Jump to content


Photo

Just Saw Kull The Conqueror


  • Please log in to reply
231 replies to this topic

#41 Nomadikk

Nomadikk

    Spear Carrier

  • Inactive
  • Pip
  • 96 posts

Posted 14 October 2004 - 08:39 PM

After having Kull in mind from this discussion, I blew off the dust of my Kull tape and watched it last night.. Now I remember why I haven't watched it since I bought it in '99.

#42 Kylel Ironclaw

Kylel Ironclaw

    Adventurer

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 358 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 15 November 2005 - 03:39 AM

Found it in the $5.50 bin at Walmart last weekend.


Bad Points:

1) Heavy-metal guitar in a Robert E. Howard film? I should think not.
2) Unpronounceable names. "Akivasha?" "Zareta"? They don't exactly roll off of the tongue. I can't even remember what Kull's rival's name was, or Zareta's brother.
3) PG-13. Anything that should even be remotely attached to Robert E. Howard's name shouldn't be anything less than R. His creative palate was blood, sex, and gore, not some Xena episode.
4) Roy Brocksmith and Harvey Fierstein. No...just...no


Good Points:

1) Decent casting. Kull, Zareta, Akivasha...all played their parts pretty well. Very few perfomances caused cringes.
2) Zareta. For once, a sword-and-sorcery film didn't rely on the female lead as some blonde bimbo (cough*OliviaDabo*cough). Zareta was a damn good counterpart to Kull.
3) Sven-Ole Thorsen. The man can't seem to escape swords n' sandals, but he seems to like the bit part nonetheless.

I'll probably have more comments. Add to them as you see fit.

Edited by Kylel Ironclaw, 15 November 2005 - 03:39 AM.


#43 korak

korak

    Sword of Crom

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,713 posts

Posted 15 November 2005 - 05:27 AM

Zareta WAS a babe, and Akivasha was well cast as an Howardian sex-witch.

Kull's palace really needs to look like the CGI cities in TROY; Howard says that the City of Wonders made Rome in its heyday look like a Congo village of mudhuts.

#44 Kane

Kane

    The Dark Prometheus

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,328 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Columbus, OH. USA

Posted 15 November 2005 - 09:40 AM

If possible, check out the novelization of the film. It keeps more of Howard's setting intact and delves more into the background of Kull and some of the other characters. you can find it here.

In addition, the REHUPA has a nice article about how the original screenplay of Kull was written. Pitty that so many people had a hand in changing things around. If the original had been brought to the screen it might have done better. Anyway, you can find the article here.
"I vanquished Law once, I'll conquer yet again--
And force upon Mankind the Freedom he fears--
And dead gods I will again defy?"

#45 PainBrush

PainBrush

    In Memoriam: 2005-2009. Bastard son of a thousand nations!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,711 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Suburb of Detroit

Posted 15 November 2005 - 10:31 AM

- But there's no way they could have done a better giant styrofoam fish on the deck of the ship !! hahahah . & Harvey Flaming Fierstien ? -sheer inspired genius , couldn't have been better unless they replaced him with both Harvey Korman & Tim Conway .......hahaha .

" You have a good point there,...put your helmet on & no-one will notice it ."
" Look for a long time at what pleases you... and longer still at what pains you "
So THIS is civilization ??!??!......

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
~ FUTUE EOS SI NON CONCIPERE IOCULARUM ~


#46 Kieran

Kieran

    Adventurer

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 330 posts
  • Location:Northern Ireland

Posted 15 November 2005 - 12:49 PM

It's a so-so film, but it feels more like Conan than Kull.
Contemplate this on the Tree of Woe.

#47 Mark Finn

Mark Finn

    Warlord of the Southwestern Shield Wall

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 704 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Vernon Texas

Posted 15 November 2005 - 02:43 PM

Yeah, it DOES feel more like Conan than Kull. At least, Sorbo was more Conan-y, even as Ah-nold was more Kull-ish.

However, the movie is unforgivable. UNforgivable. During the midst of the X-Files phenomenon, they had a chance to do a dark Sword & Sorcery movie about shape-changing serpent men, full of court intrigue and paranoia. And what do they make instead?

A quest. With plot point coupons, no less. Utterly incredible.

And as bad as it all was, the last line in the movie, "...by THIS axe, I rule," was the final insult. Go read (or reread) the original "By This Axe I Rule!" and prepare to become righteously indignant. That was the scene we deserved. It's now a scene we'll never see.
Mark Finn
Blood and Thunder: The Life and Art of Robert E. Howard
Second Edition now available from the Robert E. Howard Foundation Press

Finn's Home Away From Home, REDUX!

#48 korak

korak

    Sword of Crom

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,713 posts

Posted 15 November 2005 - 07:47 PM

In a way, I am glad they didn't do Shadow Kingdom, and were merely content to screw up By This Ax instead. I don't think I could have handled a blundered job on Shadow Kingdom.

At least By This Ax was already screwed around by Howard himself, and then really screwed by Marvel comics....

#49 daknight

daknight

    Adventurer

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 420 posts

Posted 15 November 2005 - 08:53 PM

I rather liked KULL for what it was. Better than most heroic fantasy films, while not meeting the full potential there.

Sure it was a quest movie. Howard had no problem with quest plots. And I actually believe he would have liked Kull. It had all the elements in a sword and sandal type film that he would have grown up enjoying and seeing in the films of his day.

Sure it had rock and roll mixed into the soundtrack, and why not? The music lends itself to the subject. I mean, how many country songs have there been that perpetuated fantasy elements? Once you get past Johnny Cash's "Dark As A Dungeon," maybe, there ain't much at all. Outside of a few folk songs, fantasy elements have been perpetuated by rock/prog/metal... Witness the obvious in Led Zeppelin. MANY Deep Purple songs. MANY songs Dio did with Ritchie Blackmore (ex-Deep Purple) in Rainbow, and now in Blackmore's Night, Ritchie is doing renaissance Faire type folk. Yngwie J. Malmsteen ususally had songwriter's, Joe Lynn Turner among them, who indulged in dark-age and dungeon themed lyrics. A lot of the music in question had classically influenced guitar playing. Of course the much under-rated Caress of Steel by Rush, side-2 is basically a joseph Campbell type break-down of the quest motif put to music. More recently Blind Guardian has been doing this kind of thing.
Fantasy abandoned by reason produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and origin of marvels. -- Goya

#50 korak

korak

    Sword of Crom

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,713 posts

Posted 15 November 2005 - 09:19 PM

I have the Kull soundtrack, and really there is only one tune that has the guitar, and even that has heavy orchestral backing. I liked it. The title track, which does not have the guitar by the way, was truly worthy of a real Kull movie.

But one main problem with all these Howard movies is that the Hollywood types seem to completely ignore previous artistic visual interpretations of great quality, especially in comics. Howard, like Burroughs, has had some of the greatest comics artists of all time.

For example, Kull the Conqueror #s 1 and 2 are a ready made definitive movie script that would probably win an Academy Award.

Kull's characteristic crown in the Marvel comics, is very well designed, and useful and wearable during adventures, etc, nothing like that hunk of junk in the film.

I know how hard it is to deal with costumers because I have worked in the theater, and sometimes they have a very stubborn streak when it comes to their own vision, which is not always the best overall choice-- but a good director does his homework, and obviously a lot of Hollywood types look down on comic books as an invalid source of inspiration. That is their blind stupid folly in this context, and they will go down in history as laughing stocks because of such a simple oversight. ha ha ha

TO HELL WITH HOLLYWOOD! :lol:

#51 alex

alex

    Barbarian by birth

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 644 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Riding on the wind

Posted 16 November 2005 - 12:48 AM

It felt like an hourly television program. The dialogue was insipid. The plot predictable, the humour, banal. The score dreadful. Considering the Kull stories depth, this was another painful episode in the REH contributions from Hollywood.

I wonder if Tarantino likes Bob.
What do I know of cultured ways, the gilt, the craft and the lie?
I, who was born in a naked land and bred in the open sky.
The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs - I was a man before I was a king.

- "The Road of Kings"

#52 Mark Finn

Mark Finn

    Warlord of the Southwestern Shield Wall

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 704 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Vernon Texas

Posted 16 November 2005 - 02:11 AM

I rather liked KULL for what it was.  Better than most heroic fantasy films, while not meeting the full potential there. 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Man, I just...well, you know, if you liked it, that's great. I'm just...man.

Sure it was a quest movie.  Howard had no problem with quest plots.  And I actually believe he would have liked Kull.  It had all the elements in a sword and sandal type film that he would have grown up enjoying and seeing in the films of his day. 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hold up. What was the intent, here? To make a movie for a dead author to enjoy, or to make a movie for a live audience in the late twentieth century to enjoy? I really think that they were shooting for door number two. Hence the heavy metal. But that aside, there's nothing in Kull, save the name, to suggest at the writings of Robert E. Howard. If they wanted to make a movie about a barbarian King who goes on a quest, they could have called it Klorphin, Lord of the Axe, and I would have had no problem with that whatsoever. But the quest plot...

Well, yes, you can argue that REH employed the quest plot, sorta. The difference was in the compression of time that Howard employed. Events in the Kull stories take place in the span of a single night, or over a day's time. They are short and episodic. Now, in that Kull is frequently Looking for something, that's a kind of quest, sure. But that's not what most people think of when they mention Kull. It's giant serpent men fights (or, occasionally, Kull slaying the roman legions while he thinks he's in a fantastic dream). The stories are introspective and paranoid.

That movie had a new king sailing out, pursuing a woman who he has to rescue, into an icy realm...hell, this could have been Krull. It could have been ANYthing. It's generic fantasy. Nothing more. As a Howard fan, I resent the hell out of it. That's not what I want to represent either sword and sorcery OR REH to anyone.

Sure it had rock and roll mixed into the soundtrack, and why not?  The music lends itself to the subject.  I mean, how many country songs have there been that perpetuated fantasy elements?  Once you get past Johnny Cash's "Dark As A Dungeon," maybe, there ain't much at all.  Outside of a few folk songs, fantasy elements have been perpetuated by rock/prog/metal...  Witness the obvious in Led Zeppelin.  MANY Deep Purple songs.  MANY songs Dio did with Ritchie Blackmore (ex-Deep Purple) in Rainbow, and now in Blackmore's Night, Ritchie is doing renaissance Faire type folk.  Yngwie J. Malmsteen ususally had songwriter's, Joe Lynn Turner among them, who indulged in dark-age and dungeon themed lyrics.  A lot of the music in question had classically influenced guitar playing.  Of course the much under-rated Caress of Steel by Rush, side-2 is basically a joseph Campbell type break-down of the quest motif put to music.  More recently Blind Guardian has been doing this kind of thing.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hey, again, if that's your kind of thing, more power to you. To me, it just jarred me further out of a movie that I was hating to begin with.
Mark Finn
Blood and Thunder: The Life and Art of Robert E. Howard
Second Edition now available from the Robert E. Howard Foundation Press

Finn's Home Away From Home, REDUX!

#53 SOT_Dead

SOT_Dead

    Spear Carrier

  • Inactive
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 16 November 2005 - 03:10 AM

i liked Kull...but then again i also liked the dungeons and dragons movie...lol...on a side note the 2nd D&D movie is 10 times better than the first one!

#54 korak

korak

    Sword of Crom

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,713 posts

Posted 16 November 2005 - 04:24 AM

I didn't HATE Kull... I guess after CTB, I was too deadened to expend any further emotion against them. But they definitely screwed up some things that were fairly basic about Kull.

1. Kull was already the commander of the Black Legions when he struck for the throne. The whole "origins of Kull" sequence was badly botched. Kull being defeated in personal combat in the first scene, by the commander of the Black Legions (or the Red Slayers or whatever) was a fatal flaw right off the bat. That was the fatal flaw, not some guitar riff.

2. What is with the whole harem/ marriage thing? Holy moley! This Kull is a regular Hugh Hefner! Yeehaw! Completely opposite from the books.

3. No Brule the spear-slayer.

4. The sets and budget (except for special effects) were pathetic.

A couple of good things, partly at least:

It was partly adapted and expanded from By This Ax I Rule, and had some of the right characters, particularly the Rebel Four.

The soundtrack was great, (too bad if you don't have good taste in music, nah nah :P )

The actresses were nice.

Special effects were fairly decent.

And last but not least, Sorbo dyed his hair black and looked the part. That counts for something! :)

#55 Kull1964

Kull1964

    Adventurer

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 315 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Europe

Posted 16 November 2005 - 11:20 AM

The soundtrack was great, (too bad if you don't have good taste in music, nah nah  :P )

The actresses were nice.

Special effects were fairly decent.

And last but not least, Sorbo dyed his hair black and looked the part. That counts for something!  :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


The genesis of the movie's screenplay is a long one (check the article on the Rehupa site). It was originally a Conan 3 script and that's why it feels more like Conan than Howard's Kull. The novelization helps to understand some of the changes too. There are many things in this movie that doesn't work but it still is a good Sword & Sorcery film. Sorbo (which I didn't like on Tv) is quite good here and really looks the part, as Korak notice. The acting is almost always good, the Joel Goldsmith score is really wonderful (and there are only a couple of guitar touches in that, but plenty of themes, choruses and nice musical arrangments) and the surprise ending about the "fate of the Kingdom will be found within a kiss" is a excellent idea (don't want to spoil the surprise here for those who have not seen the movie yet... ;) ).
Sure, we need a more faithful interpretation of Howard's Kull, but this should not stop us to enjoy the film.

#56 Kull1964

Kull1964

    Adventurer

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 315 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Europe

Posted 16 November 2005 - 11:23 AM

2. What is with the whole harem/ marriage thing? Holy moley! This Kull is a regular Hugh Hefner! Yeehaw! Completely opposite from the books.

3. No Brule the spear-slayer.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


That's quite easy to answer. Howard's Kull has almost no interest in women or sex, his only real bonding is with his friend Brule. Hollywood must have seen this as a homosexual innuendo and decided to avoid alienating the audience (especially young guys) with a "suspect" gay king...
This is the same reason why Tim Burton deleted Robin from the first two Batman movies. When Joel Schumacher put the Boy Wonder back at Batman's side, everyone accused him of directing a gay picture!

Edited by Kull1964, 16 November 2005 - 11:25 AM.


#57 grim cimmerian

grim cimmerian

    Saturnine Slayer, Crag Climber, Marauder of the Mountains

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 743 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:United States of America

Posted 16 November 2005 - 10:26 PM

i liked Kull...but then again i also liked the dungeons and dragons movie...lol...on a side note the 2nd D&D movie is 10 times better than the first one!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

which one is that? bytheway did you know that there was a D&D movie back in the 80's with Tom Hanks in it? I kid you not.
"WOE UNTO MY FOEMEN, PITY THEIR WIDOWS AND KIN."
All flatlanders are soft and frail, I enjoy those qualities in their women.
"By CROM if you so much as touch your hilt I'll split you from crown to crotch and see if your guts are as yellow as I think they are!"

#58 PaulMc

PaulMc

    Sword of Crom

  • Moderators
  • 2,066 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Vinland

Posted 16 November 2005 - 10:33 PM

i liked Kull...but then again i also liked the dungeons and dragons movie...lol...on a side note the 2nd D&D movie is 10 times better than the first one!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

which one is that? bytheway did you know that there was a D&D movie back in the 80's with Tom Hanks in it? I kid you not.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


The Hanks D&D movie was Mazes and Monsters. And aside from a cool looking troglodyte, it really was a drama about a gamer who lost touch with reality.

The second D&D movie was a SciFi pictures original that aired last month and has already hit the stores in DVD format. (I saw it at BestBuy, I think)

Here 'tis;
http://www.amazon.co...&s=dvd&v=glance

-- Paul McNamee

My Blog


#59 daknight

daknight

    Adventurer

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 420 posts

Posted 17 November 2005 - 05:52 AM

I rather liked KULL for what it was.? Better than most heroic fantasy films, while not meeting the full potential there.?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Man, I just...well, you know, if you liked it, that's great. I'm just...man.

Sure it was a quest movie.? Howard had no problem with quest plots.? And I actually believe he would have liked Kull.? It had all the elements in a sword and sandal type film that he would have grown up enjoying and seeing in the films of his day.?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hold up. What was the intent, here? To make a movie for a dead author to enjoy, or to make a movie for a live audience in the late twentieth century to enjoy? I really think that they were shooting for door number two. Hence the heavy metal. But that aside, there's nothing in Kull, save the name, to suggest at the writings of Robert E. Howard. If they wanted to make a movie about a barbarian King who goes on a quest, they could have called it Klorphin, Lord of the Axe, and I would have had no problem with that whatsoever. But the quest plot...

Well, yes, you can argue that REH employed the quest plot, sorta. The difference was in the compression of time that Howard employed. Events in the Kull stories take place in the span of a single night, or over a day's time. They are short and episodic. Now, in that Kull is frequently Looking for something, that's a kind of quest, sure. But that's not what most people think of when they mention Kull. It's giant serpent men fights (or, occasionally, Kull slaying the roman legions while he thinks he's in a fantastic dream). The stories are introspective and paranoid.

That movie had a new king sailing out, pursuing a woman who he has to rescue, into an icy realm...hell, this could have been Krull. It could have been ANYthing. It's generic fantasy. Nothing more. As a Howard fan, I resent the hell out of it. That's not what I want to represent either sword and sorcery OR REH to anyone.

Sure it had rock and roll mixed into the soundtrack, and why not?? The music lends itself to the subject.? I mean, how many country songs have there been that perpetuated fantasy elements?? Once you get past Johnny Cash's "Dark As A Dungeon," maybe, there ain't much at all.? Outside of a few folk songs, fantasy elements have been perpetuated by rock/prog/metal...? Witness the obvious in Led Zeppelin.? MANY Deep Purple songs.? MANY songs Dio did with Ritchie Blackmore (ex-Deep Purple) in Rainbow, and now in Blackmore's Night, Ritchie is doing renaissance Faire type folk.? Yngwie J. Malmsteen ususally had songwriter's, Joe Lynn Turner among them, who indulged in dark-age and dungeon themed lyrics.? A lot of the music in question had classically influenced guitar playing.? Of course the much under-rated Caress of Steel by Rush, side-2 is basically a joseph Campbell type break-down of the quest motif put to music.? More recently Blind Guardian has been doing this kind of thing.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hey, again, if that's your kind of thing, more power to you. To me, it just jarred me further out of a movie that I was hating to begin with.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


well, I found it interesting to read about all the script tinkering that happened in the James Van Hise interview. While I found Kull as it appeared not bad considering, the first draft would have caused a lot more unanimous appreciation, and would have been far, far better. The original script was R-Rated, with Howardian sexuality and violence. I guess, I see it as a gem in the rough. And appreciate it as it was. I didn't have problem with Fierstein being in it either, and it was genuinely funny when he said he didn't like tuna.

Sure, it could have been better, and the intentions were there in the beginning. I just brought up the opinion that Howard would have enjoyed it as was, just to convey the idea that not much of a diservice was really done to the character. The Kull movie is closer to Howard's vision, than CTB, CTD, or Red Sonja (which isn't even close to Roy Thomas' vsion for that matter).

Now, I do agree it would have been better to be dealing with serpent men and/or Thulsa Doom, but Milius and co used Doom in CTB in order to protect their interests in a potential Kull property usage back then even if somebody else got it after some reversion of rights.

I wouldn't call it generic though. For fantasy in general, maybe somewhat, in areas, but as far as fantasy on film goes it was still (by Hollywood standards, honestly) pretty original. I mean, if we wanted to, we could say that everything was generic because all this kind of thing happened in Beowulf, or that happened in Gilgamesh, or this happened in Homer's epics, and so on.
Fantasy abandoned by reason produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and origin of marvels. -- Goya

#60 daknight

daknight

    Adventurer

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 420 posts

Posted 17 November 2005 - 06:02 AM

2. What is with the whole harem/ marriage thing? Holy moley! This Kull is a regular Hugh Hefner! Yeehaw! Completely opposite from the books.

3. No Brule the spear-slayer.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


That's quite easy to answer. Howard's Kull has almost no interest in women or sex, his only real bonding is with his friend Brule. Hollywood must have seen this as a homosexual innuendo and decided to avoid alienating the audience (especially young guys) with a "suspect" gay king...
This is the same reason why Tim Burton deleted Robin from the first two Batman movies. When Joel Schumacher put the Boy Wonder back at Batman's side, everyone accused him of directing a gay picture!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


So they put a line in there like, Kull, you know I don't like tuna. :lol: It would have been ironic if they had gone with Lou Diamond Phillips instead of Sorbo. His wife ran off with another woman. <_< Myself, if I was a teenager in the throes, I would have found any king who dismissed his harem as being "suspect" right there. I did like the whole anti-slavery thing as that was a very Kull attitude, especially when he further conveys his conversation to Zareta by turning his back and revealing the scars from his slave galley days.

Further to the Tim Burton thing, it was also Burton's intention to make a fairly dark Batman movie, and you couldn't make it too dark with a character like Robin running around. I think it was Dr. Wertham we can blame for the whole Batman innuendo.
Fantasy abandoned by reason produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and origin of marvels. -- Goya