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15th AICN / SXSW Secret Screening of DRAGONSLAYER as written up by Harry


Why did the secret screening become a 30 year old classic Geek film from the vaults of ILM's storied past?

Simple, it's what Guillermo Del Toro and I wanted to play.  Back in December, Guillermo wanted to come into BUTT-NUMB-A-THON 12 to present and introduce Charles Laughton's amazing HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME - THE version of the story and one of Laughton's greatest performances.   Alas, his busy multi-tasking life kept him from it.   As he joked on the stage of the Paramount last night, "I couldn't make it because," pregnant pause, "I was working on IN THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS" followed by maniacal demented traumatized laughter...   

But Guillermo didn't come to Austin to talk about Universal's decision on Mountains, nor did he come to hype up PACIFIC RIM, which is going to be one of those projects that as more and more gets out - geek kind will become obsessive compulsive about.   I'm, unfortunately sworn to secrecy at the moment.   No, Guillermo came to Austin because he wanted to spend an old fashioned day hanging out with me and Yoko and just talking about life, enjoying the sweet healthy protein of lean BBQ at THE COUNTY LINE off Bee Caves...   and then hanging out in the alley behind the Paramount - and best of all - backstage of the Paramount - where we looked up into the rafters and behind the layers of curtains and remembered that upon this stage Houdini performed...  Katherine Hepburn performed... The bleeding Marx Brothers performed...   And we soaked it in.   

Guillermo is one of my oldest filmmaker friends.   Upon first meeting, his wife declared us brothers and we talked from 6pm till the sun rose - and by that dawn he had decided to move to Austin.  We've been friends ever since.  Moving from Austin was always a hard choice for Guillermo, but as I told him last night, he is infinitely more productive in Los Angeles.  And his amazing wife is happier - and that is everything.

Guillermo & I had discussed bringing JULIA'S EYES or DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK...  but JULIA'S EYES had already played - and DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK has been promised to the Los Angeles Film Festival already - and they're doing a great tribute to Guillermo at their festival and it would be rude to infringe upon that celebration.   Besides - Guillermo and I don't need a new film to have a reason to get together.   Our friendship wasn't born from his new films, but from him coming over to my house and me visiting him in his and watching films that neither had seen - or that we both loved.

We both love DRAGONSLAYER.   Well over a decade ago,  Guillermo was hosting Matthew Robbins, the director of DRAGONSLAYER, to work with him upon one of the many scripts they've collaborated upon...  and I, of course, brought my one-sheet of DRAGONSLAYER to his house to get Matthew to sign - and he remembered how geekily euphoric I was to be talking to the man that made this film.   We also noticed that 2011 was the 30th Anniversary of this great landmark in Geek Cinema.   Really and truly, it was the first time that Fantasy was nailed in the rather particular method that Peter Jackson took to the next level with LORD OF THE RINGS...  but we both love DRAGONSLAYER - and hoped by presenting the film, that we could possibly shame Paramount into allowing Matthew Robbins to do a great digital transfer to get the film pristine and properly honored with the right kinds of extras and behind the scenes - which geeks that love Vermithrax Perjorative could fully appreciate.

The existing transfer is - unacceptable.   But in this, DRAGONSLAYER's 30th anniversary, Guillermo and I wanted to call attention to the title again.  Phil Tippett, Ken Ralston, Brian Johnson and Dennis Muren's fx work was honored with an Academy Award nomination, with its only competitor, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK taking the bald guy home.  But Guillermo and I both love Tippett's greatest creation - his magnificent magic dragon.   Guillermo would have preferred that Vermithrax swallowed up Peter MacNicol whole.  

When Matthew first previewed this film, the audience went nuts - and George Lucas who was sitting in front of him turned around and congratulated him on having a hit.   But then Disney was afraid to push the rather tough film, and Paramount was distracted by the mega-hit RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK - and just didn't quite push this film the way it cried out to be pushed.

15th Anniversary year.  It is amazing that I've been doing this that long.   But then, Guillermo now has a teenage daughter - and my own nephew is 10.   Both unimaginable things when I started this site.   

I don't believe many of you were around at the beginning of AICN - when I used to write about the backyard 16mm screenings that I hosted before the Alamo Drafthouse came to town.   When I would mix vintage film writeups - alongside the modern stuff that was being pushed upon us all.

This year, I'll be hosting a bunch of early big premieres, but this night was about friendship - and that which made us.   Hardcore film lovers don't just love the gigantic box office successes, but the films that didn't quite make it.   DRAGONSLAYER was nominated for two Academy Awards, for effects and for Alex North's amazing score.   It didn't win either, but the film did make its mark on the geeks that read STARLOG and CINEMAFANTASTIQUE and CINEFEX.   That read about it in the pages of FAMOUS MONSTERS - and who saw Phil Tippett as the future for Stop Motion and the innovator of Go-Motion.   Yeah - DRAGONSLAYER is a film geek's film.   A movie to share and love.   

A wonderful performance by Ralph Richardson, a fantastic Emperor Palpatine death...   and some good old fashioned PG nudity and violence, which pushed a rating that didn't have the PG 13 between it and R.   

As I was sitting at the back of the theater for the screening, I saw about 76 people that began to take off as they began to perceive that they were really going to be watching DRAGONSLAYER.   I can't pretend to know their reasons.   At a film festival, many come to see new films only.   Vintage titles struggle to get respect, and I find it sad that these folks couldn't stay and enjoy the whole show.   They missed out on a very lively and fun Q&A with me and Guillermo.   But for many, they just wanted something new, though I clearly stated it was a vintage title.   

But the films of our past are more precious than the ones of tomorrow, or at the very least - deserving of the exact same respect.   Guillermo and I had discussed bringing a film like Cocteau's BELLE ET LA BETE or VAMPYR, but again - we felt that would be a bit too highbrow for what we wanted to do.   We wanted a relaxing, celebratory screening of a film that helped reinforce our love of geek cinema.  

Now PARAMOUNT - give Matthew Robbins a call, put a great team together to do a great 30th Anniversary job on DRAGONSLAYER and interview Phil Tippett, Dennis Muren, etc - and get a BluRay out that is worthy of this very seminal work of geek cinema.   

For the 700 or so that watched and enjoyed the whole evening!  You folks rule!  

Readers Talkback
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  • March 15, 2011, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Post 0


    Here's my write-up on DRAGONSLAYER & the 15th Anniversary AICN Secret Screening with Guillermo last night!

  • March 15, 2011, 3:24 p.m. CST

    So, it wasn't A Serbian Film?


    Damn, I owe the judger $5.

  • March 15, 2011, 3:26 p.m. CST

    tip beat ya, Harold!


    Post 0 my patootie.

  • March 15, 2011, 3:27 p.m. CST

    700 who watched the film...

    by JBouganim1

    and the 699 that walked out within 2 minutes. So I hear

  • March 15, 2011, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Post -699 people that walked out

    by JBouganim1

  • March 15, 2011, 3:28 p.m. CST

    "About 76 people."


    That's a pretty specific number for an approximation.

  • March 15, 2011, 3:30 p.m. CST

    the choppah


    I was counting, but also counting people that came back in with drinks.

  • March 15, 2011, 3:31 p.m. CST


    by JBouganim1

    Not to be a dick but how did it feel to let down everyone that was there? You basically wrote an article that hell I even was excited about and I live in NY and had no plans of attending. Excited for all of you and to hear it was DragonSlayer? You even let me down and I wasn't even there. Im happy you and Del Toro touch each other to the thought of this film but last time I checked, you are here to do something special for the people that made this site happen. Failed website in 2011 Failed screening SXSW Weak DVD column Post 0 computerized bs Sell out Reviews Old News wtf man..i used to love this site and your dedication to us. What gives?

  • March 15, 2011, 3:34 p.m. CST



    If you wouldn't want to see DRAGONSLAYER at the Paramount theater and listen to Guillermo discuss his love of monsters & PG films from the 80s - you have never belonged on this site.

  • March 15, 2011, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Harold: Are those people on your shit list now?


  • At least he's had a long career, i guess.

  • Poor baby didn't get his/her sneak preview of summer blockbuster? Awww. Frankly, go suck a big bag of dicks. Hope this helps.

  • March 15, 2011, 3:38 p.m. CST

    People leaving during surprise screenings? Unacceptable.

    by RedEgiraahgnal

    If there is one thing I learned in life, it's that even a bad movie (which DRAGONSLAYER is not) can be fun with the right people and/ or in the right environment. Shit, I attended surprise screenings, where they showed stuff like MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE or ROMEO MUST DIE and I stayed to the end. But who leaves during a fucking DRAGONSLAYER screening with Guillermo del Toro? Even if it would be a bad movie, I would at least stay till the end, just to maybe talk a little bit with the man or get at least an autograph, for fucks sake. I hope those people have a good excuse. Why even go to the movies, if you might have anything better to do anyway?

  • March 15, 2011, 3:42 p.m. CST

    Glad I stayed

    by Wizejoker

    Honestly was a really enjoyable film. Sad that I had to leave just after one Q&A question.

  • March 15, 2011, 3:45 p.m. CST

    The best part was


    Yoko & I had valet parked at the Stephen F Austin hotel along the side of the Paramount Theater block, and were waiting there to pick up Guillermo to take him to his hotel - and as folks drifted past - I must've talked to 40-50 folks that loved the event, whom I've never met before. And from what I heard about the front of the Paramount, where Guillermo spent about 45 minutes talking, taking pictures with fans and signing autographs - folks were euphoric. I've also received dozens of letters from attendees that had never seen the movie before... not just my wife, but other geeks that just never knew to see the 30 year old film. One that the studios never knew how to sell or properly show off. It is for all of them that I did this event this way.

  • March 15, 2011, 3:49 p.m. CST

    Harold, I appreciate your efforts, as always.


    But it sounds like you're making up excuses as you go along.

  • March 15, 2011, 3:50 p.m. CST

    1981 Movies List "Best Year Ever" Edition:


    Blow Out Body Heat The Cannonball Run - yes, The Cannonball Run! Caveman - Yes, Caveman! Dooty! Caca! Shit! Clash of the Titans The Decline of Western Civilization Dragonslayer The Evil Dead Excalibur Halloween II Heavy Metal History of the World: Part I The Howling Mommie Dearest- for all my gay friends My Dinner with Andre Neighbors Nice Dreams The Private Eyes - Tim Conway, Don Knotts; Sue Me! Raiders of the Lost Ark - Chop's #1 Stripes Taps

  • March 15, 2011, 3:52 p.m. CST

    harry RE: jbouganim

    by Blanket-Man

    That's a very strange response. I'm sure I'm not the only regular here (since 1999 at least) that has virtually no interest in seeing Dragonslayer again, and would only be slightly more interested in hearing from del Toro (sorry, just not a huge fan). But I am into a pretty high percentage of the crap that gets covered here, so, despite your pronouncement, I'm going to keep on thinking I belong here. I'm assuming it's just your way of defensively coping with what in retrospect was a series of questionable decisions on your part, so I won't take it personally. I'd recommend taking the same attitude with those who left last night. I'm sure those who stayed had a great time; no need to begrudge those who left.

  • March 15, 2011, 4 p.m. CST

    Let me get this straight, Harold.

    by vic twenty

    You had a Q&A with GDT and showed Dragonslayer on the big screen and people walked out? FUCK THEM ALL. I must have seen that film 5x in 1981 when not watching Raiders, etc. It is such a great piece of fantasy filmmaking. I would have loved to experience that film again in a theater. Foolish, stupid people. What in the wide, wide world of sports constitutes a good time at the movies if not this (to say nothing of the Q&A)?

  • March 15, 2011, 4:04 p.m. CST


    by Wizejoker

    Was it all about Dragonslayer or were there any questions about Mondo? I really wanted to ask how it feels to be the first director that Mondo did a poster series for.

  • March 15, 2011, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Harold, you should have pulled a dick move on Del Toro.


    Instead of Dragonslayer, you should have shown Gordon's Dagon and that silent "Call of Cthulhu" flick some enterprising lads and lasses did a few years back. "Pay attention, Guillermo," you could have said. "These people know how to get a Lovecraft adaptation made."

  • March 15, 2011, 4:07 p.m. CST

    Better, Harold, yet you could have played Rankin' and Ass' the Hobbit


  • Or else they get CHOPPED! GED BACK DO YOUL SEATS!

  • March 15, 2011, 4:12 p.m. CST

    It wasn't some peoples thing, why does that make it a failure?

    by IndustryKiller!

    Jesus from some reactions you would think Harry Screened Pearl harbor. It's SXSW and maybe they don't absolutely LOVE Dragonslayer and had a party to attend instead, thats their prerogative, I don't necessarily think they're assholes for not being insanely jazzed nor is the event a failure because a percentage of people didn't love it.

  • March 15, 2011, 4:13 p.m. CST

    braindrain: You keep on killing me, man!


    Keep it up! You should write fortune cookies or some shit like that.

  • March 15, 2011, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Shit, I missed An American Werewolf in London and Absence of Malice


    WTF-FTW! I turn in my film geek card cred.

  • March 15, 2011, 4:17 p.m. CST

    Make a sequel called DRAGONLORD

    by Drath

    Because so long as sequels and reboots and remakes are all the rage, I'd like a sequel to THIS movie. Not a remake, those suck.

  • March 15, 2011, 4:20 p.m. CST

    So there's going to be a Tree of Life screening in Austin tonight?


    Faraci just tweeted about it: devincf Devin Faraci Can you get me in for TREE OF LIFE tonight? 6 minutes ago

  • March 15, 2011, 4:29 p.m. CST

    Any video of the Q&A, Harry?

    by MooseMalloy

  • March 15, 2011, 4:36 p.m. CST

    Hate to burst your bubble

    by MattHooper

    But I was 10 when Dragonslayer came out, and reading Starlog, Fantastic Films, and Cinefantastique religiously, just like many of my friends. And none of us liked Dragonslayer all that much. It was boring as hell. The effects were nice, but let's be honest.

  • March 15, 2011, 4:43 p.m. CST

    People walked out?

    by MacReady452

    Well there was a Brittany Snow movie showing somewhere, right? I think the best part is that people walked out. Disappointing people is awesome.

  • March 15, 2011, 4:44 p.m. CST

    DRAGONSLAYER does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    I applaud Harry for this one. DRAGONSLAYER is up there (or down there, depending on your perspective!) with the likes of KRULL, LAST STARFIGHTER, BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS, DARK CRYSTAL, etc... 2nd tier genre movies that are forgotten by the many - but remembered warmly by the few. It also features a fantastically well realized dragon, puts the CGI beastie of DRAGONHEART - and even AVATAR - to shame. The dojo would not have walked out of this screening.

  • March 15, 2011, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Pearls/ Swine...

    by dmwalker

    Even in 1981, sci-fi and fantasy films were thin on the ground. Only those of us who poured obsessively over pictures of unreachable movies like SOYLENT GREEN and THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN and BLUE SUNSHINE know how it felt to see something like DRAGONSLAYER emerge and hw strangely daring it felt. These were the Dark Ages, before video and instant access, when cinemas were huge, dark, echoing canyons, with their own ecosystems of smoke. They showed one movie at a time, and you could sit and watch that movie three, four times in a day. BLADE RUNNER didn't exist in that world, not yet. That's how I first went to see DRAGONSLAYER. And whilst it doesn't hold up for me today as a great film - a good and interesting one, but not a great one - it still jostles for position in some corner of my heart with the likes of THE BLACK HOLE and DAMNATION ALLEY. I'm sure attending your screening would have brought some of that back, just as I'm sure that, for some, it's just a shitty old dragon movie with the guy from Ally McBeal in it. You did the right thing, Harry. I'm with you on the Blu-ray though, if it's Paramount, you can fuckin' whistle for it. They're all but dead when it comes to vintage films, with barely a handful of releases every year. Ain't going to happen.

  • March 15, 2011, 4:47 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    mac, I think the best part is that Harry seems to know exactly how many walked out! 'The 76 shamers' as legend tells. They walked the walk of shame. Do not hate them. Pity them.

  • March 15, 2011, 4:51 p.m. CST

    I love this movie

    by Shaner Jedi

    and can't wait for Pacific Rim.

  • March 15, 2011, 4:54 p.m. CST

    There is only one reason why you shouldve walked out

    by Six Demon Bag

    And that is if you absolutely loathe loathe loathe the film. But from the general consensus here is that it's average and people had better things to do. Fuck you all who walked out thinking you were getting an advanced screening. I laugh at you for wasting your precious time and feeling duped.

  • March 15, 2011, 4:58 p.m. CST

    PACIFIC RIM better be a top-secret GAMERA project

    by zillabeast

    Oh the potential

  • March 15, 2011, 4:59 p.m. CST

    Never miss a chance to remind us who your famous friends are..

    by moorE12

    And you tell us you know things that you can't tell in regards to Pacific Rim. And I am fine with that. What really annoys me is that you say anyone who doesn't want to watch Dragonslayer doesn't belong on this website. That is totally elitist. How about you just accept that some people aren't interested in watching it. If I was there I would have stayed to watch it, but I wouldn't look down at people who left.

  • March 15, 2011, 4:59 p.m. CST

    very cool

    by tlsonata

    Can't believe it's been 15 years. I started reading this site almost 10 years ago and it's been my homepage since. I haven't yet made a pilgrimage to Austin, but hearing about this screening really makes me wish I went to SXSW this year. I won't make the same mistake next year!!

  • March 15, 2011, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Don't let 'em get you down, Harry.

    by John Maddening

    Seventy folks might have left, but there are ten or a hundred times as many who would have wanted to be there. It's like the assholes who hang out in the lobby or sleep during the non-premieres at BNAT. They're interested in one thing, and not what the event actually is. You were clear in your post about what the event was going to entail, and it sounds like you delivered.

  • March 15, 2011, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Greetings cobes!

    by Six Demon Bag

    I'm astonished to know There are people walking out of paid screenings. I'm not the biggest fan of the film but had I waited the time they waited to get in, I assuredly wouldve stayed

  • March 15, 2011, 5:19 p.m. CST

    The Fuckface 76.


    Henceforth, these lamers shall be known as such. Make it so, dogs.

  • March 15, 2011, 5:21 p.m. CST

    VermithraxPejorative does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    I'd have to watch DRAGONSLAYER again to know for sure, but I don't remember that name being mentioned - where does the name Vermithrax Pejorative come from? Is the Dragon referred by name in the movie or is the name just a geek thang?

  • March 15, 2011, 5:29 p.m. CST

    I was 11 when it came out, and I loved the thing.

    by vic twenty

    I loved the Dragon, the baby dragons (yikes!!), John Hallum was very menacing as Tyrian, the king's guard that hated the wizard and his apprentice. The score, the effects, it just worked for me. Plus underwater boobs.

  • March 15, 2011, 5:29 p.m. CST

    I wish I coulda been there, harry

    by bat725

  • March 15, 2011, 5:31 p.m. CST


    by skiprat1

    So much energy into complaining and hating something that you didn't attend, or chose to leave. Maybe you guys should put some of that energy into arranging screenings of vintage films you think people want to see, finding a venue, inviting a film-maker for a Q&A, and all the other crap Harry had to do to make this work. Then come back and complain, tell us how you do it better.

  • March 15, 2011, 5:51 p.m. CST

    Harry's absolute love of vintage films is why I love AICN

    by Bob Loblaw Law Blog

    Seriously. The first BNAT I attended was BNAT 9... and we started off with "The Great McGinty." What a great start to my BNAT experience. I've enjoyed the new films... but the vintage films are always amazing. Because of Harry, I've had the privilege of seeing movies like PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET, FAUST, LE SAMOURAI and WHITE DOG on the big screen with a crowd that LOVED them as though they were brand new movies. Those are experiences I will never forget. I'm sorry some folks didn't soak up the experience, Harry. I wish I could have been there, because it sounds like it was an awesome night!

  • March 15, 2011, 5:58 p.m. CST

    Dragonslayer Experience

    by Mephisto the Great

    I wish I had been there! The Polar Theater in Anchorage, Alaska (long since closed), used to be the city's largest screen. It was there I saw Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Temple of Doom, etc. My mom used to write permission slips so I could skip school and wait in line. In 1983 the theater hosted a double feature of "Dragonslayer" with "The Dark Crystal." As a young geek, it was movie bliss. Here's hoping there is a decent Blu-Ray in the near future.

  • March 15, 2011, 6:13 p.m. CST

    There still hasn't been a better dragon

    by thelordofhell

    Go motion & puppetry really made that dragon awesome

  • March 15, 2011, 6:17 p.m. CST

    I love DRAGONSLAYER, fuck the FUCKFACE 76! Sometimes a cool monster is cool enough.

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

    The production design in DRAGONSLAYER is top notch. The wizard's laboratory is fantastic. You gotta love Hodge and hate Tyrian. We don't do tests!

  • March 15, 2011, 6:17 p.m. CST

    It's a privilege to attend these screenings. Never, ever walk out.

    by The Reluctant Austinite

    It's rude and makes you look self centered to leave just because the secret film doesn't fit your tastes. If you don't want to spend time with the greatest film audience in the world then don't stand in line for 3 hours on the off chance you'll be seeing something early just so you can run off and blog about it 30 seconds after the credits role. The fact is that there are hundreds, sometimes thousands of others who would gladly take your seat, but now it's going to remain empty because you couldn't sit still for 2 hours for anything other than "Thor". Basically, you should be put on an Alamo ban for other special screenings. The only time I've ever walked out of an AICN screening (and it was to get a beer to endure what I thought was going to happen)was at an early BNAT at the original Alamo before I even knew who Jeff Mahler was. A shitty, beat up print of "Teen Wolf" began to role and I ran for cover. I worked in a video store at the time with a nutjob who loved "Teen Wolf" and played it every fucking week. In fact, I had endured "Teen Wolf" just days before I left for BNAT. It was gag to annoy Jeff Mahler, who deserves it year after year, and Gordon Jones had to come grab my ass when "the real film" started.

  • March 15, 2011, 6:19 p.m. CST

    The Fuckface 76 shall live on. IN INFAMY



  • March 15, 2011, 6:22 p.m. CST



  • March 15, 2011, 6:34 p.m. CST



    You keep rolling along. Have a CHOP on me.

  • March 15, 2011, 6:36 p.m. CST

    Jackson did not take DRAGONSLAYER to the next level...

    by Taillefer

    In most respects, DRAGONSLAYER is a superior film to the THe LORD OF THE RINGS. They played it straight. No burp and fart jokes. No wonks to the audience with BS like "nobody tosses a dwarf!" Obviously DRAGONSLAYER is a more intimate film, with a rather small cast and a local or regional scope, but what it lacks in epic-ness it makes up for in heart. Vermithrax Perjorative is still the definitive dragon to this day, although the one's in REIGN Of FIRE are very good. But some how VP is more menacing then his CGI descendants. There are plenty of good themes in DRAGONASLAYER, including the hypocrisy of the ruling class and the rise of Christianity to drive out the pagan gods, and the whole thing is well played and backed by an awesome soundtrack. I just watched again after maybe a decade, and I have to say I thought it held up pretty well. The weakest things in the movie are the two leads (Billy MacNicol and Cailin Clark). Dig an early appearance by Emperor Palatine in this one, too.

  • March 15, 2011, 6:38 p.m. CST

    Even back then...

    by ufoclub1977

    as a middle school kid... I thought Clash of the Titans was cool in theory but actively saw Dragonslayer in the theater. You know the effort to get parents to take you. Even back then I know how cool the "go-motion" was and understood the idea of motion blur as a superior step up form regular stop motion. I have to say, as a kid, I didn't think much of Clash of the Titans in comparison. Yes, they both came out at about the same time. But also, I was aware of Dragonslayer failing me as a big repeat experience, because something didn't grab me the way Excalibur's or even Conan's stories did later on. And it really is a Luke and Obi-Wan type story that hit so hard with Star Wars. But hats off to a fantasy movie that tried to be gritty and real, and impart an authentic impression (non glamorous, not hyper stylized) with it's props and looks. And they got to use the original discarded score of 2001 in parts!

  • March 15, 2011, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Will you morons knock it off with the...

    by Taillefer

    "....does not exist in this dojo" bullshit already? Good Lord, find another meme to follow like stupid sheep, fer cryin' out loud. Or better yet, try really hard to come up with a thought or utterance that's all your own.

  • March 15, 2011, 6:43 p.m. CST

    1981 = fantasy year

    by awardgiver

    Excalibur, Dragonslayer, Clash of the Titans...this was when Dungeons and Dragons was cool!

  • March 15, 2011, 6:44 p.m. CST

    The fondest memory of dragonslayer

    by Six Demon Bag

    Was watching it while in line registering at spacecamp Florida. Granted, I really wasn't paying attention to it--my mind was more on learning astronaut shit. Then after spacecamp it was off to disneyworld!! Ahh, to be a fifth grader again

  • March 15, 2011, 6:44 p.m. CST

    Mephisto The Great...


    Hey Man! You don't know me, but I was Anchorage in December of '82. My two best friends and I flew into Anchorage from Fairbanks to celebrate my 21st birthday, and we went to see THE DARK CRYSTAL and DRAGONSLAYER. When I read your entry, it brought back a lot of fond memories. From 1979 through 1982, my friends and I would take at least two trips to Anchorage a year to watch all the latest films, since we usually didn't get them i Fairbanks until later. THose were the days! And for all you so-called "geeks" who don't like DRAGONSLAYER...FUCK YOU YOU FUCKIN' FUCKERS!!! It is a fantasy masterpiece, and paved the way for many films that followed. It is not flawless, but nothing is. I still watch DRAGONSLAYER, and enjoy it. There are a lot of folks who visit this site who would be better off spending their time reading Entertainment Weekly and leaving it at that. It's all about having fun and building memories...

  • March 15, 2011, 6:48 p.m. CST

    taillefer: New to the site, huh?


    Mr. Cobra--Kai is a respected institution around these parts. Show some respect, child. You don't like it? Feel free to leave this place like a butthurt hipster moping his way out of a "secret" Dragonslayer showing.

  • March 15, 2011, 6:49 p.m. CST

    Oh, one more thing, taillefer:


    You have been CHOPPED.

  • March 15, 2011, 6:50 p.m. CST

    Fuckin' kids today, man, I swear.


    Dissing the fucking Dojo? Where do you get off doing that, fuckwit?

  • March 15, 2011, 6:53 p.m. CST

    What a fucking joke Harry, your power is waning...

    by coconutgroves

    Save stuff like this for BNAT or Fantastic fest. SXSW is bigger than Dragonslayer at the Paramount. Nice for the 40 geeks who praised you, but a big name title would drive more traffic and revenue through the site. But you knew this already...

  • March 15, 2011, 7:19 p.m. CST

    Not to be a party pooper, but could PACIFIC RIM

    by lv_426

    get pushed back or relegated to development hell or canceled due to Universal being spooked about releasing a big scale monster/disaster movie called Pacific Rim in the wake of all the destruction that has hit Japan so hard recently? I'm not being snarky or anything. I really want to know. Pacific Rim sounds awesome. The plot synopsis kinda sounds reminiscent of the Japanese military sci-f book Yukikaze.

  • March 15, 2011, 7:21 p.m. CST

    So I take it there's no Blu Ray planned for Dragonslayer?

    by Han Cholo

    Shit, and I broke my DVD copy of the film when I moved in with my girlfriend. Heartbreaking, especially since it's one of my all time favorite movies. That's how you make a dragon movie, bitches!!!!

  • Way back in 81' at this little movie theater in Pasadena, CA by Foothill. It was this small place that they turned into a furniture store, next to Robin's BBQ for anyone who might remember it being there. I was about 5 back then and I still recall seeing two of the greatest genre films of all time like it was yesterday. Arguably the GREATEST theater experience of my life next seeing Shawshank Redemption in an empty theater all to myself in 94'.

  • March 15, 2011, 8:06 p.m. CST

    Clash Of The Titans and Dragonslayer Double feature

    by MrGeef

    I too saw this double feature in Whittier California. I remember the theater was a single screen and we stayed for both shows twice. I am talking about a whole family sticking around for 6-8 hours. A few years later that theater was gutted and burned. Too sad. But great job Harry, I would have loved to take my kids to see that quality movie with your friends. Too bad I live in Madison WI Stay Gold

  • March 15, 2011, 8:33 p.m. CST

    I would have stayed

    by TheJudger

    and I would have boo'ed the people who walked out. It's a friggin Dragonslayer flick man, and the hero is a geeky wizard in training who has to slay said dragon- Directed by the same guy who made Batteries Not Included! Do you how badly I wanted my Grandmother to drive me out to the Movieland premiere for BNI in New York. Just so I could get my tiny kid nubs on one of those niffty Ballons and Tshirts with the Little Fellas silk screened onto them. Come on people! I love this movie. I wonder how many more would have walked out if Q: The Winged Serpent or Dragonheart was shown. So sad.

  • March 15, 2011, 8:33 p.m. CST

    Cobra Kai: re: dragon's name

    by Dollar Bird

    I believe the wizard Ulrich names the dragon by its name early on in the film.

  • March 15, 2011, 8:39 p.m. CST


    by Taillefer

    I've got nut hairs that are older (and smarter) than you are, son, and I've been visiting this site since before you banged out your first four-letter insult. I summon more wit before breakfast than your drug-addled ass is capable of mustering all day, so gimme a break with your puerile, impotent gibberish. Now go back to the comfort of your cock-shaped bong; the pain of this of this public humiliation will fade soon enough...

  • March 15, 2011, 8:51 p.m. CST


    by Six Demon Bag

    If you are a frequenter of this site then you would know to respect the dojo, tame the cunt, don't fuck with the babysitter, don't feed them after midnight, kneel before zod, and always have enough gum for everyone, lest you get chopped. Chopped that's two you owe me now choppah

  • March 15, 2011, 8:55 p.m. CST

    While DRAGONSLAYER is dramaticlly inert...

    by justmyluck

    ... if Harry's hype-work on GDT's buddy Robbins' flop helps issue a restored Blu-ray, it will be worth it for at least archiving ILM's VFX work (which I pimped in the earlier SXSW talkback) in Hi-Def. I understand the walk-outs, but if you're a fan of ILM and their work, DRAGONSLAYER is a grail flick (matte-lines and all).

  • March 15, 2011, 9:10 p.m. CST


    by m0reta

    Hate for the people who walked out. I'd love to have taken your place. Dragonslayer is a favorite, average story and all but my only memory is of watching a shitty VHS copy made off HBO. Vermithrax is still the best dragon out there that I've seen IMHO.

  • March 15, 2011, 9:37 p.m. CST

    I owe you nothing, dick semen rag.


    I CHOPPED that fool earlier in the thread. Do your homework next time, son. CHOPPED.

  • March 15, 2011, 9:37 p.m. CST

    Real dragons should be intelligent and talk

    by Nasty In The Pasty

  • March 15, 2011, 9:38 p.m. CST

    I saw DRAGONSLAYER and it's pretty good for its time

    by TheKiller7

    Very honest film. The way the actors portrayed their characters seem real.

  • March 15, 2011, 9:40 p.m. CST

    I have to admit that I got that movie confused with DRAGONHEART

    by TheKiller7

    With Sean Connery

  • March 15, 2011, 10:01 p.m. CST

    I am the last dragon!!!

    by Six Demon Bag

  • March 15, 2011, 10:06 p.m. CST

    People walking out are either blase in the extreme

    by J.B.M.A.

    or colossal cunts. Perhaps every other nostalgia-fest movie screening in the US has a gold standard director in attendance, but here in the UK if Christopher Nolan wanted to show 'Carry on Up The Khyber' we'd all fucking well watch it to see what he had to say afterwards. What a bunch of rude, ignorant tossers.

  • March 15, 2011, 10:16 p.m. CST

    I would definitely have stayed to watch the whole thing.

    by Juggernaut125

    <p>And six demon bag, I would also love to sit through a Dragonslayer/(Berry Gordy's) The Last Dragon double feature as well.</p> <p>Don't JUDGE ME!</p>

  • March 15, 2011, 10:18 p.m. CST


    by Six Demon Bag

    I only judge the jackasses who walked.

  • March 15, 2011, 10:30 p.m. CST

    SHO' NUFF!

    by Juggernaut125

    Fuck it. I'm gonna watch 'em back to back right now.

  • March 15, 2011, 10:37 p.m. CST

    Not just a new release for Dragonslayer ...

    by filmakr1

    ... but also for Highlander and Ladyhawk! Been waiting years, and will not buy the shit transfers out there now! Cmon, take care of the 80's fantasy flicks, please!

  • March 15, 2011, 11:02 p.m. CST


    by Six Demon Bag

    The film was single-handedly destroyed by one man--alan parsons--and that shitty out of place score. Not even rutger hauer and Michelle pfeiffer can can stop the onslaught of horrendous synths!

  • March 15, 2011, 11:03 p.m. CST


    by klytusnotdead

    the fuckface 76, to think I live 45 minutes away.end of line.

  • March 15, 2011, 11:05 p.m. CST

    On behalf of the peeber nation

    by Six Demon Bag

    I beg that ladyhawke be re-released with a new score, perhaps from John Powell. He seems to know rousing fantasy with HTTYD. Fuck, you can even implant the goonies score

  • March 15, 2011, 11:19 p.m. CST

    LADYHAWKE's score-

    by Georgepeppard

    Swap in Jerry Goldsmith's unused TIMELINE score: Symmetry!

  • March 15, 2011, 11:21 p.m. CST

    The Fuckface 76. Forever scorned.


    Forever unforgiven.

  • March 15, 2011, 11:23 p.m. CST

    Oh my God....Caitlin Clarke died in 2004

    by SmokingRobot

    Of cancer. I didn't know. She was so sweet, I had such a crush on her.

  • March 15, 2011, 11:29 p.m. CST

    I would have LOVED to be at this event!

    by dixieflyer

    Watching Drangonslayer with GDT chatting about 80 monster movies is epic and exactly what the aintitcool I know is about. Thanks for all the cool stuff Harry.

  • March 16, 2011, 12:01 a.m. CST

    One of my most favorite parts of the whole move.

    by Juggernaut125

    <p>Galen: You're alive. I thank the powers that made me.</p> <p>Ulrich: Nice to see you too.</p> <p>That always put a smile on my face when he says that.

  • March 16, 2011, 12:07 a.m. CST

    "I just wish." "What?" "We had a horse."

    by Juggernaut125

    "I wish your tits were a bit bigger..."

  • March 16, 2011, 12:36 a.m. CST

    Never really liked Dragonslayer all that much...

    by jrb

    And I was nine year old D&D nut when it came out. I guess it's because the lead is such a wussy little fem-boy rather than an Aragorn-type ass kicking warrior. When I watch fantasy, I want FANTASY, not some wuss as the lead with whom I as a nerdy kid am supposed to identify.<BR><BR>That being said, I would have gladly watched the screening to give it a second chance. It's been probably 20 years since I've seen it. Maybe I'd like it more now. I certainly would have loved to see del Toro.

  • March 16, 2011, 12:52 a.m. CST

    The novelization by Wayland Drew

    by Dennis_Moore

    is quite good, as well, actually.

  • March 16, 2011, 1:06 a.m. CST

    I think Galen being a wuss was the way it was supposed to be

    by Han Cholo

    He goes from a whining apprentice who needs the amulet in the beginning of the film to a self-assured man in the end who shows potential for becoming a wizard, hence why the horse shows up out of nowhere. He is beginning to manifest as a sorcerer. It would have sucked if he was a robotic warrior the whole movie as those characters tend to have very few layers in terms of character, whereas we kind of got the Joseph Campbell heroes journey that Galen experienced. <p> Now that I think about it, I'm glad the movie wasn't a blockbuster or anything because they didn't make a sequel and the ending kind of left it to the viewer to imagine where Galen and Valerian ended up.

  • March 16, 2011, 2:03 a.m. CST

    Harry can only blame himself

    by FrodoFraggins

    It's up to you to give the attendees what THEY want to see, not what you want to see. I saw Dragonslayer at the theaters as a kid and found it very boring and disappointing. I wouldn't have walked out of the screening, but it's not for him to judge the attendees.

  • March 16, 2011, 2:07 a.m. CST

    sorry I missed it. - you should do it again!

    by mcavity

    I love that move. I even have it on laserdisk lol. I would not have walked out.

  • March 16, 2011, 2:26 a.m. CST

    I've never seen Dragonslayer.

    by hallmitchell

    It's just not shown on TV. It's not on DVD at the local blockbuster.

  • March 16, 2011, 2:27 a.m. CST

    How could people walk?

    by hallmitchell

    Oh No! It's not Battle: Los Angeles. I'm going to go home and go on FACEBOOK. Frustrating!

  • March 16, 2011, 3:28 a.m. CST

    I wanted to see Dragonslayer so badly when I was a kid.

    by Ecto-1

    I only ever got to the cinema a couple of times as a kid as my parents were not really cinema goers. I remember seeing the poster for Dragonslayer displayed on the front of the cinema and man was I desperate to see it. Sadly it didn't happen. I did eventually get to see it on video (after pestering my parents for ages to eventually get a VCR) and have loved it ever since. I have it on dvd (with one of the worst covers ever!) and watch it quite often. It's an incredible film with a great story, great characters, wonderful locations, an awesome score and some of the most beautiful stop-motion animation I've ever seen. The climatic battle with Verminthrax is a true cinema classic, one which I've always felt sad that I never got to see in a cinema. A nice BluRay with plenty of goodies would indeed be a must have for me too.

  • I think everyone agrees with that statement. Obviously the films of our past shaped the films of of today, and are deserving of equal if not more respect. However Mr. Knowles, I think you're choosing the wrong platform to base your argument on as to why people chose to leave your screening. The issue wasn't that you chose to screen an "Old film" By implying that that was the ONLY reason people chose to leave your choice of a screening is in my opinion arrogant and elitist. No, it was the fact that in a theatre that seats hundreds of individuals who chose to wait in line for two hours to see the ultimately hyped "15th Anniversary Screening" (and you, sir, cannot deny the hype - there was an entire ad screening before other films implying that your choice would be ultimately phenomenal). Instead, you chose to air a film that I had just watched a better copy of on Netflix Watch Instantly. Why? I know you spoke of how ultimately important this film is to you and how is shaped who you were as a human being and how you viewed movies, but perhaps it might have helped your screening to think beyond your own personal preferences? I did not attend your screening to see something new, (as you assumed) I knew it would be something old as I had read your panicked post earlier that day informing people not to get their hopes up - but I certainly hoped to see something I had always WANTED to see on the big screen, not something I used to put on to entertain kids while I babysat. Maybe 76 people (a very specific number, I noticed) wouldn't have left if you had screened this movie at a more fitting festival (Fantastic Fest, perhaps?) but considering the insane amount of money I had to pay for my ticket, I was disappointed that I missed other films I might have seen - films that I might not have the opportunity to see ever again. (Given that I, sadly, am not gifted with your connections) I know the odds you will read this post are slim, but I found your pretentious post on how those who chose to leave Dragonslayer weren't "True film fans" and honestly, I don't think thats your place to decide. Because you know what? Jaws is one of the movies that shaped MY love of film, and you mocked it in front of a thousand people - so allow me to respond in kind - "Dragonslayer"? Poor choice. Let the hate comments begin!

  • March 16, 2011, 5:16 a.m. CST

    "Pacific Rim" changed to "Giant Monster Fuck"

    by D.Vader

    To avoid any connotations with the tragedy in Japan. The opening where Tokyo is destroyed is changed to Seattle instead.

  • March 16, 2011, 5:17 a.m. CST

    Its been 15 years now at AICN?

    by D.Vader

    Jeebus such a long time. So many movies I've learned about, and so many times to be disappointed.

  • March 16, 2011, 5:38 a.m. CST

    Excellent Choice, Harry! Love Dragonslayer!

    by LaneMyersClassic

    I would've gladly taken one of the 76 people's seats! I've been coming to this site for at least 12 years - I hope that tells you I appreciate what you and your team do here. I saw Dragonslayer in the theater when it came out and I was very impressed. I thought the movie as a whole worked - acting, story, atmosphere, and of course, Vermithrax!

  • March 16, 2011, 5:59 a.m. CST

    If this is up for a remake

    by Shubniggorath

    Would like to see it done Valhalla Rising-style. Holee crap that movie is brutal.

  • March 16, 2011, 6:11 a.m. CST

    Dragonslayer Is A Masterwork

    by MakNeil

    It's a bit uneven toward the middle, though the way Vermithrax is unveiled, first with a bit of tail then a claw, is brilliant in its restraint and certain almost impossible to do nowadays (there would probably be this huge CGI dragon that sounded like Sean Connery or something singing and dancing its way onto the screen). When this film works–which it does most of the time–it's firing on all cylinders. Then there's Peter McNicol's acting, which starts off a bit cold, but warms up as the film proceeds. And Sir Ralph Richardson, well, there are few words to describe his great performance. For me this is one of the classics that I watch every few years. In fact, I actually enjoyed it better that Raiders, and have the Alex North soundtrack, which I listen to quite a bit (though not nearly as much as Daft Punk's Tron: Legacy soundtrack.

  • March 16, 2011, 6:58 a.m. CST

    Seems like a great screening...

    by Carl XVI Gustaf

    wish I was there! getting the Dragonslayer DVD now.

  • March 16, 2011, 8:17 a.m. CST

    Memorable first viewing...

    by TheFerretLives

    I saw this in the cinema when it came out in the UK and back then the ratings system was different, you had U (universal), A (pg) AA (which was kind of like pg-13 but was set at 14, replaced later rather unfairly with the 15 rating) then x (18 or R). Dragonslayer was an A and I was surprised how much they got away with to get that rating - nudity, scariness and quite bloody scene with the dragon babies. Also my viewing was special as the projector conked out just after the cave-in and the film didn't restart for 20 minutes. Pretty memorable. I remember loving it and recently got it on dvd. I was impressed with how well the effects have stood the test of time, it was a little weird seeing The Biscuit fighting dragons, I digged the detail and the depth of the story (most of which went over my head when I was 10!) but I gotta say I felt a little disconnected from the action. The ending is pretty spectacular though and as so many have said the Dragon is still the best! Sad to hear about Caitlin Clarke. F

  • March 16, 2011, 8:28 a.m. CST

    Bravo, Harry! Quite an inspired choice.

    by Fawst

    "Dragonslayer" is brilliant fantasy. It annoys me that Peter MacNicol apparently has disowned this film. Now, I like "Ghostbusters 2," but come on. You mean to tell me THAT is less embarrassing to him than this? Pathetic. Regardless, I didn't even know there was a secret screening until I read that it was "Dragonslayer," and it made me wish I could have been there. Harry, you are absolutely correct in that the current transfers that exist are absolutely terrible. I can only dream of how good a cleaned transfer would look. I hope that's something we all get to see one day.

  • March 16, 2011, 8:37 a.m. CST

    Dragonslayer is in HD on Netflix and looks great to me

    by Batutta

    Good transfer, and faithful to the look of the source.

  • it's such a wonderfully unflinchingly vicious creature. The film'd be dull without it.

  • March 16, 2011, 9:02 a.m. CST

    Wasn't there a sequel to this in production awhile back?

    by Sith Witch

    The director posted a showreel on this site, and people promptly tore it apart.

  • March 16, 2011, 9:03 a.m. CST

    I did come off as a dick..

    by JBouganim1

    but come had fucking walkouts. Obviously, this failed to attract the huge base that comes to this. And Del Toro coming....listen, I love the imagination this guy has and the monsters he puts on film but dude would show up to a Sizzler if they were giving out free shit. (And im not making fun of him being fat) Harry wrote a whole article about this movie that such a small base enjoys. Getting everyone all worked up.....Dragonslayer? Why not fucking show The Wraith or some shit. Winning

  • March 16, 2011, 9:04 a.m. CST

    P.S. just want to make my self clear on Del Toro..

    by JBouganim1

    dude loves everything. What the fuck doesn't Del Toro enjoy?

  • March 16, 2011, 9:12 a.m. CST

    Nevermind...I was thinking of the Sword & the Sorcerer sequel

    by Sith Witch

  • March 16, 2011, 9:15 a.m. CST

    Remember seeing it as a kid

    by konkrete590

    My dad took me to see Dragonslayer as a double feature with Clash of the Titans. Still one of my best memories! Wish I could have been there to see it!

  • March 16, 2011, 9:35 a.m. CST

    Fuck me, some people sure got CHOPPED in this talkback

    by Nomoredirtyanything

    and to that fuckwit who dared to berate Cobra-Kai...... You deserve a James Caan, Godfather 1, garbage can involved Monster Beating!!! I hope you never sow your seed and die alone, like that old guy in The Shawshank Redemption (or at the very least like that asshole Clarence Boddicker wastes after your 'bitches leave')... etc. etc.....

  • March 16, 2011, 9:57 a.m. CST

    Vermithrax = "The Worm (Wyrm?) of Thrace"

    by None_So_Blind

    Looks like Spartacus wasn't the only bad-ass thing that came out of Thrace ;-) For extra geek points - does anyone here know the name of the enchanted spear Galen uses to fight Vermithrax? And for even more geeky geek points - translate it from the Latin ;-)

  • March 16, 2011, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Answer (found in the novelization, amongst other places)

    by None_So_Blind

    The spear was called Sicarius Dracorum, or Sicarius for short. Sicarius is Latin for "assassin" IIRC, though another way to interpret that would be "slayer." Which of course means Sicarius Dracorum could be interpreted as "Dragon Slayer" :-)

  • March 16, 2011, 10:02 a.m. CST

    So much Latin in that movie...

    by None_So_Blind

    I was a high school kid taking Latin at the time, we had a ball trying to translate everything. One of my favorite lines was Master Ulrich up on the mountaintop, seeing Vermithrax for the first time, and he said softly "Draco.....draconis." Translated (pretty easy, obviously) "Dragon of Dragons," kinda like King of Kings, best of the best, etc. - meaning one bad mamma-jamma :-P

  • March 16, 2011, 10:14 a.m. CST

    jbouganim1...What Doesn't Del Toro Enjoy?

    by conspiracy

    Two very interconnected things.... #1. Making Money. #2. Making films that are watchable by more than a few geeks. Sure film people laud him for his unique vision and style...but really...unless you are a movie geek...and to be more specific...a Male Movie geek who concentrates his love of film on fantasy films... his films just don't hold up. He hasn't learned the primary Hollywood rule...If you want to make your pet FIRST have to please the masses. No Studio this day and age is gonna green light a $150,000,000+ film when you have never made a movie that broke $90M, or even returned their investment. P.S. Loved Dragonslayer..good Choice Harold, sad to hear about Caitlin Clarke...I dropped loads to her as a teen...amazing rack.

  • March 16, 2011, 10:44 a.m. CST


    by SmokingRobot

    I lived in Seattle 20 years. I would pay cash money to watch it get destroyed by Godzilla.

  • March 16, 2011, 10:58 a.m. CST

    Caitlin Clarke - RIP

    by IamZardoz

    I remember the first time I saw this movie and thought she was just shockingly good looking. I googled her today and learned she died several years ago. Sad. Also, the dragon was the best ever shown in a movie.

  • March 16, 2011, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Caitlin Clarke dead? I'll always remember her brief

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    underwater nude scene, which shocked the heck out of me for a Disney film.

  • March 16, 2011, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Vernethrax would fuck Smaug up if they ever fought. Thoughts?

    by UltraTron

  • March 16, 2011, 12:56 p.m. CST

    ultratron, I agree


    but Draco would kick both their sorry asses! Because he's Sean Connery!

  • Duh.

  • March 16, 2011, 1:13 p.m. CST

    THE version of Hunchback...

    by JohnnyKrypton

    was the '23 Chaney version

  • March 16, 2011, 2:01 p.m. CST

    i remember when i talked from 6pm till...

    by dirk123

    yawn. When i was was 8, i thought that DragonSlayer's hero was knob. I'm now 34 and nothing has changed.

  • March 16, 2011, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Dragonslayer is awesome

    by plasticfrank

    I've always loved the bleak film quality of the movie. Moreover, as an illustrator I still to this day use the dragon from Dragonslayer as a jumping off point when depicting dragons. To me, that IS what a dragon is supposed to look like. The proportions are fierce, believable and perfect.

  • March 16, 2011, 2:16 p.m. CST

    My only memory of Dragonslayer...

    by bubcus

    was the scene of the baby dragons eating the princess. It was traumatizing. I don't remember anything else about the film. So that said, if I was there, I would have sat through the film again trying to remember the rest of it. It's why I keep renting Krull every few years, I keep forgetting it and curiosity brings me back.

  • March 16, 2011, 2:31 p.m. CST

    More of a Salt Lick BBQ guy myself...

    by skycrapper

    Vermithax made Dragonslayer. I always thought MacNicol was the weak spot of that film. If they got a better lead it might have been "pushed" by the studios a little more.

  • like that suprise screening of JJs Star Trek when Nimoy appeared lights go down and 'AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS' comes up on the screen...starring Kurt Russel, Viggo Mortensen, Val Kilmer and Ron Pearlman (the Cruise thing just being part of the hoax news it wasnt gonna be made) produced by Cameron. all filmed 2 years ago... itd have been time to break out the 3D specs and start cryin

  • its possible.... Dragonheart - LOL they called it that cos of Braveheart out the previous year right?

  • March 16, 2011, 3:41 p.m. CST

    The Polar Theater

    by Taillefer

    I saw Richard III there, I think, with Ian McKellen. Enormous screen. Prolly the biggest I ever saw, save IMAX. Good times.

  • March 16, 2011, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Name droppen and you dont stop

    by dbledown13

    16 mentions of Guillermo in this article. While it is cool that you are friends with Guillermo, and I will admit I am a little jealous of your friendship with Guillermo. However name droppen like that is a bit much. WE GET IT! You are friends with Guillermo. I swear to god the next person that says Guillermo is going to get shot.............."Guillermo"! F*&^!!!!!!! In all honesty I am a huge fan of this site, and really do think it is great you have uch a deep friendship with Guillermo. Guillermo seems like such a down to earth guy, and having an experience like that with such a talented artist I would probably name drop just as much, if not more. Now I do wonder if Guillermo name drops Harry's name as much. I can see Guillermo writing a blog now, it is called "Harry Guillermo: The next morning". And Guillermo keeps saying Harry over and over again, and brags about how good of friends they are. But then he realizes something, anyone reading Guillermo's blog will think Guillermo has some Hairy dong/taint, and then will start to wonder about their man-boy love. Luckily Guillermo is Guillermo and Guillermo can name drop his own name! PS: See what I did there? I name dropped Guillermo 17 times. Yes 99% of it was just crap that came out of my arse. I just wanted to see if I could beat the score really.

  • March 16, 2011, 3:50 p.m. CST

    If by "CHOPPED" you losers mean...

    by Taillefer

    ...the target of an impotent and barely coherent rant uttered by a prepubescent cretin, then I've been "CHOPPED" indeed. I'd like to consider it a badge of honor to be attacked by such towering intellects, but the insults are so ineffectual and utterly witless that I can't even derive that satisfaction from them.

  • March 16, 2011, 4:17 p.m. CST

    Thoughts on their own

    by dbledown13

    ................does not exist in this dojo

  • March 16, 2011, 4:18 p.m. CST

    Wish I could have been there...

    by purplemonkeydw

    I was at the Hellboy screening a few years back, and no one does Q&A quite like Guillermo. Always had a soft spot for that dragon movie...favorite dragon ever. Hmm, I just realized how big a nerd I am to have a favorite dragon movie.

  • March 16, 2011, 4:21 p.m. CST

    taillefag, EPIC Win at sounding insipidly pretentious with that drivel


    Fail however on you're attempt to chop the CHOPPAH! You came across as a major pretentious douche bag. Anyone who read that douche drizzle would come away thinking, "What a tool. This Choppah guy he's maligning mustn't be that bad."

  • March 16, 2011, 4:54 p.m. CST

    the 76 were actually from 1981 and left because.....


    they had already seen Dragonslayer and thought they had bought tickets for Superman II and a new action adventure movie called 'Raiders of the lost ark'

  • March 16, 2011, 5:18 p.m. CST

    Mr. Harry...

    by Mr Soze

    Dragonslayer and Del Toro...classic night and a classic move

  • March 16, 2011, 5:30 p.m. CST

    76 Douchebags Led the Big Parade

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    I wonder if Harry didn't shoot himself in the foot with that ST:TWOK screening that magically turned into a sneak preview of asimovlives favorite film. Now alot of easily disgruntled geeks are going to think they have to attend EVERY AICN screening in case something like that ever happens again. Especially the "secret" ones. If he'd simply announced IN ADVANCE that he was showing Dragonslayer, and Guillermo was doing the Q & A afterwards, that would have seperated the geeks from the chaff, so to speak. It still probably would have sold out, & the people who were there would have known what they were getting going in.

  • March 16, 2011, 6:45 p.m. CST

    Sounds like...

    by MadKirk was a great time. I was 10 when my father took me to watch Dragonslayer, and I loved it. Would have been nice to see in a theater again. The Q&A would have been a nice bonus! Can't imagine walking out...

  • March 16, 2011, 7:40 p.m. CST

    domestic gross..

    by JBouganim1

    hes referring to domestic gross in his comment. Domestic gross is huge compared to worldwide gross because once you start factoring in all the distribution companies, the parent company doesn't always make money off of it. Either way, the conclusion is that Del Toro hasn't made a NolanJacksonCameronesque film that can let studios take chances on shit he wants to do. please..he didnt want to do pacific rimjob until he realized he was stuck. I dont care what anyone says

  • March 16, 2011, 8:50 p.m. CST

    "Dragonslayer" the spear, not the movie...


    ...showed up in Neil Marshall's "Centurion" being brandished by Olga Kurylenko, the lucky thing. I guess Neil is a fan of the original movie.

  • but now that I've learned a bit about the plot and fictional worlds of Pacific Rim, I'm kind of glad he is doing that one first. Pacific Rim sounds like more than just a Godzilla homage. Also, Del Toro doing a giant monsters vs. giant mechs in live action and probably 3D should be a good time. If Pacific Rim is a hit and rakes in the big bucks, then he might get a healthier budget and more creative control for ATMOM than if he were to do it now.

  • March 16, 2011, 10:08 p.m. CST


    by Taillefer

    Naturally I'd seem pretentious to someone whose best insults include such middle-school favorites as "fag", "douche", "epic" and "tool". Wow, touché, man. You dazzle us with your brilliance once again. Get back to me when you can manage an original thought. In the meantime, I'm outta here. This isn't very sporting.

  • March 16, 2011, 10:25 p.m. CST

    next year.... Prophecy (1979)

    by john Mulligan

    why not?...

  • March 16, 2011, 10:59 p.m. CST



    I dare say, old man, your elevated rhetoric is most intimidating. My! Whatever shall I do to contend with such a verbal cocksman, such a refined and rapier wit, such an incisive logician! Aw, piss off, ya tosser!

  • March 16, 2011, 11:29 p.m. CST

    bouganim1, "Harry wrote a whole article..."

    by Dreamwriter

    "Harry wrote a whole article about this movie that such a small base enjoys." - You realize that this is a blog, right? One called "Ain't it Cool". It's a blog that Harry writes about what he thinks is cool, that he thinks other people should know about. If only a small subset of people know about a movie that Harry likes, that's exactly what he should be writing about. Though if the theater had 700 people in it and only 76 walked out, I wouldn't call that a tiny number of people interested in the movie. For me, when I was a kid I didn't really like the movie, but when I saw it later when I was older, I really fell in love with Dragonslayer. It's definitely a movie that would be great to see again, in the theater.

  • March 17, 2011, 12:03 a.m. CST

    This movie scarred the piss out of me when I was a kid..

    by Aidan

    but maybe I should give it a second viewing.

  • March 17, 2011, 12:12 a.m. CST

    There WAS a sequel.

    by Albert Herbert

    Reign of Fire. It's the same breed of dragon (check out how it looks & moves). And this fits into the story that Vermi' Pejo' was the last one. Except for the eggs...

  • March 17, 2011, 12:30 a.m. CST

    Reign of Fire

    by lv_426

    I liked that one, but man, doesn't it just seem like it is one of those films that had an awesome idea yet could have been so much more? Seems like one that would have maybe benefited from releasing years later, or even now with 3D IMAX and all that jazz. It is a shame that a modern dragons vs. humans flick didn't do better. A sequel exploring that post-dragon-apocalypse world might have opened things up to give the chance for a much better take on the initial concept.

  • March 17, 2011, 12:36 a.m. CST

    Love me some Dragonslayer.

    by disfigurehead

    Bad ass.

  • March 17, 2011, 4:03 a.m. CST

    Dear Mr the_choppah - re 1981

    by cushing1967

    These may have been covered in other posts but while your 1981 list is admirable What about... An American Werewolf in London Time Bandits Mad Max 2 Gallipoli Outland The Postman Always Rings Twice 1981 is probably the reason that I love film so much. Because even nostalgia aside the year was full of great, great movies.

  • March 17, 2011, 7:44 a.m. CST

    its not selling out..

    by JBouganim1

    its a balance. Ill do this for you, you do this for me.

  • and I did regrettably neglect foreign films. Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE The Road Warrior. And Time Bandits is pretty great too! The Postman Always Rings Twice, however, didn't do much for me. It was actually a big disappointment because I was a huge Nicholson fan at the time.

  • March 17, 2011, 9:40 a.m. CST

    The Sword and the Sorcerer

    by BlackLodger

    and Road Warrior were constantly in and out of my vhs back in 83-84. Never much cared for Dragonslayer...S&S had Bull and that old guy who was a bad guy in every show i watched...Dragonslayer couldn't beat that! Aaaannddd Dragonslayer didn't have Matt Houston cutting a dude in half(lengthwise) with a 3 bladed sword...the blades could also shoot out as projectiles...D-slayer had none of that.

  • March 17, 2011, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Anyone remember Hawk the Slayer?


    At the top of the list of movies I want to see remade. And I hate remakes!

  • March 17, 2011, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Great to see the love for DRAGONSLAYER.

    by AsimovLives

    It's time this fine movie gets a revival. If you ask me, the movie was ahead of it's time. Or way ahead of the audiences of the time.

  • Choppah - how can anyone not remember Hawk the Slayer with a Giant who is a little bit taller than the dwarf. Where Jack Palance is merely the older brother of the hero (although the Darth Vader helmet and general age difference may suggest father) Where magic ping pong balls fly free in the kingdom. Where the action is conducted along the stirring accompaniment of a brilliant disco / spaghetti western score. Where the general low budget is transcended by lines such as "Sometimes I tire of the fighting and killing. At night, I can hear the call of my race. They wait for me. When I join them, we will be forgotten."

  • March 17, 2011, 12:07 p.m. CST

    cushing1967, F'n A!


    I believe that Hawk the Slayer was the first instance of the automatic crossbow, the most badassed of fantasy weapons saved for maybe the Glaive from Krull.

  • March 17, 2011, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Oh, if only this would come to fruition:


    In January 2009, a single page unattributed blog appeared with the following text: "Terry Marcel, writer and director of legendary cult sword and sorcery movie 'Hawk the Slayer' is returning in 2009 to continue the adventures of Hawk, with a follow up entitled Hawk the Hunter. This official blog, endorsed by Terry will document the full journey of the movie's production with behind the scenes information, photos and interviews. For Hawk fans worldwide who've waited for years and who never thought it would happen, we can tell you it really is happening... Hawk is back!" There has only been reader comments posted since. Both and reported, at the time, that the director would be Terry Marcel and the producer Andrew Growcock, reporting that Tom Hardy is to play Hawk.

  • March 17, 2011, 2:25 p.m. CST

    HAWK does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    Asi, cheers. While we're on quotes from HAWK THE SLAYER my fave comes from the guy who unwisely enters an archery duel with Crow and takes an arrow to the chest. "I never even saw it." He then topples limpy forwards, realizes he's about to land on the fake arrow in his chest and does a body swerve to land down on his side!

  • March 17, 2011, 8:02 p.m. CST


    by Orionsangels

  • March 18, 2011, 5:13 a.m. CST

    the_choppah and cobra-kai

    by cushing1967

    Much as I genuinely love Hawk the Slayer (in the same way I love the Edgar Rice Burroughs dinosaur movies) I don't think a sequel would ever really be good. It would either be a terrible blight on humanity like Tales from an Ancient Empire (one of the worst things I have ever, ever seen) or it would be a generic fantasy movie. I reckon the charm is in the fact that it was clearly low budget, it starred actors that should have, on the whole, known better and should not have worked on any level. Though it did and even now when I watch it I still get a warm fuzzy feeling. I'd have loved Hawk the Hunter back in the day, followed by Hawk the Puncher of Faces. Now ... well, now I'm not so sure. And yes cobra-kai, I remember that scene warmly. I am listening to the soundtrack on my ipod right now and by God I want some dayglo hoolahoops in my life.

  • especially with a decent budget and a decent director. And Tom Hardy as Hawk gives Choppah a hard on. I'd even be up for a big budget parody of Hawk with the right writers. Where can I get that soundtrack?

  • March 18, 2011, 8:34 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    cushing, I didn't know TALES OF THE ANCIENT EMPIRE was out... um.. I think you answered my question but how is it in comparison to SWORD AND SORCERER? Can you say anything more about it?

  • March 18, 2011, 11:27 a.m. CST


    by cushing1967

    The soundtrack - well, I kind of wish that this site had a PM system cause I could probably help you out. Never been released on CD so I ripped my vinyl copy. It is magnificent. Aye, and you're right. Maybe a remake would rock. As long as it kept a 5 inch minimum height difference between giant and dwarf.

  • March 18, 2011, 11:35 a.m. CST


    by cushing1967

    Tales of an Ancient Empire - I saw a very early screener and to be honest it genuinely is one of the most appalling things I have ever seen. It lasted about 72 minutes and is kind of a weird portmanteau film that kind of tries to tell a narrative in short story form. Kind of like "Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould" but with some incredibly bad acting, some generic soft rock score, some vampires and about 4 or 5 minutes of Talon. The general look of the film matches the general cheap arse green screen that you'd see if you watched any of the trailers for Pyuns Streets of Fire sequel. It is an incredibly cheap looking film. Even Kevin Sorbo looks embarrassed by the whole thing. The Sword and the Sorcerer is a film that in my opinion doesn't really stand up as well as geek collective culture says it does. However, it has heart and soul. It isn't great but it does have bags of charm and some pretty fantastic ideas (mostly all cribbed from elsewhere but executed pretty well) and some good performances - Tales of an Ancient Empire is possibly worse than Highlander The Source. The sword makes an appearance but you kind of thing - so what? It does promise even more Tales at the end and the end credits almost last as long as the film. So, I'd avoid because it gives no joy whatsoever.

  • March 18, 2011, 12:59 p.m. CST

    That movie is a part of my soul.

    by I_am_the_ultimate_product

    Saw it in the theater. I was a big D&D geek at the time, so it was right up my alley. Man, that first reveal of the dragon, where Galen looks around and the dragon stretches his neck up... FIRE!!!

  • March 18, 2011, 12:59 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    cushing, cheers. It looked awful from the clips that got posted on this site, but "possibly worse than Highlander The Source"... that sums up all I need to know!

  • I would have loved to see Dragonslayer with that crowd...a crowd of people who love the movie like me, not a bunch of people who feel disappointed by the surprise. Just be up-front with people, Harry. This goes down as an epic fail on your part more than theirs. Stop trying to play with people like they're toys.

  • March 18, 2011, 9:50 p.m. CST

    And where the FUCK is my Ator, the Fighting Eagle sequel?


  • March 19, 2011, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Of course people walked - it's SXSW

    by Ben Addiction

    If you show up at the Cannes film festival, and hear of a special screening, but when you show up it's fucking Dragonslayer, you would be justified in walking out. It's not because you are an ignorant churl who has no taste in film. It's because you DO have taste in film and you are in a position to see several dozen other screenings of new films. Or, in this case, a SXSW music show. Or one of the other 10000 things to do in Austin this week besides seeing some mediocre genre film that if you found a copy for 3 dollars in a bargain DVD bin, you would pass. Right now, even getting downtown in Austin is a massive pain in the ass. If I had fought my way down there and found out it was Dragonslayer, I would have made better use of being downtown during SXSW.

  • March 19, 2011, 11:30 p.m. CST

    peter mcnickol thought he'd be the next mark hammil when he made this

    by LarryTheCableGuy

    turns out he was the next rick moranis

  • March 20, 2011, 1:11 a.m. CST

    Peter Macnicol

    by AspectRatio235

    is the next Mark Hamill.

  • March 20, 2011, 6:56 a.m. CST


    by speed

    How could anybody walk out on this? Some people are just spoilt brats.

  • March 20, 2011, 9:02 p.m. CST

    First Screening of Dragonslayer was stacked

    by GrendelGrendelGrendel

    "When Matthew first previewed this film, the audience went nuts - and George Lucas who was sitting in front of him turned around and congratulated him on having a hit. " The first screening of Dragonslayer was stacked with fanboys. Everyone knew it except Robbins. Disney then previewed the film with a regular non-geek audience and it bombed.

  • March 21, 2011, 1:48 a.m. CST

    THANKS SO MUCH for choosing Dragonslayer!

    by ttomato

    When I was a kid I watched it every time it was on ye olde HBO.... with 2001, Poltergeist and Caveman in close 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Lana, nya, Lana GlugGlugGlug!

  • March 21, 2011, 1:58 a.m. CST

    Great Movie

    by Seven_of_Borgnine

    Vastly underrated film, works on many levels. Because of this movie, I wish that CGI had held off a few years so "go-motion" technology could have enjoyed a real golden age. Vermithrax is like viewing classic Harryhausen animated at 120 frames per second. It's too bad we don't have more creatures like that in movie history. Go-motion was woefully underused and then CGI took over. Tippet is very good at adjusting to new tech though, what a genius!

  • March 21, 2011, 2:07 a.m. CST

    Vermithrax Pejorative

    by Seven_of_Borgnine

    Great monster name.

  • March 21, 2011, 2:09 a.m. CST

    "The worm of Thrace that brings no good"

    by Seven_of_Borgnine

    That's the approximate translation, I believe it's in the tie-in novel, which yes I had when I was 16 or so.

  • March 22, 2011, 6:13 a.m. CST

    I was there - Harry is full of shit...

    by Matt Lanter

    The Mezzanine was maybe half full during DRAGONSLAYER. The balcony and upper balcony empty. I would say there were no more than 300 people there, and I would say only about 150 of them actually stuck around to finish the movie.

  • March 22, 2011, 9:01 p.m. CST


    by rick


  • March 23, 2011, 4:43 a.m. CST

    great film, but a slow burner

    by Knuckleface

    I love the unrushed pace of this film, but its not a film I would ever dare surprise audiences with. The nuances of this film are lost on most people, especially the film's underlying theme: the end of pagan Europe and the rise of Christianity. The people that left were probably drunk and looking for a party film.

  • March 25, 2011, 12:59 a.m. CST


    by Matt Lanter

    You're not funny, or cool, and certainly not threatening. Any one of the '76' that walked out, or limped out, or rolled out in their wheelchairs could kick your ass.

  • March 29, 2011, 5:49 p.m. CST

    Dragonslayer Fights Back

    by Micah fendley

    What a good movie choice to bring some light on. Dark Disney at its glorious best. Thank you Harry for the being the ghost with the most! The new Peter Bjorn and John Rocks!!!! SxSW 2011bitches