Find That Film: Dragonslayer

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Episode 16 is season four’s suggestion by ThatWeirdGirl. It’s worth it. In 1981 the Matthew Robbins directed Dragonslayer, Paramount and Disney pulled their resources to make a dark fantasy.

After a group of villagers searches for the last remaining dragons layer, the apprentice Galen (Peter MacNicol) sets off to kill the evil dragon Vermathrax Pejorative when his Sorcerer teacher Ulrich (Ralph Richardson) dies unexpectedly. Leading the peoples’ delegation is Valerian (Caitlin Clarke), a young woman hiding as a man from the king’s lottery. After a few close encounters with the beast, two dead sacrifices, and imprisonment Galen is finally ready to face the beast.

There are two stars in this fantasy standard: the music and the dragon. The music will stand the test of time as one of the great scores of film. Alex North deserved his Oscar nomination —stupid Chariots of Fire. The dragon effects were worked on by everyone from Disney to ILM. Their efforts realized a truly amazing creature.

Here we have a pumped up St. George and the Dragon. The hero quest runs a little flat. Our female lead looses some of her strength towards the end of the story. But overall we have an dark and gorgeous dragon tale. The weaknesses do not override the strengths.

See the dragon that has inspired all dragons since. Rip open the junior mints and find that film Dragonslayer.

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