Saturday, March 13, 2021

Sword & Sorcery & Cinema: Hawk the Slayer (1980)

Hawk the Slayer
Ok. Confession time, and this might get me kicked out of "I'd Rather Be Killing Monsters."

I have never seen "Hawk the Slayer." 

Not even once. That is until today.

Hawk the Slayer

Well, it has Jack Palance chewing up scenes like he always does. A funky post-disco soundtrack that is so 1980 it makes me want to find a pair of roller skates.   But it also features the recently late William Morgan Sheppard as Ranulf. Patricia "Magenta" Quinn as a sorceress.  And Christopher Benjamin (Jago from Doctor Who). So certainly an interesting cast.  

The "Adventuring Party" is made up of Hawk  (a fighter or ranger), Ranulf an old fighter, Gort (a giant), Crow (an elf), Baldin (a dwarf), even a sorceress. I have to admit they are kind of fun.

With some of the music and scenes, there is a solid spaghetti western feel to this. 

Jack Palance must have had the time of his life with this.  Overacting. Running around like a Ren Faire Darth Vader.  The dynamic between Hawk, Voltan, and Eliane is not entirely unlike that of  Sergei, Strahd, and Tatyana. 

The movie is fun, if predictable. But not exactly a classic really.  Sorry, Tim

Though I can see why everyone wanted a sequel, but I think it works best as D&D inspiration.  The characters would make fun NPCs for anyone familiar with the movie.

Gaming Content

Elfin Mind Stone and Mind Sword - this sword has the ability to detect the thoughts and actions of anyone the wielder is fighting against. This translates to a +4 to hit and a +3 to AC and even allows the wielder to fight in conditions that would otherwise blind them.  It can cast light once per day.  The wielder of the mind sword can summon the sword to hand at will.


Tim Knight of Hero Press and Pun Isaac of Halls of the Nephilim along with myself are getting together at the Facebook Group I'd Rather Be Killing Monsters to discuss these movies.  Follow along with the hashtag #IdRatherBeWatchingMonsters that is if I can get my co-admins to agree this is the best hashtag for this!


The_Myth said...

See... If you had seen this BEFORE LotR or Harry Potter, you would have appreciated it more!

By the filmmaking standards of today, it is dreck. But when it was all we had (other than boobie films), we appreciated the attempt.

Tim Knight said...

Great review and conversion of the Mind Sword to gaming stats (far less OP than my take on it!).

Nostalgia definitely plays a role in my love of Hawk, having seen it in the cinema upon its first release. But it still stands (IMHO) as the most authentic 'old school' D&D movie yet made (right down to the glowing table tennis balls and silly string).

Ruprecht said...

I believe it was made for BBC, so it had a TV budget which shows.