According to IMDB.com, Peter MacNicol is so embarrassed by this movie that he doesn’t include it in his CV, and I can certainly see why. Exceedingly silly with a strangely disjointed style of narrative, I really did not care for this film and I especially did not care for Peter MacNicol in it. He’s much better at playing quirky characters rather than a leading man role and can I just say whoever did his makeup throughout this film should be shot. With costumes and hilarious wigs that appeared to be left over from an old Errol Flynn movie, this has the dubious honor of being the first and hopefully only time a Disney movie includes full frontal male nudity (the shot whizzes by, thankfully, but it is there). In addition, it also flouts a lot of tacit expectations the viewer might have upon seeing the Disney label, so exercise caution with children (see tags). The script borrows heavily from Greek mythology (Perseus & Andromeda) and medieval Christian legend (St. George) with cheesy puppets, green screens galore and quite a few unnecessary ewwwww moments. That’s par for the course with a lower budget film from the 80s, but this movie’s real cardinal sin was not making the characters likeable. I actually found myself rooting for the dragon, who by the way is named Vermithrax Pejorative -how awesome is that?! Caitlin Clarke’s character vacillated back and forth between strong courageous heroine and damsel in distress and she chose some really bad moments to wuss out on Galen. There are some movies that are so cheesy they’re great, but this isn’t one of them. The only bright spot in the whole thing was Ralph Richardson’s performance as Ulrich, which reminded me very strongly of Pete Postlethwaite. I did see a few things that made me suspect George R. R. Martin, author of the Game of Thrones book series, was perhaps influenced by this movie as it features dragons, ravens, a character named Valeria and another named Tyrian. That connection was vaguely interesting, but overall I just flat out didn’t like it and wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. Eminently forgettable and I believe I’ll start forgetting it right now. – BETHANY
For more on people who probably now deeply regrets being part of this film, visit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082288/?ref_=nv_sr_1
Vermithrax Pejorative in the flesh (or at least a hand puppet).
Typical dragon cliché.
Galen (Peter MacNicol) and the wizard Ulrich of Craggenmoor (Ralph Richardson).
Galen and the spear Sicarious Dracorum.
Brother Jacopus (Ian McDiarmid) chooses, perhaps unwisely, to denounce the dragon as the devil.
King Casiodorus (a real dirtbag) is rude to Galen.
Elspeth, Princess of Urland (Chloe Salaman).
Virgin sacrifice cliché.
Filmed in Wales, Dragonslayer does at least have some nice locations going for it.
Galen tries to step up.
Baby dragons eating a virgin sacrifice. (Told you this wasn’t suitable for children …)
John Hallam playing Tyrian. Nice wig, dude. At least, I really hope it’s a wig and not his real hair.
Caitlin Clarke as Valerian. (Look out, he might put you to sleep)
Is that a bucket Galen’s carrying on the great and noble spear? Maybe it’s a helmet. Either way, he looks like a wizard hobo. (To nobody’s surprise, Valerian is actually Valeria.)
The trailer for this sub par dragon movie:
Photos courtesy of Paramount Pictures and Walt Disney Productions