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Hawk the Slayer (1980)

With the aid of his companions, a man seeks to defeat his evil brother who has taken a nun hostage.

Director:

Terry Marcel

Writers:

Terry Marcel (original story and screenplay), Harry Robertson (original story and screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Palance ... Voltan
John Terry ... Hawk
Bernard Bresslaw ... Gort, Giant
Ray Charleson Ray Charleson ... Crow, Elf
Peter O'Farrell ... Baldin, Dwarf
William Morgan Sheppard ... Ranulf (as Morgan Sheppard)
Patricia Quinn ... Woman, Sorceress
Cheryl Campbell ... Sister Monica
Annette Crosbie ... Abbess
Catriona MacColl ... Eliane
Shane Briant ... Drogo
Harry Andrews ... High Abbot
Christopher Benjamin ... Fitzwalter
Roy Kinnear ... Innkeeper
Patrick Magee ... Priest
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Storyline

Hawk, having suffered the ignominy of watching both his father and fiancée die at the hands of his brother, Voltan, sets out on a quest for companions to aid him in his fight to stop his brother's reign of evil and free the Abbess. Written by Lee Shapiro <hgwells@magicnet.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Two brothers locked in deadly combat till the end of time !

Genres:

Adventure | Fantasy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 December 1980 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

O Falcão Justiceiro See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A number of story elements have been said to have been influenced by 'Star Wars'. The magical flying sword was called "The Power"; the elf and dwarf characters C3PO and R2D2 equivalents whilst Voltan's outfit resembled Darth Vader's costume. Moreover, Voltan's half-helmet has also been compared with the Phantom of the Opera's mask. See more »

Quotes

Woman, Sorceress: Even as we speak, the wizards gather in the south.
See more »

Connections

References Seven Samurai (1954) See more »

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User Reviews

Wooden, tacky, unimaginative and basic swords & sorcery fare
19 November 2006 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Voltan is a "bad man™" who has sold his soul to the dark forces in exchange for power. With Voltan having killed his father, the only one that may be able to stop him is his own brother – Hawk (aka "The Slayer"). The Dark Lord knows this and conspires to draw Hawk into a final battle and thus defeat him. To achieve this Voltan kidnaps a nun and demands a ransom – bringing Hawk out to her aid. On his way to his battle with Voltan, Hawk meets with a small, varied group of warriors to help him in his quest.

This film takes us back to a dark time, a time of evil and madness; a time where great changes were occurring as the 1970's turned into the 1980's. It is in this time of great evil that Hawk the Slayer was thrust upon cinema audiences who endured great suffering as a result. Or maybe they didn't – maybe audiences then were a lot less fussy and ate this up but somehow I doubt it. The plot is a simple quest with the usual stuff with a group of men being formed to fight the forces of evil. So far so dull and even those who love this sort of stuff will struggle to care about the very basic plot. Attempts to create relationships and character tensions fall flat at every turn and what should have driven the bigger story just doesn't work.

Of course it doesn't help that the delivery is so very tacky. The synthesised music doesn't help as disco isn't really the music one imagines hearing when watching a swords & sorcery film; it is funny rather than atmospheric. The costumes are OK but the sets are basic and the crew are always on hand with lots of dry ice to help make it look like the forest sets have been recently hosting a rock concert. The cats are rubbish and generally wooden, although my pick of the crap goes to Palance's cry of remorse at the death of his son – it is the least emotional cry I think I've ever heard. Of course John Terry is just as bad, with his wooden delivery and regular slow motion horse riding. Bresslaw, Charleson, O'Farrell are all just as poor and it is hard at times to see the actors for the trees. Marcel directs without an idea of what he is trying to achieve – at times he is making a serious epic, others a disco adventure and then others a TV serial. The limits of the budget are obvious but not even that excuses the use of party silly string as a weapon and various other poor effect choices.

Overall then this is best summed up by the old cliché "so bad it is good" although that actually isn't really true in this case for the majority of viewers. The plot is obvious and lacking much in the way of effort or imagination. The acting is wooden and the effects are cheap while director Marcel shows us why the majority of his career since has been in UK television rather than cinema.


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