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Ironical and dis-mythical fantasy packs acceptable production design,
primitive special effects , and evocative as well as colorful
cinematography . When a dazzling craft illuminates the sky above a
medieval European village, the townspeople fear mayhem while the ruling
party prepares for battle with the mysterious "dragon in the sky."
After Princess Alba (Maria Lamor) is discovered missing, being abducted
by an alien aircraft ; the quest for power and the young girl's
affections drive Klever (Harvey Keitel) to free her from the strange
cosmic knight , IX ,(Miguel Bose , though Imanol Arias turned down the
role) . Count of Rue (José Vivó) asks for help his magician alchemist
(Klaus Kinski) and the Green Knight (Jose Maria Pou) to find the
beautiful princess . But is that her desire? . Worldly boundaries are
crossed in this spoofy Sci-Fi .
This ironic Sci-Fi contains lots of humor with tongue-in-cheek , entertainment and amusement , though falls flat for its continuous absurdity and ridiculousness . It is a slightly funny film with entertaining events , giggles , and a love story between a princess and an extraterrestrial . This is a Gothic sci-fi tale of power, greed and the universal language of love . Spanish exploitation of American fantasy , realized by time of Close Encounters of the Third Kind , ET and other films in which extraterrestrial visits and UFOs were common themes ; and here adding the legend of Saint George , ¨Jorge¨ , and the Dragon . The film moves in fits and starts most of which would be desirable, with more traps the viewer resists any kind, and some moments of enjoyment and others quite a few embarrassing . Adequate production design by Felix Murcia and naive but effective special effects by Reyes Abades , many of them made by old computer generator . Very good cast but frankly wasted , it stars two myths of modern cinema , Harvey Keitel and Klaus Kinski, in addition , the great Fernando Rey as an inquisitive priest , but all of them turned into caricatured figures . Atmospheric musical score by Jose Nieto , Vicente Aranda's ordinary musician , he composes a stirring soundtrack by means of synthesizer . Jose Nieto is a magnificent composer and deemed to be one of the best Spanish musicians . Furthermore , a colorful and evocative cinematography by Jose Luis Alcaine who was first cinematographer to use fluorescent tube as "key" lightning and deemed to be one of the best Spanish cameraman . Alcaine frequently works with Pedro Almodóvar , Bigas Luna and Vicente Aranda , as he has photographed ¨The skin I live in¨ , The bad education¨ , ¨Volver¨ , ¨Women in the verge of a nervous breakdown¨, among others .
The motion picture was middlingly written and directed Fernando Colomo . Fernando Colomo was born in Madrid and is a talented and versatile writer/director who has made a vast array of often solid and entertaining films in all kind of genres as comedy, drama and one science fiction movie , this 1985 El caballero del Dragón, in a career that spans over 30 years . Especially known for directing comedies such as 1987 La Vida Alegre , 1988 Miss Caribe , 1989 Bajarse al Moro , 1993 Rosa Rosae , 1994 Alegre Ma Non Troppo , 1995 Efecto Mariposa . And in the 2000s directed Al Sur Granada (2003) , El Próximo Oriente (2006), Rivales (2008) and La Banda Picasso (2012) .
What a steamer! I have to admit that I was seriously Gung-ho for this
flick because it sounded intriguing and I figured, at the very least,
it would be a quality film with Keitel and Kinski involved. Silly me.
Star Knight (aka The Knight of the Dragon) comes off like a cheesy
mash-up of Starman, Dune and Black Knight, it combines elegant,
unearthly production design with ineffective, bumbling comedy and
unlikable characters. The alien, his "suit of armor" and his ship were
gorgeous, they deserved a film worthy of their design, not this goofy
I wanted to like Kinski, his ice-cold blue eyes and dazzling smile but the vibe his character gives off is decidedly sinister and therefor hard to connect with. Keitel's "brave knight" is idiotic and it only gets worse when the Brooklyn accent spills forth during his poorly delivered Olde English dialog. Honestly, this was a real forehead-slapper. I suppose the alien "IX" (Miguel Bosé) was okay but he doesn't get lines and his acting consisted of wide eyes and head nods.
Star Knight was about as basic as they come, "Alien comes to Earth to study our world and he falls in love." Big whoop, right? Well as simple as it is it really could have succeed (in its own way) had the characters worked better and the film was played straight. They didn't and it wasn't though and, in the end, instead of finding myself mildly entertained with a cool time-waster, I was bored to tears by "just plain bad." I wish I could say that it got better at some point but it didn't.
If you're all about dumb-as-rocks sci-fi comedies like Pluto Nash and Galaxy Quest then you may find this only a little disappointing. Everybody else though should steer clear unless you're a glutton for cinematic punishment, like me.
I found this gem in a sale bin of old VHS tapes about ten years ago....
I put it on not knowing what to expect... and I couldn't stop it!
Mr.Keitel must have tried to buy up all the copies of this film..
because it's impossible to find anyone that has seen it before. It's
absurb to point of being a Monty Python film... I can imagine that the
producers started off wanting to make a serious film and half way
through said.. "hey.. you know it's pretty funny.. I think we should go
that way!" There must have been some great coke on set for this baby in
the eighties... if you can find it, I highly suggest it over a bottle
or two of your favourite bevy.
I saw "The Little Shop of Horrors" when I was a kid on late night television.. and never forgot that as being such an amazing 'cartoon' of a film... I wasn't surprised when it had a second life... not to mention John Water's "Hairspray".. it's kind of like that great old movie "The Producers"... you just can't make a movie bad enough that it won't be entertaining... to someone!
Harvey Keitel?... Klaus Kinsky?... how can you go wrong?
If you are a fan of Klaus Kinski as I am then you must own this movie. Watch it once, check it off your list, then never watch it again. What a waste of celluloid, time, and effort. Quite simply this is an enormously huge waste of time. Think of all of the hungry children the budget of this film could have fed.......
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I read the IMDb comments before watching this movie, and most said "bad
bad bad". So I was skeptical when I turned on the DVD player, and soon
very positively surprised.
Mixing the themes of medieval knights and alien visitors, it took some cues from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but it's very different. Badness may be in the eye of the beholder. For myself, I can only say: It made me laugh and it made me cry (witness dried tear stains on my glasses), and offered memorable sights. And that's what I demand from a good movie.
Like a play, it has a short list of personae: the old count, Klever (Harvey Keitel), Boetius the scientist (Kinski), the bishop, Alba, IX the extraterrestrian. Their wheelings and dealings made at least some sense to me. Alba (Maria Lamor) had some witty lines, especially when telepathing with IX. The main conflict was clearly brought out: IX must die when he sheds his space suit, but only then can he make love to Alba. The tournament between Klever and IX was gripping - especially the end when IX is naked and presumedly dead. Liquid gold to the rescue :^)
All in all, for me this was not a bad movie at all. Old, yes; unrealistic, of course - this is sheer fantasy. If you want an escape from this present world, you might as well watch Caballero del dragòn. (IX is Roman for 9.. maybe unintentional allusion to Plan 9?)
Oh, and if God had wanted us nude, we'd be born that way...
I was reading what the guy above said about it and no i have no clue how Harvey got suckered into doing this film. it is raw comedy for him. Typical princess meets the man of her dreams and can't have him film with Harvey as the knight who loves her and her money and is gonna kill the one she loves to impress the dad and princess, marry her, and thus be rich. Only problem is, he can't...and the idiocy of his fighting with a man who cannot be beaten...he is in an IRON suit which a bunch of swords cannot penetrate, is a riot! This must have been done during the BAD years when he had to buy baby formula and stuff. But see it just for the HUMOR and likeness to those crazy 60's sci-fi flicks like "It Came From Outer Space".
STAR KNIGHT (or THE KNIGHT OF THE DRAGON) is an adventure/comedy from
Spain that was released in 1985/86. It blends science fiction with
medieval fantasy elements into a plodding chore of a film where the
only magic on display is how it manages to make 90 minutes last an
eternity. I had never heard of the film before sitting down to watch it
but my hopes were raised a little higher when I saw Harvey Keitel was
involved. Keitel did elevate the film to a more enjoyable level but
probably not for the reason he might hope. In the film, Keitel is
Klever, a soldier who aspires for knighthood and the good graces of his
king and, especially, the king's daughter Alba (Maria Lamor). Alba
longs for marriage but her father has rejected all of her potential
suitors as unworthy. When one of Alba's resulting temper tantrums
brings her to the lake for a swim, she encounters a stranger beneath
the waves. That stranger is an alien named IX (Miguel Bosé) and he
arrived, conveniently enough, at the same time the king's medical
adviser Boetius (Klaus Kinski) was performing a ritual to summon an
angel (or a demon
it wasn't too clear). While Boetius believes IX to be
the supernatural agent summoned to his aid, the rest of the kingdom
goes in a panic when IX's spaceship is mistaken for a dragon. Princess
Alba falls in love with this strange knight and finds support with
Boetius (who might have his own machinations), but Klever teams with
the king's religious adviser (Fernando Rey) to kill the new arrival and
slay his dragon, earning his knighthood and the hand of Princess Alba
Having seen this movie a couple of times now, the only things that seems to stick with me is how poor Harvey Keitel sticks out like a sore thumb. He's delivering the dialogue of a period piece with an accent straight out of Brooklyn. He's pledging allegiance and vowing to slay the mighty dragon, and it's just not working at all. It's the funniest part of the whole movie, which is sad because there are actual attempts at humor all over. They just fall flat every single time. The herald's series of unsuccessful visits to the townsfolk, Klever's assault on IX's ship, and the final tag with Klever and Rey and their fate; all of it lands it a dull thud. The same could be said of the film's "romantic adventure". IX arrives on Earth to catalogue fauna for his home civilization. So I guess he's on some sort of science mission. Keep in mind, IX doesn't speak so all of this is interpreted through what he shows Alba. Alba believes he is collecting animal souls for his home world, because she's primitive and ignorant. Despite the fact that Alba comes from a primitive, superstitious society and is a completely different species, IX falls in love with her. He jeopardizes his entire mission to interfere with Alba and her kind, so we know he's not much of a scientist. I have to assume this all resulted from years of lonely interstellar travel leaving IX vulnerable to the temptations of a backwards, medieval era human.
I wouldn't have spent so much time nitpicking the romance plot if there were something to keep me entertained. Maybe some conflict? There's no real conflict to drive the plot forward. Sure, Alba is in love with IX but even that doesn't seem all that important when, in a scene late in the movie, IX appears to be disinterested in protecting her honor through battle with Klever. When it looks as if IX is just going to lift off and go on with his life (as he should), she just shrugs her shoulders and prepares to accept Klever as her new suitor without much hassle. She's not that interested. She's just a rebellious young girl. Klever just wants to be taken seriously by his king but he's too much of a doofus to pull it off. He poses zero threat to IX and only gains the upper hand later in the movie because IX's species has nothing similar to the "Star Trek" prime directive to tell him it's a bad idea to give a primitive witch doctor access to a mind-controlled information orb. The only person I ever actually thought might've had evil, selfish intentions was Boetius with his weird summoning rituals and resting evil face, and I guess he was a good guy in the end. I don't know. This movie blows. Nothing about this movie makes much sense when you really think about it and, as bored as I was, I had plenty of time to think.
Whatever you think of Star Knight good or bad the one thing that
cannot be denied is this is a very strange movie. Its combination of a
medieval yarn with science fiction is somewhat odd and surely must be a
result of the writers simply combining two popular genres of the day -
the fantasy action flick with Spielbergian sci-fi. It's a concoction
that needless to say doesn't work all that well. Set in medieval
Europe, the story revolves around the appearance of a 'dragon'. Turns
out it's actually a spaceship but the locals of course never understand
this. On board the ship is a spacesuit clad alien, who is the star
knight of the title. It's a very silly story to be honest.
Other than the strange narrative, the second aspect that marks this one out is its very interesting cast. Well, it's interesting on paper at least. Specifically the combination of Klaus Kinski with Harvey Keitel is something that should catch the interest of most cult movie fans (although I don't actually remember them both appearing on screen at the same time though). Kinski plays an alchemist and is unfortunately dubbed, while Keitel is a knight and amusingly is not dubbed, seeing as his New York accent could not be more inappropriate for a medieval character. The 80's was a bit of a graveyard for a lot of film stars who rose to prominence in the 70's and this film indicates the strange places Keitel went in this decade before his re-emergence in the early 90's.
Despite all of the factors above, Star Knight is unfortunately a pretty weak effort. Its eccentricities never make up for the general lameness of events depicted. It seems to in fact, be a comedy as well but not a very funny one to be honest. Production values aren't bad though with handsome period detail and alright special effects of the spaceship. But despite this and its original aspects, it's still not terribly good fun.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was really looking forward to seeing Klaus Kinski and Harvey Keitel
in this medieval tale of sci-fi and fantasy. But boy, was this movie
bad! Kinski's voice was dubbed and he smiles all the time, looking way
to happy for his role as the medieval scientist. And poor Harvey
Keitel... At the time of shooting this movie, he must have still been
recovering from all the LSD he dropped during the 70's or something,
because you can see he has absolutely no idea what he was doing on the
set. His character is named Klever, a not too intelligent knight who is
in love with princess Alba. It's often Klever who provides the totally
misplaced and stupid comedy elements of this movie. But I did find it
funny to see Keitel speak Shakespearian dialogues with his Brooklyn
accent. Pretty ridiculous. You should see him thanking God when he
finds out how the space-armour works. And see him fall asleep while
standing guard. Priceless! Other attempts at comedy were provided by
the Green Knight Who Guards The Bridge And Spits When He Talks
(actually, that spitting-part was unintentional and you only see him do
it near the end of the movie, but it WAS funny). That Green Knight
character, by the way, was directly lifted from MONTY PYTHON AND THE
HOLY GRAIL (1975).
But STAR KNIGHT isn't really a comedy (although it's so bad, you WILL laugh). It's a medieval sci-fi-tale. There's a spaceship flying around a small village. The inhabitants mistakingly see it as a flying dragon. That's plausible. The alien in it, is a human (from another planet? From the future? Who knows?). Klever, who's not so clever, thinks the astronaut's space-suit is his armour. Plausible too. But the rest of the movie isn't. The alien visitor, named IX, is there to study earth, but falls in love with Alba. He communicates through telepathy (which seems to make a stupid, high-pitched noise), but only Alba can hear him (that, or he only speaks to her). Since IX and Klever are both in love with Alba, they have to do battle with each other. When Klever stands outside the spaceship screaming he demands a duel, Alba is inside the ship telling IX things like "If you really love me, you will fight for me...", knowing that it might get him killed. That b!tch! Anyway, the duel is over before it really starts. So this movie is just stupid and pointless. The conclusion is just plain idiotic.
But you will laugh with it and fans of Harvey Keitel and Klaus Kinski should see this (and then wonder what the hell they were doing in this picture). The special effects of the space-ship aren't too bad, but there's so much light coming out of the thing that you can't tell what shape it is. The movie-makers clearly had no idea what kind of movie they were making, nor were it all was going to lead to. So it results in ridiculous nonsense. Amusing, but stupid and bad.
Previous reviewers seem to have missed the comedy in Star Knight, which I
liked. Harvey Keitel's Brooklyn accent recalled Tony Curtis in Spartacus.
The nurse cries out, "What if something happens?" I wondered the same
watching Knights of the Round Table (1953), a terrible movie. In Star
Knight the priest is a superstitious kook of Falwellian proportions; the
villagers talk back to Klever and assault the count's herald with a
pot; the alien abducts skinnydipping princess Alba but can't make love to
her because of his invincible spacesuit - even though the spaceship
the the life of the unprotected priest just fine at the end of the movie.
Star Knight tells Alba telepathically that if he removes his armor and makes love to her he'll die - she pesters him to do it anyway. Typical star-crossed lovers.
I enjoyed this movie even more the second time. Keitel's scenes are hilarious. Star Knight isn't a great movie and isn't supposed to be, but it's pretty good.
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