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Rated R
Copyright 1980 Marcel/Robertson Productions Limited
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Hawk - Noble warrior who uses a special sword powered by elven magics. Apparently it protects and guides him, unfortunately this protection does not extend to his companions.
  • Gort - Giant of a man, he employs an impressive looking maul. Not the sort of thing you want connecting with your brain housing group.
  • Baldin - Dwarf who has some hygiene problems, using a whip to catch raw fish for consumption is among the least of them. Gets a dagger in the ribs and ends up as the dead dwarf in the bubble.
  • Crow - Last of the elves and his archery skills could put William Tell to shame. Whenever he speaks it reminds me of a dimwitted Vulcan.
  • Ranulf - Grizzled fighter with only one hand, he employs a rapid fire crossbow, it actually takes a clip of bolts, much like an assault rifle! Killed by Voltan.
  • Woman - Don't look at me, that is all they ever call her. She is some sort of good witch that Hawk saves from being burned at the stake. Has a bag of glow in the dark tricks up her sleeves.
  • Elaine - Hawk's beautiful (cough) wife, killed by Voltan.
  • Lots of Evil Guys - Dead meat, oh are they ever dead meat.
  • Drogo - Voltan's adopted son who just wanted daddy to respect him as a warrior. Killed by Hawk.
  • Voltan - Jack Palance! Evil brother to the noble Hawk, an iron helm hides the hideous disfigurement of his face caused by Elaine sticking a torch into his eye. Not that anything women do is like having a flaming brand stuck in your socket mind you. Cut down by Hawk.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

The cover art looks pretty average for a sword and sorcery flick and we all expect some goofy "magical" effects, but when those two glowing hula hoops appear all bets are off. Of course Hawk and Ranulf's journey through the haunted forest could be considered fair warning, it's just that the hula hoops mark where I believe the director began dropping acid during shoots.

Years ago Voltan killed the wise and good king, at least I think he was a king. Maybe I'm taking too much for granted, if he was all that wise then he would have tossed his evil brat down a well long ago. Now the wicked swordsman is terrorizing the countryside, burning Ranulf's village and taking the Abbess prisoner. Only a powerful group of heroes can stop the spread of evil and only one man can lead them, Ranulf transforms into a single handed bloodhound and locates Hawk in under two scenes. Using the good witch's magic to quickly assemble a formidable party allows for character development, but some hooded guy walking in and reasoning, "You all meet in a tavern." would have been just as coherent.

Okay, we have our warriors and evil forces to oppose them, what could possibly be missing? (here plot, here plot, come here boy) Hold on a minute, the evil guys want a hefty ransom for the Abbess' safe return, the party will have to battle a group of rich and vicious slavers for the gold. That was little problem, but when Drogo takes it upon himself to confront Hawk a fight ensues and the result (dead Drogo) sets Voltan off.

Jack Palance's character has had a difficult life. First the woman he desires weds Hawk, then she burns half his face off, when he tries to kill his goody goody brother with a crossbow she manages to get in the way and now this, the darn kid he had to adopt and raise as a son (funny thing, no woman wants to marry a guy with scar tissue for the left side of his face) gets sent to the big orphanage in the sky.

Finally the two brothers do cross swords in a very lopsided ticket. Hawk wields the "Elven Mindstone Blade of Jack Palance Slaying and General Whoopass" and the outcome is pretty much a forgone conclusion. The ending almost shoves the idea of sequel in you face, but I can not imagine any act to follow the very special film that is "Hawk the Slayer."

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • The old king will always hang on long enough to bequeath his legacy onto the good son, even after being stabbed through the heart with a sword.
  • Evil armies sing happy little tunes while hacking up women and children.
  • Boa Constrictors live in temperate forests.
  • Witches can summon glowing hula hoops to teleport people across vast distances.
  • Hare Krishnas hate dwarves.
  • Whips are under utilized in sport fishing.
  • Pound for pound you can not beat the entertainment value of watching some dirty little man gnaw on a roast chicken.
  • Evil men keep nuns as pets.
  • A witch's staff is full of silly string, she uses this to blind and immobilize enemies.
  • Nuns would make really fine secret service agents.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 4 mins - Why does a human have the last elfin mindstone?
  • 14 mins - Hawk journeys into the land of background matting.
  • 30 mins - That looks just like Halloween spider web...
  • 42 mins - Baldin did not have any trouble getting free of those ropes, I probably would have done that earlier.
  • 45 mins - "The Iron Hills are no more." says Baldin, you mean that Voltan bulldozed them or something? What force in medieval times went around flattening out hills?
  • 54 mins - You know, for good guys, this group is rather sadistic.
  • 67 mins - Very windy here in the foreground, but notice how all the trees are not moving.
  • 83 mins - Fluorescent bouncy balls! Hehehehe! I almost died from laughter over the next few minutes.

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note hawkslayer1.wav Goofy Guy: "Ohhh dear, I do believe my impetuous friend is challenging you."
Crow: "He wastes his time and mine." (Arrow thwack!)
Green Music Note hawkslayer2.wav Hawk: "And how did the mighty Baldin come to be in this sorry mess?"
Baldin: "Too much wine, a friendly fight or know how it goes. A crack on the skull from a sultry wench, and I wake to find myself at the mercy of these chanting fools!"
Green Music Note hawkslayer3.wav Drogo: "I am no messenger, but I will give you a message. The message of death!"
Green Music Note hawkslayer4.wav Voltan: "Dear brother, I think you and your friends can be persuaded to tell me...believe it, or not!" (Ok, so he didn't actually say that last part.)
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Cliphawkslayer1.mpg - 3.2m
I still cannot believe that they used fluorescent bouncy balls.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 ... 8 9 [10] 11 12 13
Hawk the Slayer
Reply #73. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by okey
I'm a great fan of this movie, watched it when i was just 9 and since then , i havent seen it again. Is there anywhere i could download the soundtracks and the movie for free because everywhere i searched has a price tag attached to the items and we dont operate a credit card facility here in Nigeria. I would be grateful if i am assisted.

My best line in the movie i could remember

"This is a story of herioc deeds and the bitter struggle for good over evil.      When the legend of darkness stalked the land..............."
Hawk the Slayer
Reply #74. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by David Emami
Just one problem with your analysis, MadKalnod. You're using D&D 3rd Edition terminology, and Hawk the Slayer pre-dates that by about 20 years. :)
Hawk the Slayer
Reply #75. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Fbird
This movie is awesome. I saw it too when I was a young lad and just watched the DVD earlier this evening. I have  not seen this movie in years. Then I started going to ebay and found Sasquatch The legend of Bigfoot, The Legend of Boggy Creek, Hawk the Slayer, The Night Stalker, The White Buffalo, Raise the Titanic, and others I have not seen in a long time.

The movie is very cheesy. But back in the early 80's movies like this were fun. I dont know how many of you saw Star Wars in the theater back in 1977. I was 12, and forever changed. They don't make movies like Hawk anymore. The magic of Bigfoot, etc are all but gone. Life was more mysterious back then, and fun. I will never forget and always have fond memories of staying up after 12AM and watching movies like Hawk, or Kelly's Heros.

If you were a kid and saw this movie all those years ago, I am sure you will agree it was really cool at the time. I still enjoy this movie.
Hawk the Slayer
Reply #76. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by MadKalnod
I also saw this move for the first time recently, also inspired by this review, (in the same showing as Zack who posts above me, actually), and I must agree that it is indeed  "a spunky load of noodles."  Other things to note:

In the sequence where Ranulf is tied to a tree and used as a throwing-axe practice target by the bandits, why doesn't he just slip his stump out of the rope?  He's tied at the wrist, and there's no hand to prevent him from doing so...

Also in the same scene, the two bandits pull their axes out of the tree, walk away from Ranulf, and then turn back to throw their axes again.  Now, before they can complete this action, they turn around again, startled to see Hawk having snuck up behind them.  HOW?!?!  They is no way they couldn't have seen him in the process of returning to the spot where they are startled.  They would have had to walk right up to him, fail to see him, turn around to throw their axes, note that Ranulf has spotted the be-mulleted Rennfaire renegade hero behind them, and THEN finally notice him as they turn around again.  I can only assume that, as so many have opined, this is a live-action Dungeons and Dragons adventure, and the bandits fumbled their Spot checks.

In fact, D&D analysis explains a lot of other things in this movie that don't make sense otherwise.
  Ranulf and Crow are arrow-spraying whirlwinds of doom until the final battle, when they simply pause to get killed?  They failed their Saving Throws.
  The ludicrous "holy food" discussion Baldin uses to scam Gort out of the chicken?  Baldin rolled a natural 20 to Bluff, and Gort rolled a 1 to Sense Motive.  The DM says "Baldin can basically say any dang thing at this point and Gort believes him."

Speaking of Baldin, he's no Dwarf.  A Gnome, or a Halfling, maybe even a Kender, but no self-repecting Dwarf would invite comparison with Baldin.  Frell, Ranulf's a better Dwarf than Baldin, height issues notwithstanding.

In the "Connections with other bad movies" department, eagle-eyed credit readers (or just those that make their Search rolls) will notice that Bernard Bresslaw (Gort) also played Rell the Cyclops in Krull, Patricia Quinn (The Woman) was Magenta in the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Declan Mulholland (the fat one-eyed slaver) is better known as "Fat Irish Jabba the Hutt stand-in" in deleted scenes from the original Star Wars Episode IV.  (Yes, some may take issue with the implication that the original Star Wars is a bad movie, and I don't say that it is.  However, the Special Edition, which re-inserts the embarrassing Jabba scene made possible by Declan's presence, is most assuredly a load of Bantha Poodoo.)
Hawk the Slayer
Reply #77. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by ZACK
I actually just saw this movie for the first time (Inspired by the review here, oddly enough) and lemme tell hurt

I respect it for being like the ONLY movie in all of history (that wasn't an incarnation of Tolkien's) that uses actual Dwarves and elves and such, but that's it.

and using them and calling them by name doesn't make them any less gay

...and the guy above me has heard of "Ator the Invincible"...giggle.  warms my heart
Hawk the Slayer
Reply #78. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Rusty
I remember watching this movie when it was released and thought it was great. Sure it has cheesy special effects but hey... for the time there weren't many to D&D type movies to compete with. Man you thought this was bad, compared to ato the invicible, krull the conquerer or beastmaster this is a gem. :)
Hawk the Slayer
Reply #79. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by David Emami
Just heard that Jack Palance has passed away. Although I'm sure Hawk the Slayer isn't the film he'd most want to be remembered for, it's the one I've watched the most times, so it immediately came to mind for me.
Re: Hawk the Slayer
Reply #80. Posted on December 19, 2006, 12:10:18 AM by Helmuut
Just heard that Jack Palance has passed away. Although I'm sure Hawk the Slayer isn't the film he'd most want to be remembered for, it's the one I've watched the most times, so it immediately came to mind for me.

I thought the same thing when I read the news about Jack.

Crap or not, this film transfixed a lot of youths back in the early 80's. That alone is a worthy mention. Good Job Jack. Peace be with you.

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