Dragonslayer an 80s Fantasy that Borrowed from the Best and Predicted the Future

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When a group of villagers have had enough of a dragon's threat over their village, they seek out a renowned sorceror (Ralph Richardson) to do battle with the beast and free them. It is not long, however, before our troupe's quest is opposed by none other than the king himself, who believes there is no need to confront the dragon and needlessly raise his ire; the dragon has been kept mollified through ritual sacrifice of the virgins of the town, drawn by a lottery of the king's own divising.

Even before the dragon can be found, the quest seems thwarted, when the king's men kill the sorceror. Seeking to take the place of his master, the young apprentice Galen (Peter MacNicol) takes up the charge and, aided with the power of a magical amulet, endures misadventure and romance with one of his traveling companions, Valerian (Caitlin Clark), who travels disguised as a boy.

Of course the dragon is dispatched in the end, but not in the way the viewer might expect, as Dragonslayer borrows a bit from Star Wars to throw a twist into the plot. The film also serves as an obvious precursor to The Hunger Games, with the structure of the lottery that determines who will be sacrificed to the dragon, including the political intrigue that addresses why the children of the rich never seem to get drawn, including the king's daughter, the headstrong and just Princess Elspeth (Chloe Salaman).

Now released on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD, Dragonslayer is a nostalgic look back at an era of fantasy films that would follow in its footsteps, such as The Dark Crystal, Legend, and Labyrinth.

Watch Dragonslayer on any of the streaming services listed here.

3.5 / 5.0