Collector's Edition

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Details At A Glance

Category Fantasy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Scene Selection Animation
Theatrical Trailer
Featurette - Journey To Krull
Audio Commentary - Peter Yates (Director), Ray Lovejoy (Editor), Ken Marshall (Actor), Lysette Anthony (Actor)
Audio Commentary - Cinefastique Magazine article
Photo Galleries
Cast & Crew Biographies
Rating g.gif (1187 bytes)
Year Released 1983
Running Time 115:48 Minutes
RSDL/Flipper RSDL (62:39)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 2,4 Director Peter Yates
Columbia.gif (3109 bytes)
Columbia Tristar
Starring Ken Marshall
Lysette Anthony
Freddie Jones
Francesca Annis
Alun Armstrong
David Battley
Case Soft Brackley
RPI $36.95 Music James Horner
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192Kb/s)
German (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9Yes.jpg (4536 bytes)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
Macrovision Yes Smoking No
Subtitles English
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

Plot Synopsis

    Having just reviewed two very recent films with modern effects and production values, it was something of a novelty to visit this blast from the past. Krull is a dated fantasy set in a world that the film is named after, which reads a lot like something from the Dungeons And Dragons canon. Indeed, one of Krull's other titles as listed on the Internet Movie Database is Dungeons And Dragons, although the connection between the two is rather loose at best. Having looked at this film on VHS at least fifteen years ago, it was something of an amusing diversion for a couple of hours, but nothing more. Looking at it in an age where story and character development has been taken over by special effects, it remains an amusing diversion, but it also gains a certain novelty.

    The film begins with the arrival of the Beast and his army, a group of nasty-looking lads called the Slayers. Apparently, this Beast is such a nasty character that many worlds have fallen under slavery to him, and now he has his sights set on the world called Krull. Krull is ruled by two royal families, one with Prince Colwyn (Ken Marshall) as its sole heir, and the other with Princess Lyssa (Lysette Anthony) as its only heir. In order to survive against the Slayers, the two royal families must join forces and have arranged the marriage of these two heirs in order to seal the alliance. Of course, this whole arrangement is helped by the fact that the prince and princess are very much in love and would have married even if their world wasn't threatened by a lethal, seemingly invincible force.

    Unfortunately, the Slayers decide to come knocking in the middle of the marriage ceremony, whereupon they kill almost everyone in the castle, including both kings, kidnap Princess Lyssa, and leave Prince Colwyn unconscious at the bottom of a staircase. Upon being revived by Ynyr (Freddie Jones), Colwyn takes it upon himself to battle the Slayers and rescue his beloved princess. Along the way, he is joined by such characters as Rell the Cyclops (Bernard Bresslaw), Ergo (David Battley), and Kegan (Liam Neeson). Perhaps the best way to view this film is with a group of friends you can later talk about the B-grade failings of the set design and special effects with.

    To be honest with you, this is not one of the greatest fantasy adventures ever conceived, and the fact that I never saw or heard of it again until it recently came to be on the Region 4 allocation lists should say something about its broad appeal. 992 users of the Internet Movie Database have given the film a rating of 5.3 out of ten, which is hardly an encouraging sign, although I normally take their opinions with a grain of salt. If you really have an insatiable appetite for fantasy and adventure films, then this might be worth your consideration. Otherwise, I seriously recommend a rental before buying.

Transfer Quality


    Before we begin, it must be borne in mind that this film is eighteen years old, and it looks every one of those years in a lot of places. When all is said and done, however, this is probably the best that Krull has looked in a long, long time.

    The transfer is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and it is 16x9 Enhanced. The transfer is very sharp for the most part, except for some special effects shots towards the end that become somewhat blurry and indistinct. This is as much the fault of the processes used to make the film as the transfer, however. The shadow detail of the transfer is average, and there is no low-level noise.

    The colour saturation of the transfer is bright and vivid, but in a more natural way than has become the norm for fantasy films of recent years. The special effects shots are somewhat prone to colour bleeding, but this is only a minor problem in the grand scheme of the film.

    MPEG artefacts were not a serious problem in this transfer. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some minor telecine wobble at various times in the transfer, the worst example of which was during the meeting with the rogues in the swamp at 35:16. Film artefacts were the worst problem for this transfer, with much of the film being peppered by black and white marks on the source material. The worst part of the transfer for film artefacts was from 65:30 to 65:58, during the princess' wandering through the castle of the Beast. While the film artefacts were acceptable for a film of this age, they are somewhat distracting at times.

    This disc makes use of the RSDL format, with the layer change taking place in the middle of Chapter 16, at 62:39. This is during a relatively quiet moment of the film, making it non-disruptive in spite of the fact that it is noticeable.


    For an eighteen-year-old film, this audio transfer is quite a serviceable remix. It is nothing out of the ordinary, but it makes a tremendous improvement upon the monaural manner in which the film has been presented on VHS.

    There are five soundtracks on this DVD. In order, the dialogue tracks consist of the original English dialogue in Dolby Digital 5.1 with a bitrate of 448 kilobits per second, a French dub in Dolby Digital 2.0 with surround-encoding and a bitrate of 192 kilobits per second, and a German dub in Dolby Digital 5.1 with a bitrate of 448 kilobits per second. Rounding out the soundtracks are a pair of commentaries in Dolby Digital 2.0 with surround-encoding and a bitrate of 192 kilobits per second. I listened to the default English soundtrack and the two commentaries. The dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times, and there are no problems with audio sync.

    The score music in this film is credited to James Horner, he of such revered scores as Braveheart and Titanic. I find it most amusing that those two scores are so heavily lauded while this effort is all but ignored, as this is definitely one of the better scores that he has written. The reason for this is simply that the music acts in a manner that complements the emotions of the film rather than ramming them down the viewer's throat as is the case in the latter two films.

    The surround channels were frequently used to support the music and special effects, creating a subtle sound field that, while lacking the separation of recent films, supported this one well. The lack of split surround or directional effects is the only thing that really counts against this transfer. The subwoofer was frequently called upon to support running horses and other such bass-heavy effects, which it did without calling any specific attention to itself.



    The menu is heavily animated and accompanied by Dolby Digital 2.0 sound, while the scene selection menu is animated but silent. The menu does a great job of setting the appropriate atmosphere for the film, and is pleasantly easy to navigate.

Audio Commentary - Peter Yates (Director), Ray Lovejoy (Editor), Ken Marshall (Actor), Lysette Anthony (Actor)

    As far as commentaries that have been spliced together from separate tracks go, this isn't too bad. It isn't the best commentary of this kind that I have heard, but it isn't the worst. Peter Yates does most of the talking while actors Ken Marshall and Lysette Anthony frequently jump in with some amusing comments about the experiences they had working on the film. Ray Lovejoy doesn't appear until about seventeen and a half minutes into the commentary track. The commentary is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 with surround-encoding, and is pleasant enough as long as you don't try to listen to it all at once.

Audio Commentary - Cinefastique Magazine article

    This is a reading of a Dan Scapperotti article about the film that appeared in the November 1982 issue of Cinefastique magazine, presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 with surround-encoding. The article makes for an interesting look into the business of making films at it was in the early 1980s, and is worth listening to once.

Theatrical Trailer (1:24)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 with 16x9 Enhancement and Dolby Digital 2.0 sound, this eighty-four second trailer makes a nice introduction to the film.

Featurette - Journey To Krull (22:09)

    Presented Full Frame with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound, this featurette is an eighteen-year-old documentary on the making of the film. The featurette is worth a good look to see how different film production methods were in 1982, even if it looks very old and faded at times.

Photo Galleries

    Four photo galleries are presented under this sub-menu. In the order that they are listed, they are Cast Portraits, Behind-The-Scenes, Design & Concept, and Vintage Advertising. The lack of annotation makes their value rather limited.

Cast & Crew Biographies

    Biographies for Lysette Anthony, Liam Neeson, and director Peter Yates are presented under this submenu. Presenting a handful of salient facts about each subject and a selected filmography, the biographies are worth reading once.

R4 vs R1

    An exhaustive search of Region 1 resources failed to turn up any mention of this film, except for a page on Amazon with a statement that Krull will be released in the USA on April 3, 2001. From the specifications listed there, it appears that the two versions are completely identical. The local version would be the better choice due to having more resolution and no 3:2 pull-down artefacts.


    Krull is an interesting fantasy film that is worth watching once, and will keep the children occupied in the best possible sense for two hours.

    The video transfer is good.

    The audio transfer is good.

    The extras are comprehensive.

Ratings (out of 5)

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 © Dean McIntosh (my bio sucks... read it anyway)
February 12, 2001 
Review Equipment
DVD Toshiba SD-2109, using S-video output
Display Samsung CS-823AMF (80 cm) in 16:9 and 4:3 modes, calibrated using the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Built In (Amplifier)
Amplification Sony STR-DE835, calibrated using the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Speakers Yamaha NS-45 Front Speakers, Yamaha NS-90 Rear Speakers, Yamaha NS-C120 Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Active Subwoofer