Anyone who has hung around this blog for a while should have picked up on the fact that I'm rather fond of a little 80s sword-and-sorcery flick called Hawk The Slayer
However, having recently got my old paperback of the movie novelisation signed by author and director Terry Marcel
, it struck me that I hadn't actually reread the book since 1981.
And you know what? It stands the test of time.
Without the "unique" special effects of the movie to distract you, the book allows you to focus more on the clever plotting; you find yourself wondering how much of Hawk's motivation is simply revenge against his evil brother and how far is he willing to go with his "ends justify the means" modus operandi.
The book also, as well as fulfilling my Moorcock Rule criteria by coming in at 144 pages
, adds more flavour to the setting with its liberal sprinkling of fascinating and inspirational place names that conjure the impression of a wider world.
Like any true Hawk fan I hope that one day (soon
) Terry will be able to make the long-awaited sequel, Hawk The Hunter
, but even if he can't raise the finances surely a second novel (and then maybe a third to wrap up the trilogy
) wouldn't be too much to ask...?Witchville
(2010): Even with the presence of rising genre stars like Luke Goss and the gorgeous MyAnna Buring and veteran Sarah Douglas, there is nothing to recommend the latest SyFy sword-and-sorcery snoozefest I picked up on DVD: Witchville
Luke Goss as Malachy discovers he's heir to a kingdom (which consists of one village and about 40 peasants
) that is being plagued by witches - only witches here aren't your run-of-mill fairytale or Charmed
witches, but an odd cocktails of mutants and Supernatural
-style demons (complete with the smoke effect - but red instead of black
On his way to fight the Queen Of The Witches (Sarah Douglas), Luke and his bros get attacked by a random group of Oriental bandits (because it was filmed in China, apparently
) who they then decide to team up with. WTF?
It's all, sadly, a bit dull, mechanically acted and uninspiring - despite the great landscapes.
There's a feeble attempt at a Star Wars
/Darth Vader twist towards the end but I was nodding off by that stage.
Remember, I watch these films so you don't have to...Scorpion King 2 - Rise Of A Warrior
(2008): A prequel to the original Scorpion King
movie that was, itself, a prequel to the more successful Mummy
series of pulp adventure movies, Rise Of A Warrior
is easy-going, rainy Sunday afternoon nonsense.
I've seen criticism of it for "historical inaccuracies", but this is a film that features a trip to the underworld and ends with a fight against an invisible giant scorpion monster - I don't think writer Randall McCormick and director Russell Mulcahy were aiming for any documentary awards.
Like the original, it borrows many visual cues from John Milius' 1982 Conan The Barbarian
to tell the story of the early years of the Akkadian warrior Mathayus (The Rock's character from the original
), here played by Michael Copon, and his quest for vengeance against King Sargon (Randy Coutre, an Ultimate Fighting Championship winner) for murdering his father.
He is joined on his journey by tomboy Layla (Karen David) and Greek bard Ari (Simon Quarterman) as he sets out to retrieve the legendary Sword Of Damocles to slay the sorcerous Sargon, whose black magic makes him otherwise invincible.
Mathayus' quest takes him to King Minos' labyrinth, where he confronts the minotaur, and then through a magical portal to the Underworld where he must face the sultry goddess Astarte (Natalie Becker) before claiming the sword.
A mish-mash of random legends and cultures, Scorpion King 2: Rise Of A Warrior
really isn't a film worth losing sleep over. It can be enjoyed on its own "merits" and then filed away.