

I don’t know if you can tell from the pic, but those bad boys are still in their cellophane!  The seller didn’t even mention this in his description. If he had I’m sure he could have received way more than the $2.00 bid I ended up winning with.  Then again, Krull auctions aren’t exactly cutthroat.

My want to keep possibly the only remaining unopened deck of Krull: The Card Game in just that condition is always in a never ending struggle with my want to tear them asunder, to wield the glaive with a heretofore unknown veracity, to defeat The Beast, and to ravish Princess Lyssa, her red mane of curly locks spilling down over her pert, sensuous breasts while I wear the glaive around my neck as a symbol of vitality and victorious conqueror.

Or something like that.  I haven’t really given it to much thought.  Luckily I still have the board game to help play out my vicarious debaucheries.

 Prince Colwyn looks a little more smitten with the Glaive then he does Princess Lyssa, and she seems none too happy about it.  Here on Earth we refer to that as a scowl.  I’m fairly certain this must have some connotation about Colwyn's obsession with his own masculinity.  Those folks at Parker Brother never miss a chance to deal in underlying allusions.  I mean, have you ever really examined the front of Clue?  Simply rife with innuendo.

Also, in the bottom right corner, it mentions COLLECTIBLE 3-D Prince Colwyn and Beast figurines.  Titillating.

Damn that game board is colorful!  If you look, in each corner, there are painfully rendered scenes from the film.  The giant spider from their trip to the Widow of the Web, the Firemares, the……nebulous jellyfish characters…..I don’t know, maybe those are rocks…..

Here are those “collectible figurines.”

It’s hard to tell from the pic, but Colwyn is all hunched over, and he has his hand firmly attached to his chest.  You can barely even see he has the glaive in his hand.  Why isn’t he wielding it out to the side to make it obvious?  Instead he looks like he’s having a heart attack.  And he also looks 100% more like Bob Ross than he does an epic hero.  The Beast figurine is perfectly fine, although he, too, is holding his hands in an odd manner.  Rubbing his stomach, like he’s hungry.  Hungry for the flesh of the virgin princess, I’d wager.

They tried to incorporate everything they could from the movie in to the gameplay, but it’s somewhat of a confusing mess.  I guess if I played it on a regular basis I would become a little more familiar with the rules.  The problem with playing it more than once a year is, somewhat unsurprisingly, that it just isn't very much fun, unless you really like rolling dice ad nauseum, since everything is simply represented by a dice roll.  Fight a Slayer?  Roll the dice.  Fight a Changeling?  Roll the dice.  Need to look at a card?  Roll the dice.  I would have actually liked a Slayer (the Krull equivalent of Storm Troopers) at least painted somewhere on the board.  No luck. 

And damn is it “Glaive” heavy!  The game board?  The Glaive.  The point of the game?  Find the Glaive.  Prince Colwyn?  Limply brandishing the Glaive.  The name of the game should have been “The Glaive.”  Which is why, until I rewatched it a couple years ago, I thought the Glaive was actually named Krull.  No, no friends, the planet they are on is named Krull.  Put that piece of trivia deep in your subconscious mind, you never know when a pearl of such magnitude might be of some use to you. 

Here’s the secondary gameboard where Colwyn and the Beast “battle” for Lyssa in the Black Fortress.  Pretty damn colorful, being the Black Fortress and what not.    In a heavy gameplay twist you *gasp* roll dice and, based on the outcome of the regular six-sided die and the “battle” die, either you or the beast move, one agonizing space at a time, closer and closer to Lyssa, who is kinda’ haphazardly painted on the side like an afterthought.

I’ve only played this game twice in my life, but once your player gets to this point in the game, it’s weighed pretty heavily in favor of the hero.  Which is perfectly fine, I suppose, because no way in hell do you wanna’ draw this game out any longer than necessary.  Maybe the main problem is I’m playing a throwaway game designed 30 years ago for 13-year-old boys to try and cash in on a movie that turned out being completely unsuccessful.  Just maybe.

The felled Beast!  Honestly I just wanted to incorporate a picture with the Cyclops in it, because anybody who has watched Krull knows the Cyclops is, heads and tails, the best part of the film.

I can wax on and on about many a subject and, in some cases, it may be warranted.  Even though I still have breath to breathe in to the life of the Krull comic and, for that matter, the Krull movie, I think right now brevity might be a little more valorous.  Plus Jen has almost convinced me to open the card deck I have.  Something about how much could it ever really appreciate in value and whether that appreciated value would be worth more than the joy of playing it with my goodly wife.  I guess, considering some three decades after its release I purchased it for $2.00, unopened, even if it was to appreciate 1000% in the next three decades I wouldn’t exactly be rolling in money.  We shall see, I suppose, we shall see……

So, until I find a suitable time to waste more hours writing about Krull in the future, I live you with a clip of the film, the scene in which Horner’s grandiose “Ride of the Firemares” rises magnificently, just like the majestic steeds upon which the characters ride.


  1. Ha! I enjoyed reading your post. You and I seem to be in a similar boat when it comes to Krull. I love the film, the soundtrack, the story...hell I even love the acting. I just can't find anybody else who cares about it. Did you ever open up that card game? Its actually pretty fun. I still haven't played the board game...I'll get around to it. The Krull arcade game is actually fun too...can't say the same about the atari game though.

    1. Hey, glad you stumbled upon the blog! I did actually play the card game and, is actually fun. My wife even enjoys it.
      I was never lucky enough to play the arcade or Atari game though. But, after playing E.T., I think most Atari move adaptations fell pretty flat....

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I used to be obsessed with the soundtrack. I saw the movie on HBO one weekend morning and the main theme stuck in my head like nothing else. I decided to purchase the soundtrack and found out it was a pretty rare CD. I searched in every CD store I could find from about 1992 until I finally stumbled across the original soundtrack CD in a used store in Emeryville, CA in about 1998. Shortly after, a double CD of music was released making the music much easier to find. I was sure happy finding it in that store in California, though.