Dragon­slayer ( 1981)

SFX - - Dragons -

Crav­ing more tra­di­tional dragon ac­tion after the in­san­ity of Pufn­stuf, the Couch crew turn to this early ’ 80s slice of sword ‘ n’ sor­cery. It’s the desperately muddy 6th cen­tury and the king­dom of Ur­land is be­ing ter­rorised by the fire- breath­ing vir­gin- both­erer known as Vermithrax Pe­jo­ra­tive. Trem­ble at that Scrab­ble score! Ian: Vermithrax Pe­jo­ra­tive? That sounds like some­thing for deal­ing with thrush… Nick: Or a re­ally fid­dly bit of gram­mar wran­gling. Stir­ring horns sound over an omi­nous ti­tle se­quence. Rich: Is that where Hans Zim­mer got the idea? Jor­dan: Yeah, it’s the in­cep­tion of the In­cep­tion horn. V: Well, it makes up for the one Venger’s miss­ing. Rich: This is no Krull… Jor­dan: Why does no one make shit fan­tasy films any­more? Nick: Have you not seen The Hob­bit? Jor­dan: Have YOU seen The Hob­bit? Nick: I don’t need to see The Hob­bit to make a grossly un­fair joke. Thes­p­ing legend Ralph Richard­son is Ul­rich of Craggen­moor, last wizard stand­ing. He has Gan­dalf ’s pow­ers and Bill Bai­ley’s bar­ber. Ian: There’s a man trau­ma­tised by his own hair­cut. Nick: I think he may have just watched HR Pufn­stuf. V: The beard is at least as funny as the hair. It looks like some­thing you buy in a packet from a fancy dress shop. Dear old Ralph is stabbed by a brutish cen­tu­rion, keen to test the old goat’s sor­cer­ous abil­i­ties. It’s the long­est knif­ing in cin­ema. Jor­dan: It’s like Game Of Thrones in slow- mo­tion… In town, a young lady is chained to a post, await­ing sacrifice to Vermithrax. V: Bet she wishes she’d paid more at­ten­tion in vir­gin es­capol­ogy class. Ian: Wait – the vic­tims are cho­sen by lot­tery? What if it’s a rollover? Hold on – it’s the King’s daugh­ter! The peo­ple’s princess is drag­onbait! Vermithrax swoops in. Rich: Awe­some! That dragon looked bril­liant! Jor­dan: That’s so cool! Proof that dragons ARE re­ally ex­cit­ing! Take that, Pufn­stuf! Ralph Richard­son re­turns from the dead, now with an even wispier beard. He tells young ap­pren­tice Galen to go forth and slay the dragon, save the princess and all that Saint George jazz. Nick: Vis­ually this is pretty de­cent. It’s ILM, right? Rich: Needs a lot more dragon ac­tion, though. Galen crushes a mag­i­cal amulet with a rock, caus­ing Ralph to blow up, tak­ing out Vermithrax. The old ex­plod­ing wizard ruse. A clas­sic. V: Lamest drag­on­slay­ing ever! Jor­dan: So all he had to do was de­stroy an amulet? He doesn’t de­serve to be called a dragon­slayer! Ian: This film should be called Trin­kets­masher. The cam­era treats us to a close- up of bar­be­cued dragon meat. The Couch crew reaches for nap­kins. Ian: Any­one got any onions? V: And a 55 gal­lon can of ketchup?

He had no ri­vals in the wispy beard contest.

Ul­rich’s cut­lery stor­age was highly un­usual.

Vermithrax is as clas­sic as dragons get.

The ghost of last night’s vin­daloo emerged.

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