Wednesday, January 11, 2012

5 More Fantasy Films

This post is a direct sequel to this one. Here I list five fantasy films that may not be all that great to some people. But I love them. I own a couple of them, and if I can ever get them, I will also own the rest.

Legend (1985) – Pre-“Top Gun” Tom Cruise makes his first and only foray into the fantasy genre as Jack, the young wild boy who is in love with Mia Sara’s Lili. This movie is a very dark fairy tale, with amazing effects (for the time), a haunting soundtrack, and some really great acting by Tom and Mia. However, all is overshadowed by Tim Curry’s portrayal of Darkness. His performance, combined with mind-bending make-up make Darkness one of my all-time favorite fantasy film villains. He would eat Kylar Zym for a snack. Ridley Scott is a master director, and this is just one more example of why.

Dragonslayer (1981) – I started playing D&D just about the time this movie was first available on that new-fangled Videotape Player. I remember going to the mall, and the electronics store next to the toy store would always have it playing, and I would spend hours standing there, enthralled with it. This film was a major influence on my early gaming days, and thus on my whole life as a geek. I can still watch this film and enjoy the heck out of it. Vermithrax Pejorative is one of my favorite movie dragons; dark, sinister, and very scary. She’s how I imagine Smaug looking in real life.

The Sword & the Sorcerer (1982) – Honestly, I have only watched this film once, when I was about 13. But that was enough. It scared the hell out of me and gave me nightmares. But man, was it cool! I really need to own this, because I have a feeling that on my current big screen TV, it would be amazing to behold. The sorcerer is scary as all get out, and Talon is a total Howardian hero. What could be better? Why, giving him a three-bladed sword, of course!

The Neverending Story (1984) – I could totally identify with Bastion in this film. The lonely kid who turned to books for solace; I might not have been as well-read as he was at the time, but I understood him to the core. The amazing journey he goes on with Atreyu is magical on a level that can fire the imagination in anyone. And the idea of Fantasia dying because no one believes anymore is tragic, and really gets to your inner child. By the way, like Conan the Barbarian, I disbelieve any sequels to this one.

Labyrinth (1986) – David Bowie, probably one of the coolest rock stars in history (it’s no wonder my wife is enthralled with him); Jennifer Connelly, with whom I share my exact birthday (same year and everything), is on my “list” of actresses. Great story, dreamily haunting score, and some excellent songs by Bowie, this movie is a favorite in my house. My daughter will often put it on for kicks, and even my son will watch most of it. Gareth (Bowie), the Goblin King, manages to be both sinister and tragic at the same time. And Sarah is the perfect blend of innocence and blossoming womanhood to make her a wonderful window for the viewer into this fantastic world.

Once more, as with the other list, you can see where my tastes lay, since these were all made in the early to mid-80’s. I don’t know. Maybe they just don’t make films like these anymore. Or maybe I am just a slave to my nostalgia. Of course, I could do a list of my favorites from the 50’s and 60’s as well. Maybe next time.


Joe Bonadonna said...

:) I am particularly fond of Dragonslayer, the Sword and the Sorcerer, and a little gem starring David Carradin, called the Warrior and the Sorceress, I think.

Keith said...

I've only seen The Neverending Story and Labyrinth, but loved them both. I'll have to track down the others. Thanks for the list.

Lee Reynoldson said...

Two posts on craptastic fantasy films and no mention of Hawk the Slayer. I am disappointed.

Tom Doolan said...

That's because I have never seen Hawk the Slayer. I know, it's a dark spot on my resume. One that I will someday rectify. And no doubt blog about.

Charles Gramlich said...

Lana and I are huge fans of Legend. It's probably my favorite fantasy movie of all time. We both also like Labyrinth, Lana somewhat more than I.

But "darkness!" Wow. "What is light without....darkness?"

The Dave said...

I think out of all the fantasy movies from the early 80s.. Hawk the Slayer felt the most 'D&D'ish'. It had the Dwarf, the Elf, The Fighter, the Cleric..

Larry Atchley, Jr. said...

Dragonslayer is one of my all time favorites. I really love Legend as well, especially for the character Darkness. Labyrinth is pretty high on my list too. I'd also add The Dark Crystal to my personal list.