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Tuesday, 13 December 2011

"My arrow hit first..."

When I think back to all the great films I watched when I was younger and I measure the amount of joy and inspiration that I got from them there is one that stands head and shoulders above the others. Lord of The Rings (Ralph Bakshi) Conan....LOL, no. Zardoz.... uhm, no. Star Wars... close, but no.
It was the mightiest fantasy film ever... Hawk the Slayer.
A superb film which ascended beyond its B-movie roots to gain a place forever in my heart. It's so difficult to describe the awesome overacting of Jack Palance as Voltan or the tragic death scene of Drogo, son of Voltan. Impossible to emulate the agnst ridden dialogue of the nuns as our hero Hawk resorts to some slaughtering to avenge the fallen. Traces of Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (a pale imitation of this film) can be seen in the way Hawk assembles a group of adventurers comprised of dwarf, giant (Bernard Bresslaw) and elf. And the elf, Crow, with his tragedy soaked dialogue and his deadly accuracy.
And finally, the greatest legacy of the film... the rapid firing crossbow. A medieval machine gun in an era where everyone wanted an M16 cos Hannibal fired them without really killing anyone (just before BA threw them over his head into some boxes). Every AD&D game in the country must have had one.
So here's looking at you, Hawk
link to Hawk highlights on youtube


  1. My friends and I loved this movie when we were young. Back then, there weren't too many fantasy films for my fellow DnD fans and I. I cringe when I watch it now, but there are still things about it that I enjoy, like Crow, the Elf. He's just cool.

  2. I'm with you on that, William. He was my favourite as a kid too, although Bernard Breslaw as a 'giant' was a close second, not least because I loved Carry One films as a youn 'un also.
    I think almost all of my mates who played DnD were hooked on this film. The only others I can recall were Krull, Red Sonja, Beastmaster and then the others which were too high a certificate (like Conan and Sword and the Sorcerer).
    Kids these days...don't know they're born!!!