Dragonslayer ( 1981)
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.