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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 ... 9 10 [11] 12 13
Re: Hawk the Slayer
Reply #81. Posted on January 13, 2007, 12:29:46 PM by dave
OK so it is mild no sex no blood no gore, that is why it is so much more superior to any of the modern violence inspired foul mouthed films of today, I watch it regularly and if you dont tkae life to seriously and enjoy good old fashioned escapism then watch it in the way it was intended.
Re: Hawk the Slayer
Reply #82. Posted on July 29, 2007, 04:05:39 AM by Ash
I was surfing around on Youtube and found this cool and informative behind the scenes look at the making of Hawk the Slayer.
It's pretty neat!

Re: Hawk the Slayer
Reply #83. Posted on July 30, 2007, 03:42:42 AM by felgekarp
That's great, I'll watch that at home later where I can get some sound on.  I don't think the rest of the office  will be interested in listening to behind the scenes on Hawk The Slayer  TeddyR
Re: Hawk the Slayer
Reply #84. Posted on December 10, 2007, 05:31:07 AM by "The Baron"
I remember when this film first came out.

I lived in Sierra Vista, AZ. and I remember getting into quarrels with my friends as to that time-honored game of "Who Plays What In the Film".

This film is my 2nd favorite of all-time.
I pay attention to fans rather than critics, because critics are paid to be jack@$$es.

I love this film enough that I use it as an Online Society handle.

At age 32, I have even sat down and re-written my own version of this film.
If there were EVER to be a consideration of re-working this into a passable 21st Century film, I think I have the answer.
True to the original, yet with better effects that don't require enough money to budget the Pentagon.

Jack Palance and Bernard Bresslaw (Voltan & Gort) are sorely missed.
Re: Hawk the Slayer
Reply #85. Posted on December 14, 2007, 09:37:50 PM by Nathan Allen
I LOVE THIS MOVIE!!!  Seriously, it is my favorite B-Movie in the whole world!  There is not another movie so... out there... and so... awesome...  I love it!  I want to make the sequel.  Me and my friend have the entire next 5 movies planned out.  The next one involves Godzilla!  It's going to be awesome...  I'll keep ya posted...  ;)  Thumbup Thumbup
Re: Hawk the Slayer
Reply #86. Posted on December 21, 2007, 05:20:10 PM by The S Man
Oh. My. Sweet. Sci. Fi. Lord!  

I "saw" this film, what, YEARS ago?! I'm 29 now, I must have been about 10 or less when I "saw" this film. Why do I keep saying "saw" in speechmarks?! See Big Fat J's comment. I could honestly echo it exactly word for word.

Do you know how long it's been that I thought I'd imagined the whole film?! I haven't seen it since that time when I was little. I watched it with my Dad, and my brother, and they long since forgot it. But me, something about the film struck a chord and stayed with me - but everyone I've ever spoken to about it just thought I was mad. Nobody believed me. Nobody had heard of the film.


Saw the title, and thought, "Hm, I wonder what that film's about." Googled it, found this site, and VOILA. The film I've always had recurring dreams/nightmares/memories about, but reached the point of believing I'd dreamt the whole thing up....

Man. I'm so relieved. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Now I can take off this mental straitjacket and announce my sanity to the world... I just KNEW somehow I wasn't mad... I take on board everyone's comments, good and bad, but I'm now getting set to watch the film as though I'll be greeting an old, welcome friend. And I'm gonna enjoy the effects, the score and the memory...

The S Man.
Re: Hawk the Slayer
Reply #87. Posted on January 21, 2008, 01:28:25 AM by xinunus
We have to remember this movie was made in 1980, not 2008!! This movie to me is a cult classic. Yes the acting is a little cheesy but I just love the hell out of it. The reason it’s so good is because it leaves some things to your imagination. I love the parts in the movie where Hawk is fixing to fight someone and it zooms into him and then the guys he is fixing to fight, it’s just like an old western. Part of the music in the movie could have come out of an old western. If you’re looking for a not so serious fun entertaining movie, buy it. Check out imdb. Most of the actors in "Hawk the Slayer" went on to have great acting careers. Even the guy who plays Hawk has been in a lot of shows. Everything from “24” to “Lost”.
Re: Hawk the Slayer
Reply #88. Posted on March 18, 2008, 04:36:24 AM by Old Fart
Cool to see other fans of this movie commenting. Like some, I saw this film a looooong time ago on TV and as a kid it really impressed me. A very obscure film, it has been a challenge to find it on the net, but I did, and very happy for it! Sure it is low budget, there is some cheese, but there is a creative quality to it that still impresses me. But we are the old farts. What do the kids today think? All I can say is that Hawk the Slayer is now a favorite movie of my son (11) who has been inundated with LOTR and loads of other big budget fantasy films. Is it a great film? You bet! If it can still entertain me (isn't that the main point of film) and can capture the kids today with all the low budget effects, it still deserves a measure of respect.
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