Best thing you'll see since you were a 10-year-old playing D&D: Hawk the Slayer

I hereby bring to order the Hawk the Slayer Appreciation Society.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Man, I love William Morgan Sheppard in this. Actually, I think he’s the bees knees in just about everything he’s done.

I saw so many of these movies on late night television back in the 80s, they just all run together in my mind. This one doesn’t ring a bell for me, but the screenshots don’t look quite right to me without silhouettes of Joel, Tom and Crow along the bottom.

But if we’re talking about awesome 80s D&D movies, can we talk about Dragonslayer? Because that movie was awesome! Subverting viewers’ expectations before anyone knew there would be a Jedi who came last!

You got your wise old wizard that the villagers need to rescue the virgin from the - whoops no, he’s dead. You’ve got your tomboy character who nobody knows is a girl but - ok yeah, everybody knows she’s a girl. And there’s the virgin, chained up so the hero can rescue her and - oh no, she’s dead too!

But I could go on and on about Peter MacNicol, one of my favorite underrated actors. He was the best part of a not-really-great Ghostbusters 2 all the way up to a Jonah’s profane uncle on Veep. He even plays Jervis Tetch in the Arkham games! I love that guy.

I notice that Bernard Bresslaw, familiar to Brits from the Carry On Films not only played the good giant in HTS, he played the good cyclops in the another cult Brit swords and sorcery film, Krull.

HTS was one of those films we had on VHS and watched multiple times. Top stuff.

And an interview with the director ftom a few years back

I love HTS so very, very much. I first saw it when in was in college. 1990 I think? There was a video rental store (local chain) next door to the university and I was working my way through their fantasy/sci-fi/horror section. I’ve made sure that every social circle of friends I’ve been a part of since then has seen it too. Jack Palance chewing scenery. It’s perfection.

The problem is that Dragonslayer is actually good. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but I have seen it as an adult, and I am pretty sure it holds up. So maybe it doesn’t belong in this thread…

The only movie mentioned in this review from that era that I saw at the time was LadyHawke.

I also saw a censored version of “She” (imdb link), which was a fantasy movie with a side of softcore porn mixed in. I didn’t realize the softcore stuff until I saw the movie again in the 90s on “USA Up All Night”. When I finally saw the uncensored movie (at least, I assume it was uncensored on USA, maybe they still had to censor some stuff since it wasn’t pay cable but just regular cable?) I was pretty shocked. Nudity! But you know, the censored version was a straight up interesting dystopia fantasy movie. Has anyone here seen it?

Hell yeah it’s good! Why would we want to talk about a movie that’s bad?

Because this is the “Hawk the Slayer” thread?

Also known as the “best thing I’ll see since I was a 10 year old”, last I checked?

Dragonslayer is amazing. Ladyhawk is pretty good too, but Dragonslayer is peerless.

All of these movies are wonderful. For very different reasons. ;)


The Beastmaster
Clash of the Titans

No Ator?


You know, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of this movie.

And that’s WEIRD, because I have absolutely seen every other movie mentioned in the review and in this thread. Multiple times in most cases.

Well, then. You know what you need to do this evening!

Also, I confess I have not seen Ator that I recall. I do not know why, as it is (obviously) right up my alley, especially in the 80s. I need to fix this.

Just watch the MST3K episodes of Ator, they’re way better.

Hey, how do you know who that guy is? He did stand out in the cast as being more, erm, accomplished than any of the others. They shot this thing in London and he was the only actual actor they could get? The 80s, man.

Aww, is there a Mystery Science Theater 3000 of this? I know there’s a Rifftrax, but I’m anti-Rifftrax. They miss the point of MST entirely, which is affection for these bad movies, not sneering at them. Boo, Rifftrax! Boo, I say!

Dragonslayer’s a weird one, isn’t it? For reasons you point out, I’m not ready to lump it in with the fantasy pap that followed Hawk the Slayer. It’s too legit an actual movie, as JoshL says.

That’s actually kind of a depressing read. The poor guy seems to think he’s going to get to make another Hawk the Slayer movie, when I suspect people have just been stringing him along. :(

Dude, Sandahl Bergman. I haven’t seen She, which I shall address forthwith, but Bergman made quite an impression on me when I managed to secure a copy of All That Jazz because I was such a huge Jaws fan that I had to see everything Roy Scheider was in. And then that famous sequence unfurled before my adolescent brain. Uhhhh…

Is this true? I need to re-investigate. I’m not sure I can take Matthew Broderick seriously as a fantasy hero. The one I also wonder about is Verhoeven’s Flesh and Blood. Is that junk? Or does it have some of the same Verhoeven Dutch weirdness of 4th Man and Soldier of Orange?


Oh I don’t actually know. I’m just thinking out loud that I haven’t seen an 80s sword & sorcery flick that wasn’t through an MST3K lens since, I don’t know, probably the 80s.

He’s the narrator with the deliciously stentorian voice in Civ V.

Matthew Broderick is not a hero, more of a sidekick. The more typical hero character is Rutger Hauer.

I think the movie is pretty good, in an understated way, and obviously low budget 1980s. Very little magic and fantasy, other than the main conceit, which sets it apart from amny of the other discussed here. The soundtrack is problematic, though.