1980s Fantasy Film Festival #5: “Clash of the Titans” (1981)
Jul04

1980s Fantasy Film Festival #5: “Clash of the Titans” (1981)

And now we move into the second sequence of our 1980s Fantasy Film Festival, “Legends and Mythology” with the much beloved 1981 classic, Clash of the Titans, which I had somehow managed to never see in full until now. I had caught random bits on cable at various points, as well as in a college class I took on Greek Mythology, but this was the first time I sat down and saw the original Hollywood version of the legend of...

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1980s Fantasy Film Festival #4: “Ladyhawke” (1985)
Jun27

1980s Fantasy Film Festival #4: “Ladyhawke” (1985)

So far, in our 1980s Fantasy Film Festival, we have watched three deeply silly films, Conan the Barbarian, Hawk the Slayer, and The Beastmaster, all of which are exploitative and ludicrous, and the latter two of which are quite entertaining, to varying degrees. And that’s why it feels nice to finish off the “Sword and Sorcery” sequence of the festival with Ladyhawke, the first that is actually an honest-to-goodness...

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1980s Fantasy Film Festival #3: “The Beastmaster” (1982)
Jun20

1980s Fantasy Film Festival #3: “The Beastmaster” (1982)

Three films into our 1980s Fantasy Film Festival, and probably the major uniting factor between these sword and sorcery entries so far is that they are all ridiculous, in various ways. For some reason, however, The Beastmaster is the first one that I enjoyed thoroughly, without any hesitation, and which held my interest from start to finish with nary a lull (while Hawk the Slayer is extremely fun, its nearly-Ed-Woodsian levels of...

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1980s Fantasy Film Festival #2: “Hawk the Slayer” (1980)
Jun13

1980s Fantasy Film Festival #2: “Hawk the Slayer” (1980)

Hawk the Slayer is the most ridiculous film I’ve seen since…well, since last week’s 1980s Fantasy Film Festival entry, Conan the Barbarian, except unlike that leaden, seemingly endless film, Hawk the Slayer is actually a lot of fun. Rather than trying to attain anything approaching the level of operatic grandeur to which Conan constantly strains, Hawk the Slayer seems to revel in its poorly written, directed, edited,...

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1980s Fantasy Film Festival #1: “Conan the Barbarian” (1982)
Jun06

1980s Fantasy Film Festival #1: “Conan the Barbarian” (1982)

Today, we kick off our 1980s Fantasy Film Festival with the classic sword-and-sorcery film, Conan the Barbarian, which made a star out of Arnold Schwarzenegger and is known for its over-the-top carnage, sexuality, and operatic broadness. Based on the 1930s pulp stories of Robert E. Howard, Conan is a barbarian hero from the Hyborian Age, a fictional period created by Howard that was set after the Age of Atlantis and before any current...

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