Dragonslayer 4K review by Bobby Blakey
During the 70s and 80s there were all sorts of fun fantasy flicks coming out with one of the biggest cult favorited being 1981s Dragonslayer. The film stars Peter McNicol, Caitlin Clarke, Ralph Richardson, John Hallam, and Star Wars alum Ian McDiarmid from The Legend of Billie Jean and *batteries not included director Matthew Robbins. Now the cult classic is coming to 4K for the first time ever.
Dragonslayer follows an ill-tempered, fire-breathing creature—ominously known as Vermithrax Pejorative who terrorizes its citizens until a young sorcerer’s apprentice named Galen is reluctantly tasked with confronting the beast set in sixth-century England. For Galen to succeed, it will take more than magic to defeat the dragon.
This is one of those films that I had seen most of it in various pieces over the years, but honestly had never sat and watched it all the way through so I was excited to finally get to dive into it. It is one that many feel is one of if not the best cinematic dragon of all time which is reason enough to want to see it, but the updated 4K edition adds to the experience.
The film itself screams the 80s and takes you back to those films that just aren’t made like this anymore. After finally getting to sit through the whole film I can tell you I loved it despite it being pretty slow and taking way too long to get to the dragon fun. Honestly I think it is more of the nostalgia that makes this film work more than it probably should as it is pretty dull for most of the fun time. Thankfully when it gets deeper into the lore it is more entertaining and of course the dragon side is what makes it all worth it.
I was surprised how well the effects held up especially in the 4K format. Typically the effects in this format tend to look fake, but it blends well here further showcasing the masterful work of the iconic Phil Tippet. The dragon deserves all the praise it gets and is in fact one of the best to ever appear on screen. The mix of types of effects they used to create it is a site to see and is impressive even by today’s standards in what they accomplished.
While not as exciting as I remembered it is a classic that should be seen and no doubt a must have for any film collection. In addition to the feature in glorious 4K, this release offers up bonus content including numerous featurettes taking you behind bringing this film to life.
Grab your copy of Dragonslayer available now on 4K for the first time from Paramount Home Entertainment.