Dragonslayer (1981) Poster

(1981)

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8/10
Now THAT'S what I call a dragon!!!
HaemovoreRex30 June 2005
With the name Disney attached to a sword and sorcery/fantasy romp, many genre purists might be filled with immediate consternation as they visualise in horror the possible 'cute' connotations.

Fortuitously, the understandable apprehension that this may well induce actually proves to be entirely unfounded however, as this movie is about as far from Pete's Dragon or any other Disney fare as is humanly imaginable!

What we do have here, is an excellent movie with top notch production values, awesome special effects, a fine cast, and a very dark story.

The dragon itself is without doubt the best ever committed to celluloid (a much better design than the CGI one in Dragonheart) and proves to be hugely menacing and destructive as it incinerates everything in it's path.

The actors to, all put in excellent performances and it's particularly great to see such a fine piece of casting in the form of the late great Sir Ralph Richardson as the wizard Ulrich. In fact for such a role there has surely never been a more appropriate choice of actor other than of course, Peter Jackson casting Sir Ian McKellen to play Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

For fans of sword & sorcery and fantasy movies in general, this really is an absolute must see!
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10/10
Great fantasy movie.
CuriosityKilledShawn9 August 2004
Fantasy movies such as this are non-existent these days. Gimme back the days of The Dark Crystal, Jim Henson and the Gremlins. For a family movie this is also very straight-faced too. There is not much humor in it, but that only adds to the overall weird tone.

The story is of a wizard apprentice called Galen (a very young Peter MacNicol) who goes on a quest to slaughter a Dragon terrorizing the people of Urland (Ireland maybe?). There are long moments of quiet and a strange atmosphere brewing around the whole movie. It looks and feels quite unique.

No doubt this is owed a lot to the fabulous widescreen compositions, visual effects that range from not bad to surprisingly good and stunning scenery and locations. Indeed the mood of this film is something I've never come across in a fantasy film. Plus for a film that is rated a simple PG, there was quite a lot of graphic gore, violence and even slight nudity. Surprising, but it adds to the boldness of the production. You would never get a family movie like this these days. I will take Dragonslayer over Harry Potter anytime.

Filmed in Panavision, the 2.35:1 anamorphic picture looks really great in most scenes but in others there is a small problem with the black levels. The soundtrack has been remastered in Dolby 5.1 and it is surely loud and forceful. Unfortunately there are ZERO extras. Which is a shame, because for a film like this, I really want more.
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9/10
Best cinematic dragon ever!
greguva25 July 2002
I'm not sure there's more than one compelling reason to see this film, but what a reason! As an SF/fantasy buff, I've seen my share of dragons on film, but there has never been one like Vermithrax Perjorative. The old beast simply looks, moves, sounds, acts, almost smells as one would imagine a dragon would. The filmmakers paid painstaking attention to detail in creating VP. Other film dragons look like animated clay figures, or lizards with wings glued on, or CGI effects (impressive, but still obviously computer-generated). This one looks like the cinematographer actually caught a dragon on film. The rest of the film is entertaining enough - not exactly Wellesian drama, but captivating nonetheless. Sir Ralph is marvelous, even in his twilight. And the fact that the dragon doesn't show until the end serves to heighten the suspense, ala Jaws or Alien. But, oh that dragon!! Well worth the price of admission. Can't wait to see it on DVD.
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9/10
Fantastic.
Peach-228 November 1998
Dragonslayer is a great fantasy film. The special effects hold up fairly well even today. The dragon is just a model and it looks fantastic. I was only 9 years old when I saw this film and it has stuck with me ever since. There are great performances and the direction is tight. The set design is also done well. Dragonslayer has a great atmosphere and you won't forget the image of the dragon rising from the water behind our hero anytime soon.
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10/10
Excellent
otto427 December 2004
I saw this when it came out, in the theater, in 1981. It was a sort of surprise hit that summer. This is a movie with plot. It's about a young man and woman meeting challenges, death, redemption, the death of magic and the birth of Christianity, and the hypocrisy of gov't. And it's all disguised as a PG movie about a dragon which is terrorizing a hamlet of decent people in the Dark Ages.

HIGHLY recommended. PG, but does have one foot gnawing which today would probably give it an R or X rating given the gutlessness of parents everywhere :). This is an early movie by Industrial Light and Magic, or ILM as it's known nowadays, and I believe was funded by Disney. Despite that it's got a gritty edge. Check it out, for youths and adults
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one of the best
moondragon855016 July 2004
Dragonslayer came out when "Dungeons & Dragons" was getting to be a big thing where I live, so there was a lot of interest. It was even adapted into a book by Wayland Drew (in a rare instance when a movie preceded a book).

Two things I like mainly. First, of course: Vermithrax. I rather hope that Dragonslayer is never remade, for there's no way the digital animation done these days could do this magnificent creature justice. New isn't always better.

It's also nice to see a film which doesn't stereotype Pagans and magicians as evil. In fact, the film treads the whole good-evil line rather lightly; Ulrich displays a certain respect for Vermithrax, even while planning the dragon's demise.

I find it easy to be swept up in the lovely mystery of Dragonslayer: a mystical film from 1981 (a more mystical age).
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8/10
One of the better fantasy films out there
TheLittleSongbird7 November 2009
Dragonslayer was in my opinion a very good movie. Without being too camp, it manages to be very entertaining, and along with NeverEnding Story, Princess Bride and Legend this is one of the better fantasy films I have seen. The film benefits from some very stylish costumes and sets, and the breathtaking scenery helps as well. The music score is highly atmospheric, and filled with beautiful and haunting themes. The film has a good plot with some nice twists, themes and turns, a decent script and good characters. I will admit one or two of the supporting characters are thinly sketched compared to the wizard Ulrich, and there are parts when the film suffered from pacing problems. But overall I really enjoyed Dragonslayer. I forgot to mention the acting. Peter MacNicol is a likable enough lead with his spontaneous boyish charm, Caitlin Clarke and Chloe Salamon are stunning as the female leads, and Ralph Richardson without a doubt steals the movie as Ulrich. Also, how can I forget the dragon? Plain and simple, best designed dragon in any fantasy film, the movements, the design, the creepiness everything, flawless. Even better than Draco in Dragonheart, despite Sean Connery's majestic voicing. All in all, a couple of minor flaws, but it is most enjoyable, and one of the better fantasy films out there. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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10/10
Moody, Broody, Atmospheric, Beautiful
ozymandias31213 January 2002
And -- apart from some rather gratuitous slams at early Christianity -- very Tolkienesque, giving some hint what a well-done live-action version of _The Hobbit_ , with its dive-bombing dragon, could be.

There were bits that almost took my breath away: the horseback escape through the collapsing castle wall, going from dank dimness to glorious sunshine and green fields in the twinkling of an eye; the sacrificial lottery drawing, and the desperate but vain struggle of the beautiful princess to escape being the sacrifice she had rashly doomed herself to be; the dragon's obvious motherly grief over its slain offspring; and the dragon's very _Hobbit_-like punitive "air-raid," and the final wizard's battle with the dragon.

Not a masterpiece by any means, but well worth a look.
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7/10
The best dragon flick yet!
rosscinema24 May 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I was also one of those who saw this in the theaters more than once when it came out and I urged all of my friends to see it and some of them did take my advice. Story is about a village that sacrifices young maidens to a dragon that has been marauding the countryside. A group from the village travel to see a sorcerer named Ulrich (Sir Ralph Richardson) and ask him to slay the dragon which he accepts but is killed by the King's sheriff. Ulrich's young apprentice Galen (Peter MacNicol) decides to step in and agree to the task with the help from a magical amulet. The village is headed by King Casiodorus Rex (Peter Eyre) who has a lottery where the name of a young girl is picked for the sacrifice for the dragon but the King doesn't put his own daughters name in the drawing.

*****SPOILER ALERT*****

Galen is taken to the dragons lair and he causes a rock slide and he believes that this has killed the dragon but as it turns out it didn't and it comes back to wreak havoc so the King quickly starts up another lottery. Meanwhile, Galen has fallen in love with Valerian (Caitlin Clarke) and her father has made a mighty sword that hopefully can slay the dragon. Galen and his weapon head into the dragons lair to try and kill it but he quickly finds out that this dragon is going to be harder to slay than expected.

This film is directed by Matthew Robbins who never really had a great career as a director but he did have some success as a writer but he can be happy with this film because it's still considered the best dragon flick to date. Disney and Paramount got together to make this and the special effects by Industrial Light and Magic are just terrific and still stand up today even though effects have changed with CGI. The DVD transfer suffers somewhat and the studio's should definitely digitally remaster this film and re-release it on a special edition DVD. What makes the effects stand out is that they brilliantly made sure the dragon moved like a dragon would and it crawls like a bat or a lizard and it adds greatly to the reason why this is the best of it's kind. Robbins also does the right thing by not allowing the audience to get a good look at the dragon except in glimpses and it builds the chills and excitement until we finally do see the dragon. The film looks great from the wonderful location shots in Scotland to the dirty hovels that people lived in during those times. Richardson is a joy in a role that is to small but he makes the most of it with a lot of Latin muttering and lines like "Do you have anything to eat"? One of the highlights in the film (For me, anyway) is Clarke as the love interest and I was always charmed by her tough but attractive performance. She still pops up every once in a while in small roles but this was her largest role in her career and last I've heard she teaches at a college in Pennsylvania. Probably not a great film as it does lag in spots but don't let this sway you because this is a fun film and one hell of a dragon!
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10/10
Almost forgotten classic fantasy tale
Erik G.3 February 1999
Forget about Draco, this dragon is downright SCARY, and has a seriously bad attitude. Even though the effects are somewhat dated, Dragonslayer is still a great movie for those who like dark fairy tales. The pacing is not fast, and the direction is brooding and gloomy, but Dragonslayer still manages to draw you into it. Ralph Richardson steals the show with as the Bizarre Ulrich, the master wizard, and Peter MacNichol does a good job as the bold, not quite master apprentice who does his best given the wild circumstances he is given. There is a lot of plot here, more than really necessary, and the movie could have used a quicker pace, but these are minor flaws to an otherwise great adventure movie with a VERY menacing dragon, wonderfully grim and foreboding scenery and an ambiguous ending that makes you think. Too bad this movie did poorly at the box office (pitted against Raiders of the Lost Ark and Superman II, it stood little chance). But altogether a good example of what fantasy movies can be, if they have the courage.
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Fantasy classic
Laserdome-AMH3 October 2003
After the death of his wizard master, young Galen wants to kill a giant dragon that terrorises people all over Urland. To secure a peaceful living, people have to sacrifice virgins to the horrible fire-spitting beast. How can Galen, who still isn't even a real wizard, beat the dragon?

This movie coming from Walt Disney, I was worried it might be too lighthearted to be a really good fantasy film. Luckily, I was wrong! There are surprise deaths of cast members and even some scenes of gore, helping to create just the right kind of atmosphere. The special effects here are really excellent and hold up very well to today's CGI spectacles. Also, the Dragon looks absolutely incredible. The movie probably would have benefited from a more remarkable musical score, the kind of which a Basil Poledouris might have composed. Still, this is a must-see fantasy film, almost in the league of "The Lord of the Rings".
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10/10
Although I'm preaching to the choir here, I had to add my comments.
bslezak21 December 2000
This movie is truly the reason why I came to love dragons and their caricatures, and have always judged dragon figures by the representation in this movie. All I can think to say is, `That's just THE way a dragon is supposed to look!' Although an older movie with dated special effects, Dragonslayer is a breathtaking feat of 80's movies and a great job by good ol' ILM.

I sat down to write this comment since I just watched the movie playing on television and enjoyed it yet again. Watching it again I noticed how very well sized the dragon was in every scene of the movie. Unlike the disappointing size-shifting Draco of Dragonheart done with much higher quality special effects, the dragon of Dragonslayer was well proportioned throughout the entire movie with marginal size differences. The dark atmosphere of the scenes were perfect for the movie, and I have to say that hiding the dragons features for a good portion of the movie was directing and editing beauty because it kept dragon enthusiasts on the edge of their seats writhing and thinking, `Let me see it!'

If you are a dragon enthusiast and haven't seen this movie yet, you don't know HOW badly you have missed out! And fantasy buffs should enjoy it for its detail and plot for setting up a medieval movie with sorcerers and dragons! A movie that IS the statement, `They don't make 'em like they used to.'
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A gem of an 80's era Fantasy epic.
crapcrap3 September 2004
This movie benefits from an interesting plot, a wonderful female character played by Caitlin Clarke, and good plot twists. I'm not a big fan of the male lead; his looks are a little average and uninteresting to me. The only other drawback are the ugly hats characters wear in this film. However, what makes this movie unique are its visuals, which through creativity and hard work, outshines many fantasy movies of the 90's and early 2000's.

This film proves that it doesn't need 21st century technology to make a beautiful and visually complex piece. As I watched the dragon, it was easy to tell that it was not real; it had flaws in its appearance and its movements were not perfect. But that did not detract at all from the film, because what made the dragon impressive was the artistic elements of its design; its many layers of thin, translucent membrane, its finely chiseled and formed teeth, and the almost charcoal-like, tough scales on its hide. In many modern fantasy movies, the creatures and dragons are uninspired, dull, and drab, despite the computer engineering behind them. In the 80's, directors had to be creative to produce their desired effect, and this creativity went a long way in producing visuals that both wowed audiences with their appearance and the thought of the work that went into making them.
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10/10
If only there were more fantasy films like this!
go_titans15 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
If you are looking for a movie to entertain the kids over the weekend and you pick this off the shelf because you notice the Walt Disney logo up the top, beware – this is not quite what you would expect from a Disney film. I was 9 years old when this film came out, and my dad hired it from the local video store for me to watch one afternoon after school. While I wasn't overly scared by it, both my father and I were very surprised that it was a Disney film, as there were semi-graphic depictions of young dragons feeding on a fresh kill (a princess!), and no real element of humour at any stage. Still, we loved it, and I watched it several more times before we took it back to the store. Like a lot of people in the age of DVD I have begun buying up every favourite movie and TV show I have ever had, and naturally "Dragon Slayer" made the list. I was worried before my first viewing however that the recent "Lord Of The Rings" trilogy would make this childhood favourite seem dated and comical, but instead I was pleasantly surprised. It appears both fresh and realistic, and the special effects are not lacking in the least. On a whole it is hard to find fault with this film, and it has many elements in its favour that set it apart from most other films of the genre. The casting is terrific, despite the extreme weedyness of the main hero (Peter MacNicol), but as another reviewer on this site has pointed out – this was probably an intentional decision by the film makers and not a result of bad judgment as my father and I had originally thought. The scenery is extremely beautiful throughout, my favourite scene coming half way through the film where the castle wall crumbles down and the hero leaps his horse out onto the grass while the sun is setting on the horizon – a magical moment! The dragon is fabulously depicted, complete with the most menacing scowl I have ever seen on a dragon in any movie. It's size is in keeping with it's type (if you are a Dungeons and Dragons fan you will know that dragons come in different sizes according to their type), and it's movements are nice and fluid considering that it was made a quarter of a century ago (even the walkers and creatures in The Empire Strikes Back are more jerky with their movements). What I like most of all though is the film's dark mood and menacing realism. Most films of this kind tend to get tainted by the touch of Hollywood, in that they are usually subjected to fancy and unrealistic fighting maneuvers, humour, big name casting and modern colloquialisms. How refreshing then that "Dragon Slayer" goes in the opposite direction on all these levels. The characters are everything that you would expect from the period (the king is portrayed as a concerned ruler who loves his daughter, and his champion a tough, level headed warrior bent on protecting both the king's and the people's interests), and their dialogue never strays either. The film does not attempt to avoid death scenes or mass destruction, and this only serves to enhance the feel of a real wizard verse dragon fantasy. Then of course there is Caitlin Clarke, a woman so beautiful that young boys everywhere will be struggling to decide whether to focus on the girl or the dragon! Almost the perfect fantasy experience, let "Dragon Slayer" stand as a reminder to modern day film makers how a Dungeons and Dragons movie should really be made! 10 stars!
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9/10
Among the best fantasy films of all time
bill_the_galactic_hero29 January 2004
I remember watching Dragonslayer at the theatre when it was first released, and going back again, twice. It was years before I had the opportunity to see it again. When I learned that it was going to be released on DVD, I placed my order in advance. Even though the DVD release is "bare-bones" (i.e. no extra features), I must say it is worth every penny paid. I've watched it at three times, all the way through, since my copy arrived, and have watched excerpts several more times.

Special kudos to Sir Ralph Richardson as Ulrich, John Hallam as Tyrian and Sydney Bromley as Hodge. Their acting was wonderful, and the rest of the cast was solid. The special effects, screenplay and directing were also excellent. And although special effects have gotten better in the two intervening decades, I have yet to see a dragon that surpasses "Vermithrax Perjorative" (though some have come close).
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10/10
Excellent
mxb200117 April 2003
An intelligent Fantasy movie. The 80's produced many good fantasy movies but this one stands above the rest. The special effects (by ILM, same folks who did Star Wars) are superb. This is the best Dragon you have ever seen on screen. The cast is a mixed lot. Some are obviously trained stage actors while some are very fresh (i.e. new to acting). Fairly good performances from all nonetheless. The plot is top notch. This is not simple minded hack and slash. So if you want some mindless action flick, go elsewhere (preferably over a cliff). The plot moves slowly and you have to pay close attention to details or else you won't get it. In fact the the first time you watch it you may think you see some errors. They are not. Keep watching and all will fall in place. This is a movie which rewards the patient. And it rewards them exceedingly well. Enjoy!
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10/10
A quirky, enjoyable journey into a magical Dark Age
Doby-21 July 2004
Sir Ralph Richardson is the fulcrum of this delightful tale of a Medieval time that never was. Peter MacNicol's spontaneous boyishness makes the Sorcerer's Apprentice come alive in another garb. Of course, Alex North's remarkable, controversial score defines and deepens this fairy tale into a noire journey through the dark heart of human superstition driven by simultaneous fear of the unknown and lust for power. The magic here is as much the discovery of love and sensuality as it is a journey into the dragon's layer. Dark hearts are where you find them.
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7/10
Spellbound Dragon picture with overwhelming fights and sensational scenarios
ma-cortes16 October 2013
This film blends witchcraft and wizardry , adventures , battles and is extremely fun and amusing . A sorcerer's apprentice (Peter MacNichol) is sent to kill a dragon which has been devouring girls from a nearby kingdom . An older magician (Ralph Richardson) is the mentor of the rockie sorcerer . The young boy dreams becoming a valiant sorcerer and join forces with a girl (Caitlin Clarke) to vanquish a horrible dragon . The young wizarding apprentice suddenly finds himself the only person who save the kingdom from a free-breathing dragon .

This fantasy movie packs action , witchery and and sorcery with impressive battles . Likable performance by a young Peter MacNichol , though is the first film released under the Disney name to have full frontal male nudity , as when Peter MacNicol jumps into the water, his legs swing wide giving the audience a quick shot of his genitals . Funny acting by the veteran Ralph Richardson and enjoyable support cast . The story has many familiar dragon motifs found throughout Western culture , in particular Saint George and the Dragon, in which maiden sacrifices were made to appease a harassing dragon. Saint George's tale also includes a sacrificial lottery resulting in the surprise condemnation of a princess , Saint George is also frequently depicted with a magic blessed lance or a sword . Smart screenplay by Hal Barwood dealing with fantasy medieval , dragons , necromancy , fantastic kingdoms and many other things . Entertaining and fun movie with acceptable special effects bringing the dragon to life . Work on dragons made by CG sometimes seem authentic , but is also noted its computer realization . First film to use go-motion, a variant of stop-motion animation in which parts of the dragon were mechanized and the movement programmed by computer . During shooting, the computer moves the model while the camera is shooting, resulting in motion blur, which makes the animation more convincing . The only thing that let it down from this perspective , was that some of the parts in between the dragons fighting were a little dull . Colorful cinematography , shot on location in Wales , though the final scene was shot in Skye, Scotland and many town locals were employed in the film as village extras. Thrilling as well as spectacular musical score by the classic Alex North , some of the score by Alex North was "recycled" from music he'd originally composed for 2001: A Space Odyssey that went unused . This co-production between Walt Disney Pictures and Paramount was efficiently directed by Matthew Robbins and it was more mature and realistic than most Disney films of the time .

The picture belongs to Fantasy/Dragon sub-genre ; other important films dealing with Dragons are the following : ¨Dragonheart¨ by Rob Cohen with Dennis Quaid , Dina Meyer , Jason Isaacs and Julie Christie ; ¨Dragonheart , a new beginning¨ with Chris Marterson , Figueroa and Harry Von Gorkum ; ¨Dragom Storm¨ (2004) by Stephen Furst with Maxwell Caufield , Angel Boris , Tony Amendola and John Rhys Davies ; and other latter day movies and belonging to this Dragons sub-genre are ¨Reign of fire¨ (2002) by Rob Bowman with Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey , Izabella Scorupco , and Gerard Butler ; ¨Eragon¨ (2006) by Stephen Fangmeier with Edward Speleers , Robert Carlyle , Sienna Gullory and John Malkovich .
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7/10
Entertaining film.
grendelkhan7 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Dragonslayer kind of crept into and out of theaters and has been little seen since; which is a shame, as it is actually a very entertaining film. It features a great cast of solid actors, doing what actors are supposed to do. It essentially lacked a "star" to give the film attention, but doesn't really need one. The film more faithfully adapts the themes and conventions of fantasy literature than most attempts. The wizard is wise, but secretive; the hero unassuming. The motivations of characters are shrouded and shifting. All of the characters, right down to the dragon, are given shades of grey, making them that much more realistic. This is not some pulp-inspired mayhem, like Conan; but, rather, a throwback to medieval tales and folklore.

Ralph Richardson steals the movie, but Peter MacNicol and Caitlin Clarke more than hold their own. the dragon was quite well done, and wisely kept an unseen horror through the early parts of the film. The cave sequences are filled with tension and there is a bit of horror to add weight.

If you are a fan of fantasy film or literature, you would do well to view this film. It is a solid piece of film-making and has all of the trappings of a classic fantasy story. What's more, the DVD can be obtained at a bargain price.
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9/10
Dragons done right
minionlost3 December 2002
This movie stands apart from its dismal 1980's sword-and-sorcery fellows, giving us a bleak, moody Dark Ages Britain instead of the scantily-clad damsels and muscle-bound heroes that plagued the decade. The result is a good if nearly-forgotten tale of a sorcerer's apprentice and his reptilian nemesis--a monster that still stands head and scales above any other cinema dragon in terms of sheer ferocity and menace.

Though peopled by terminally obscure actors (apart from Sir Ralph Richardson), the film is solidly plotted, and the Dark Ages production design details alone are worth the trip.

Dragonslayer is a good movie that seems to want to be great. Forget modern eye-popping CGI effects and watch it for what it is.
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10/10
Dragonslayer, the best of D&D:
balsarius10 April 2018
How they managed to cover this D&D film in a Christian veneer in the early 80's is unbelievable. But throw in a Catholic theme and the movie went right to the box office.

This was obviously made for the 2nd Addition Advanced Dundeon's & Dragon's, crowd back in 1981. But there was this psychotic notion that everything fantasy was antichrist in that era. So, instead of a great tale set in the Forgotten Realm's, you get, Galen Bradwarden, wizard's apprentice, in what freaking country is this again?

But they managed to keep it looking enough like a real D&D setting by avoiding too much cultural identity.

You have the fighter, and the rogue, the wizard, and the only epic failure was the cleric.

But it's good that the setting had to remain Earth, because the wizard could use a shield and a spear. Both totally contrary to conventional canon play.

Another movie not too hard on girls and showing the capable nature of females as individuals of varying ranges.

Yes, they had those in the 1980's.

A great movie with lots to love, and my favorite dragon in cinema before the masterpiece, Reign of Fire.

I wish they do a remake, just to get the RoF boys back behind the computers, but stick to the old movies feel and wardrobe esthetics. Peter MacNico, could play the new old wizard, and some strapping lad the new apprentice.
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9/10
Cult Classic
cpaigeconyers6 December 2018
At the time, this movie had special effects that were mind blowing. Some critics still think the dragon is the quintessential design and is imitated a lot. Love this movie and it deserves a MUCH higher score..
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10/10
Excellent Dragon movie!
thanasmilios28 August 2014
This is a very good Sword and Sorcery movie. It came out in 1981 at the height of the Dungeons and Dragon popularity. I first saw this movie in the Heritage Park Mall in Midwest City Oklahoma. Paramount released the movie but Disney did the animation and Industrial Light and Magic did the special effects. It's got the most real looking dragon I've ever seen in the movies. It was all done with models and puppets. You can see earlier versions of the effects in "Forbidden Planet" and "The Empire Strikes Back" and "King Kong". The story is set in the dark ages when the Celtic/Roman culture in England was first exposed to Christianity. It's your basic traditional dragon story. They did their best to make the buildings and clothing look authentic to the dark ages. I liked the part where the villagers convert to Christianity and are baptized with full emersion just as was done in the early Church. It's a good family film. There is a brief underwater nude scene and is scary enough that young kids might get nightmares. My favorite quote is "We don't do tests." I have the laser-disc of this movie. It's full screen and the scratches in the film are still there but the sound is good.
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10/10
Exceptional movie, without CGI even...
bheadher15 September 2012
I remember seeing Dragon Slayer when it came out, and it remains one of my top favorites of all time. I'm an "old guy", so CGI only impresses me when it is done well and enhances the story. Dragon Slayer has not a drop of CGI and doesn't need it. The Special Effects team (FX for all you young people) did a superb job of bringing a totally believable dragon to life in this movie, you cannot be disappointed. The story flows well, recounting a Sorcerer's apprentice in his awakening as a growing manipulator of magic and other worldly talents. During his apprenticeship he makes numerous mistakes, much to the annoyance of his Master. Most have a humorous tone to them, which adds a reality of it's own to the story. It is simply a realistic fantasy, crossing over from a made up story to something special that makes you look out your window to see if there is a malevolent dragon lurking in the shadows. I just wish they'd show it occasionally on TV...
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9/10
Excellent fantasy adventure
dorotka248 October 2007
I would include this among the best of fantasy adventure's "golden age" in the early to mid 1980s, along with such titles as Conan the Barbarian, Excalibur, Clash of the Titans, Time Bandits, Neverending Story, and Ladyhawke. Unlike many of the aforementioned films, this one pits a most unlikely, but very brave, hero against seemingly insurmountable odds not only in the form of the dragon, but also the kingdom he intends to protect.

To this day I have yet to see a better rendered dragon - positively spectacular. There is an unusual "realism" to the film as well, both in the behavior of the dragon and the battle with the creature by the hero.

Highly recommended, and I honestly believe that even those that are not great fans of fantasy may enjoy this because of the interesting character interactions and drama at play.
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