Hawk the Slayer Reviews

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Super Reviewer
April 21, 2014
I'm not sure but this could of been the acorn that sprouted the idea for the titles in the Conan flicks, bare with me. There was a sequel intended for this film that would have been called 'Hawk The Destroyer' (1981), so you can see the obvious similarities with film titles going on here. Probably a coincidence admittedly but I also think this could of been the first swords/sorcery/barbarian type of film that jump started all the rest during the 80's.

This is a hard film to review truth be told, its extremely dated and by the looks of things they didn't have a huge budget to play with. The whole thing is a mixed bag as you would expect being a very old fully British, possibly cheap, production. There's a bit of a Tolkien and Dungeons & Dragons influence about the film if you ask me, the plot is your average sword n sorcery affair with a hero trying to avenge the death of his father and love at the hands of an evil warrior (his brother). The evil bad guy wants the power of the mindstone which his brother (the hero) has power of, so he kidnaps an Abbess to lure him. The hero forms a small band of warrior friends...a giant, a dwarf, an elf and a human peasant, the hero himself being a human of course. Each of these men have unique skills in combat with a big hammer mace thing, a whip, a bow, a crossbow and a sword.

When I say a Tolkien influence I only mean as far as the characters and fantasy locations, dare I say a certain Mr Jackson may have pinched some visual ideas for 'Legolas' using his bow at lighting speed from this film?. When you see 'Crow the elf' battling there is definitely a similarity in concept that's for sure, although the visual method used to achieve this in this film is pretty crude naturally. Mind you this elf is so damn fast with his bow and arrow there is virtually no need for any other heroes. Other characters aren't made up with special makeup or prosthetics, the giant is played by Bernard Bresslaw who was a tall man, the dwarf is played by a short actor (not a little person), the elf has a small amount of prosthetics for his ears and that's it. But as far as monsters and dragons etc...this film has none of that, its actually a very grounded fantasy which I think leans more towards old English folklore and possibly a touch of wicca and paganism.

The musical score kinda typifies this if you ask me with a very odd mix of styles. At times we get this typical 80's pop fused with electronic synth (I think) that to me sounded like melodies from an Abba album!, needless to say I don't think this score fit the film. Other times there is a much better softer score using more traditional instruments to create this olde worlde fairy-esque sound that would suit an old English fable to a tee.

I hate to say it but I couldn't help but snigger at some of the things on display in this film. Like I said the visuals are weak, it looks like they've filmed everything in some local woods and shrublands just behind Pinewood studios. The sets are very obvious, very small and tight and sparse on detail, hair styles are still very much 1970's, some costumes are OK where as others look like they've cobbled anything together and I'm pretty sure they retrace their steps with locations a few times. The only expenditure appears to be the use of that swirly double ring thing that was used in 'Superman' as a force field to trap 'General Zod' and co.

The other thing that is highly amusing is the fact the big bad evil tyrannical baddie is played by Jack Palance...and even in this film he's old!. This guy has no special powers or weapons, he's just a badass apparently but you don't really buy it frankly. He has a nasty burn on his face so he wears a nifty helmet but that's it, he doesn't look intimidating at all. Mind you the hero is pretty bland himself, he barely talks, looks boring, but he has the mind power to wield his magical sword combined with the mindstone...not that it makes much difference really, just means the sword can float to his hand.

I don't want to give this film a low score because despite the dated visuals, cheesy ass fights and effects it does look like people have really tried to make an effort here. It does come across to me that the crew have done their best with the little resources they had which deserves kudos. It is very easy to just churn out any old loin cloth fantasy crap by just tossing in a few blondes with big boobs to attract an easy male audience and slapping in some blood and gore. But I think effort was made here and it does show. A cult film long forgotten, thou should seek it out.
Super Reviewer
½ July 20, 2011
Although the ending is horrible, this movie has a bunch of enjoyable moments. For example the disco style music when they're riding through the forest, which made me feel like dancing. Seriously, this movie is predictable and just like every other fantasy adventure movie. But it wasn't a bad movie overall, and had some good fight scenes.
Super Reviewer
½ December 22, 2007
An excruciatingly bad fantasy film with: a woefully wooden hero who looks like Chris de Burgh, a dwarf who looks like Peter Sutcliffe, and a supporting cast of British sitcom stalwarts and/or respected old thesps, trying not to look too embarrassed. The movie is so cheap there are hardly any sets, so most scenes take place in forest clearings, tents, and so on. It's also got a god-awful, "War of the Worlds" sound-a-like, dirge of a score which, aside from offending the ears and destroying any credible feel for time and place, dates the film terribly. A camp classic, however; recommended to connoisseurs of appalling cinema.
Super Reviewer
June 24, 2007
I can't even describe how goo/bad this movie is...thank you Spaced for opening my eyes to this piece of cinematic rubbish...oh Jack Palance how low have you sunk?
Super Reviewer
½ June 6, 2007
Great Low-Budget British Sword & Sorcery movie made during the early 80's Dungeons & Dragon's craze. There's barely any monsters and minimal special effects, but it's a fun ride. Check it out to hear the techno-Zamfir flute music.
DrLappos
Super Reviewer
March 14, 2008
I know they knocked this but as a kid I dont think you can do better.
Super Reviewer
January 16, 2007
OK some of this rating is just to tick people off. :-)
I would like to point out though that this movie is an adaptation of the Seven Samurai, a classic movie.
That said everything else is just tremendously bad. You can see the ropes on the "mindsword", Jack Palance's performance as the evil Voltan is hovering slightly above the peak of Everest (though to be fair to Mr Palance he usually starts somewhere around there), while the actor who plays the elf dials so far back on his acting he makes the Star Trek Vulcan's (from which he obviously stole his idea for his character) look like weeping emotional crybabies. Also look for Jack's dad from "Lost" as the titular Hawk.
A must see.
October 5, 2010
this is an incredible film - I was overawed by the special effects and magical tricks!!!
a true film for any adventure lovers and seekers of justice in a cold world!!!!
March 9, 2009
This movie is HILARIOUSLY GOD AWFUL.

I'm usually pretty fond of cheezy/campy films, but this movie is loaded with face-palming laughter.

(It seems like it was made by a 12 year old director with a few college students for a film crew.)

And Jack Palance steals the show with just how lame his bad-guy character is! : )
February 8, 2010
It's fun. Jack Palance plays Voltan. What's more, they're making a sequel to it that comes out next year. Should be good.
March 22, 2009
although a little cheesy ,its one of the best of the mythical movies becouse not just the bad guys get killed but most of the good guys too. Also the charecters are well thaught of and close to the d & d charecters
June 9, 2008
I just finished watching this after not seeing it for years and years and years. And it did not fail to disappoint. I netflixed this one looking for some bad '80's sword and sorcery nostalgia, and it delivered in spades.

The acting has more wood in it than a lumber yard. The sets make old skool Dr Who sets look avant garde. And the special effects? Well kudos for using Silly String and glowing ping-pong balls!

Needless to say I giggled furiously during the entire movie and enjoyed every bad moment of it.
½ January 13, 2008
This is one of my all time favorites. I love everything about it. Jack Palance being one of them, the magical and the storyline.
½ November 2, 2007
Now This is the Kind of Total GARBAGe everyone can appreciate.

Back when Fantasy film got NO budgets,.. but tried anywho.

LOVE It (gold Clap) Just LOVE IT
September 21, 2007
I would KILL to have this on DVD!! well alright maybe not kill but I would inflict papercuts like nobody's business..
September 28, 2006
This movie is so bad that it somehow winds up being entertaining. You won't believe they got Jack Palance to star in this film. If you ever sat down and played a game of Dungeons & Dragons, you simply must see this film.
July 6, 2006
If you like cheesy fanatsy, this is the movie for you. 40 Year Old Virgin and 16 Year Old Pothead give this Two Thumbs Up!! Cheesy plot, cheap FX, but worth the time.
½ January 22, 2015
good in a really really awful kind of way
September 24, 2007
Probably a contender for the Best Shite movie ever. A dizzying mix of Dungeons and Dragons, the Magnificent Seven, British Screen luvvies and the late Jack Palance.
SEE Hula Hoops or Sorcery!
WITNESS Violence against baked Goods!
MARVEL that the arcane uses superballs and wind machines can be put to!
GOGGLE at the quick fire Elf!

Truly, this is shite of a different calibre- SciFi Channel Take notice!
February 19, 2013
Chicken the slayer has a great soundtrack.
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