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Hawk: Slayer (Widescreen)

Jack Palance , John Terry , Terry Marcel    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 32.99
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Among its many dubious distinctions, Hawk the Slayer is the only sword-and-sorcery movie to feature Silly-String® as a medieval weapon! This splendidly wretched British fantasy also boasts such magical wonders as an automatic fast-action crossbow and an archer who shoots instantly replenished arrows in rapid succession, never missing his target! At the lowest ebb of his career, Jack Palance is gleefully hammy as Voltan, the disfigured (i.e., irredeemably evil) elder brother of Hawk (John Terry), who swears vengeance after Voltan kills their father, kidnaps a virginal abbess (Annette Crosbie), and threatens a nunnery for ransom. Add an ultracheesy '80s soundtrack (imagine Rick Wakeman playing roller disco) and some respectable British thespians (Patrick Magee, Roy Kinnear, Harry Andrews), and you've got a poor man's Willow with a dash of Krull, laughably awful and surprisingly entertaining. Fully aware of its own low-budget absurdity, Hawk the Slayer is a Bad Movie classic, guaranteed to satisfy connoisseurs of garbage. (Trivia note: Terry survived his titular heroics and was guest-starring on the popular TV series 24 when this DVD was released in late 2002.) --Jeff Shannon

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I don't care what you say!!! May 3 2003
By e5150
Sure, it's difficult to watch now, but this movie was pivotal in my formative years, having fuelled my love for fantasy as a pre-adoloscent in the early 80s. I will forever champion it in a slagging match, and can't fully understand why some have turned on it as they've matured.
In its time it was GOD, and one can plainly see the inspiration it had on the modern Lord of the Rings films, at least on Legolas' character. Crow, the elf in this film, and his rapid-fire bow work was quite an original concept regardless of how badly it was portrayed. Nowhere in LOTR does Tolkien refer to any of the fast paced archery skills as represented in the LOTR films, so somebody clearly took the quick-shooting elf concept from Hawk. As cheesy as it is here, it is still cool to watch, even though his robotic Vulcan-like performance is dreadful.
For trivia buffs, Annette Crosbie, who plays the Abbess in Hawk, also gave the voice to Galadriel in the 1978 Bakshi animated Lord of the Rings.
Don't misunderstand: I am certainly not comparing Hawk to Peter Jackson's LOTR films. NOTHING compares to those. All I'm saying is that I'm sure this film has given some inspiration to other fantasy filmmakers, with its unquestionably original take on certain concepts.
Many of the actors here are plainly better than the script allows them to be, but Jack Palance is ridiculous as Hawk's older brother (he looks as old as their father), and his casting was completely ludicrous. Also, the film could do without the dwarf, and his demise is proof of that. It was chiefly directed at the Dungeons & Dragons audience, and probably succeeded in winning them over
Ultimately, as with Jackson's LOTR saga, the elf steals the show with his poorly editted dexterous bow work, which is always interesting to watch.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A DnD lovers Jan. 21 2004
Dungones and dragons lovers should love this movie. Even though its older and nothing like Lord of the rings. The way they portray the people and the different races in this movie is the way G. Gygax would have you play his races in the DnD game(my opinion). It has its somewhat corny but funny interactions with the characters. As well as the ever present good vs. evil. The actors play there characters well. And Jack Palance's voice in his character fits it perfectly. Could not have gotten a better person for the part.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Elfs and more Elfs? Oh Yes! Dec 30 2003
By A Customer
Ok first of all this film is old and the acting is quite wooden at times but it has a great bunch of charaters that wouldn't be out of place in the Lord of the Rings. It also has the best Elf character in any movie of its kind. Retro, cool and very similar to the old Clint Eastwood Cowboy movies of yesterday. The sound track is also retro. If wizards and warriors is your thing then this movie is well worth a look. If this movie had been made for today using blue screen special effects it would well deserve a 5 star rating.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars ... on a very low budget Aug. 25 2011
"Hawk the Slayer" reminds me why they don't make a lot of high fantasy movies -- most of them are pretty terrible, and they totally fail to sweep you up in the fantasy world. This movie not only has countless gaping plot holes, but it also has painfully clunky acting, a hilariously bad villain, and a cast of... a few dozen.

As the movie begins, the evil prince Voltan (Jack Palance) kills his father (who looks younger than he does) because Daddy won't give him a Magic McGuffin. But before Daddy expires, his younger son Hawk (John Terry) is given the McGuffin in the form of a magic sword... which basically just comes to him when he thinks about it. You could get the same effect by training a dog to fetch it.

But instead of walking down the hall and killing his murderous brother, Hawk sort of... wanders off into the woods and becomes a sort of knight errant.

An unspecified number of years later, a wounded warrior is found and nursed back to health by a group of nuns, just before their Mother Superior is kidnapped by Voltan for... some reason. So the warrior sets out in search of Hawk, who in turn uses a sorceress he saved to help him find his old buddies -- an always-hungry dwarf, a rather small giant, and an elf in orange pajamas.

I honestly wish that I could have liked "Hawk the Slayer," but there were just too many things wrong with it. For one thing, it obviously had a very, very low budget -- at times it looks like it was shot in someone's backyard for about $15 and snacks. Seriously, the evil green forest is about twenty feet long!

And honestly, the acting is awful. Palance chews the scenery like a piece of gum, managing to be both hammy and wooden.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I still remember this 20 years later, OMG! Dec 20 2003
So one fateful Christmas Eve, it was not a family movie about Rudolph that my family watched. No! We found Hawk the Slayer playing and couldn't keep our eyes off it! Now 20 years later, I'm snapping the DVD up because this is still a great movie. I have never seen a more over the top villain performance than the one of Voltan (Jack Palance). And all the ensemble British actors added their own memorable moments to this movie. I mean, have you ever called someone, "bag of dirt??" And the dwarf's story of Turkels? What about the whispering wizard woman and the gathering of the heroes portion? And when Voltan grieves for his son ("Drogoooooooooooooooooo!"). The one handed man and his machine gun crossbow. Oh and the battles with all the quick lightning firing by the robotic talking elf and one handed man (these are hilarious! You literally see 20 - 30 guys die over the sound of arrows whizzing in about 5 seconds). Oh yes, and when Voltan threatens Hawk outside the church with his angry hate speech. There are so many hilarious moments, they should all add together to make a truly awful film. I mean the soundtrack is a strange disco + moody ditty thing, yet I can hum it 20 years later.
Somehow this movie transcends an obvious fate of oblivion. It has a character all its own and it really really fun to watch. Try and watch it with friends. You will love this movie, just don't laugh too loud so you can't hear what's happening next....
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
A dreadful script, terrible dialogue, awful directing, bad acting, lots of Ham, silly special effects, overused locations, no plot whatsoever - I can't think of anything bad to say... Read more
Published on Sept. 16 2003 by Mitch Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars Buy it for the Elf
Fans of LOTR's Legolas will definitely get a kick out of this, with the swift-shooting elf. Special effects-wise it's about a step up from...say....Land of the Lost. Read more
Published on Aug. 25 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Great nostalgia value
Simple good vs evil, with all the traditional sword & sorcery fantasy characters. The dwarf is brilliant! No swearing, nudity or blood anywhere.
Published on June 30 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Best of the worst
This is one of the cheesiest, corniest, cliche'-ridden B-movies out there. I loved it. :) A piece of my childhood come back to life. Read more
Published on June 20 2003 by ClintK
3.0 out of 5 stars 7th Grade Revisited in Medevil Action
I was eleven going on twelve in the 7th grade when I caught this movie on Showtime. My sister, who was eight, fell immediately in love with Hawk played by John Terry. Read more
Published on April 15 2003 by WildHeart83
5.0 out of 5 stars I remember this being Great
Now after reading a few reviews, I must say that 20 years ago.... (Wow I am getting old) I was a young teenager that loved fantasy and Sci-Fi movies. Read more
Published on Feb. 28 2003 by William L. White Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars In the tone of this film I present you...my review!
Before the Lord of the Rings... Before Star Wars... Before Conan the Barbarian... there was... Hawk the Slayer!!! Read more
Published on Sept. 20 2002 by Christopher Hopkins
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