Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fantasy Cheese, Pt. 1: Hawk the Slayer

For the next few weeks I'll be posting some trailers to some of the cheesy fantasy movies I remember fondly from the 1980s.

The cheesiest of them all had to be Hawk the Slayer. I will let the trailer speak for itself. 

It was released in 1980 and already had semi-legendary cult status by the time I started hanging around with fellow gamers who introduced it to me in 1984 or so. The movie is really quite cheesy but its action sequences are rare depictions of game-inspired fighting and magic. This all becomes a lot more evident in the last third of this trailer, which is worth seeing for the portrayal of such things as magic missiles, enchanted weapons, kicking down dungeon doors, and so on. 

I remember even as a 12-year-old thinking the rapid-fire elf bow was a bit much. 

The soundtrack is one of the strangest aspects of the movie. From Wikipedia: "The most striking thing about this movie is the soundtrack which alone has gained cult status amongst B movie fans. It is unusual for melding a traditional orchestral arrangement with synthetic disco beats and Ennio Morricone inspired western music."

You can find this out there for download without too much trouble. I'm not saying you'll fall in love with it, or that you'll be able to watch it more than once. But in a film festival of cheesy fantasy movies, this one would have to be there. And if you're a regular player of tabletop roleplaying games, then you'll see much here that looks familiar.

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