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Rated R
Copyright 1980 Marcel/Robertson Productions Limited
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Hawk - Noble warrior who uses a special sword powered by elven magics. Apparently it protects and guides him, unfortunately this protection does not extend to his companions.
  • Gort - Giant of a man, he employs an impressive looking maul. Not the sort of thing you want connecting with your brain housing group.
  • Baldin - Dwarf who has some hygiene problems, using a whip to catch raw fish for consumption is among the least of them. Gets a dagger in the ribs and ends up as the dead dwarf in the bubble.
  • Crow - Last of the elves and his archery skills could put William Tell to shame. Whenever he speaks it reminds me of a dimwitted Vulcan.
  • Ranulf - Grizzled fighter with only one hand, he employs a rapid fire crossbow, it actually takes a clip of bolts, much like an assault rifle! Killed by Voltan.
  • Woman - Don't look at me, that is all they ever call her. She is some sort of good witch that Hawk saves from being burned at the stake. Has a bag of glow in the dark tricks up her sleeves.
  • Elaine - Hawk's beautiful (cough) wife, killed by Voltan.
  • Lots of Evil Guys - Dead meat, oh are they ever dead meat.
  • Drogo - Voltan's adopted son who just wanted daddy to respect him as a warrior. Killed by Hawk.
  • Voltan - Jack Palance! Evil brother to the noble Hawk, an iron helm hides the hideous disfigurement of his face caused by Elaine sticking a torch into his eye. Not that anything women do is like having a flaming brand stuck in your socket mind you. Cut down by Hawk.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

The cover art looks pretty average for a sword and sorcery flick and we all expect some goofy "magical" effects, but when those two glowing hula hoops appear all bets are off. Of course Hawk and Ranulf's journey through the haunted forest could be considered fair warning, it's just that the hula hoops mark where I believe the director began dropping acid during shoots.

Years ago Voltan killed the wise and good king, at least I think he was a king. Maybe I'm taking too much for granted, if he was all that wise then he would have tossed his evil brat down a well long ago. Now the wicked swordsman is terrorizing the countryside, burning Ranulf's village and taking the Abbess prisoner. Only a powerful group of heroes can stop the spread of evil and only one man can lead them, Ranulf transforms into a single handed bloodhound and locates Hawk in under two scenes. Using the good witch's magic to quickly assemble a formidable party allows for character development, but some hooded guy walking in and reasoning, "You all meet in a tavern." would have been just as coherent.

Okay, we have our warriors and evil forces to oppose them, what could possibly be missing? (here plot, here plot, come here boy) Hold on a minute, the evil guys want a hefty ransom for the Abbess' safe return, the party will have to battle a group of rich and vicious slavers for the gold. That was little problem, but when Drogo takes it upon himself to confront Hawk a fight ensues and the result (dead Drogo) sets Voltan off.

Jack Palance's character has had a difficult life. First the woman he desires weds Hawk, then she burns half his face off, when he tries to kill his goody goody brother with a crossbow she manages to get in the way and now this, the darn kid he had to adopt and raise as a son (funny thing, no woman wants to marry a guy with scar tissue for the left side of his face) gets sent to the big orphanage in the sky.

Finally the two brothers do cross swords in a very lopsided ticket. Hawk wields the "Elven Mindstone Blade of Jack Palance Slaying and General Whoopass" and the outcome is pretty much a forgone conclusion. The ending almost shoves the idea of sequel in you face, but I can not imagine any act to follow the very special film that is "Hawk the Slayer."

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • The old king will always hang on long enough to bequeath his legacy onto the good son, even after being stabbed through the heart with a sword.
  • Evil armies sing happy little tunes while hacking up women and children.
  • Boa Constrictors live in temperate forests.
  • Witches can summon glowing hula hoops to teleport people across vast distances.
  • Hare Krishnas hate dwarves.
  • Whips are under utilized in sport fishing.
  • Pound for pound you can not beat the entertainment value of watching some dirty little man gnaw on a roast chicken.
  • Evil men keep nuns as pets.
  • A witch's staff is full of silly string, she uses this to blind and immobilize enemies.
  • Nuns would make really fine secret service agents.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 4 mins - Why does a human have the last elfin mindstone?
  • 14 mins - Hawk journeys into the land of background matting.
  • 30 mins - That looks just like Halloween spider web...
  • 42 mins - Baldin did not have any trouble getting free of those ropes, I probably would have done that earlier.
  • 45 mins - "The Iron Hills are no more." says Baldin, you mean that Voltan bulldozed them or something? What force in medieval times went around flattening out hills?
  • 54 mins - You know, for good guys, this group is rather sadistic.
  • 67 mins - Very windy here in the foreground, but notice how all the trees are not moving.
  • 83 mins - Fluorescent bouncy balls! Hehehehe! I almost died from laughter over the next few minutes.

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note hawkslayer1.wav Goofy Guy: "Ohhh dear, I do believe my impetuous friend is challenging you."
Crow: "He wastes his time and mine." (Arrow thwack!)
Green Music Note hawkslayer2.wav Hawk: "And how did the mighty Baldin come to be in this sorry mess?"
Baldin: "Too much wine, a friendly fight or know how it goes. A crack on the skull from a sultry wench, and I wake to find myself at the mercy of these chanting fools!"
Green Music Note hawkslayer3.wav Drogo: "I am no messenger, but I will give you a message. The message of death!"
Green Music Note hawkslayer4.wav Voltan: "Dear brother, I think you and your friends can be persuaded to tell me...believe it, or not!" (Ok, so he didn't actually say that last part.)
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Cliphawkslayer1.mpg - 3.2m
I still cannot believe that they used fluorescent bouncy balls.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: [1] 2 3 ... 13
Hawk the Slayer
Reply #1. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by gbofosho
In reply to
Wow! With all the expletive laced reviews in here I'm beginning to feel like I'm in an AICN Talkback!....Yes they can be put to good use with the right storyline!

The LOTR triology has been made in the last 5 years whilst Hawk the Slayer was made 25 years ago...
Hawk the Slayer
Reply #2. Posted on February 03, 2003, 02:39:14 AM by jim(my)
This is an excellent movie! Very inspiring to me and very imaginative. This move holds a much higher place in my heart than any fantasy movie in theaters these days. I definitely agree that it is reminiscent of a good old D&D quest. For those of you who wished to see a second stab at the fantasy genre by this team, check out Prisoners of the Lost Universe. Same Director and much of the same cast, including Crow and the dwarf!
Hawk the Slayer
Reply #3. Posted on April 07, 2002, 04:12:14 AM by Big Fat J
Dude, I thought that I made a cheap ass movie in my head,but from my early childhood I could remember a pretty cool movie because nobody and I  mean nobody has heard of that movie so I thought I dreamnt it for along time
Hawk the Slayer
Reply #4. Posted on August 29, 2001, 07:42:53 AM by Brugger
I saw the film nearly twenty years ago whenit came on TV and had it on video for all that time. I still find it a little hammy at best. I did read the book, which is slightly better, and when bored with nothing to watch on TV, i stick Hawk the Slayer on for a few laughs
Hawk the Slayer
Reply #5. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Gavin Funhead
I find it highly fantastic that there are so many other believers out there of this masterpiece. The one constant highlight is the awesome soundtrack, totally unique and I have at last found it to buy. As for the comment.

"be a good fellow and clear up the mess you made"
(gorts answer)
"I'd sooner eat cow dung"

greatest wittiest comeback in cinema history
Hawk the Slayer
Reply #6. Posted on October 09, 2000, 08:03:39 AM by A fine hog
I think we're all agreed that this film is a cheap but cheerful pile of s**t really isn't it?The enjoyment comes from the fact that it is so much undemanding fun.You can chuckle at the pricelessly cheesy dialogue and scream with laughter at the shockingly cheap SFX-note the 'flying fire bolts'(neon ping pong balls)and the astounding amount of smoke machine smoke that floats around the woods.Also the dodgy plot and throw-away fantasy references e.g 'those dark years....' and all those towns that you hear about but never see e.g Danesford or Burnby etc. etc.
     I want everyone to submit their favourite piece of dialogue or moment from the film......NOW
         The contest gets better........
Hawk the Slayer
Reply #7. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by wendy
I remember seeing this film on Aussie TV not long after it came out, I think I even taped it (on Beta, that'll tell you how long ago it was) I've always liked a bit of sword and sorcery and back then I thought It was pretty cool,(that's probably why I taped it) I think I had a bit of a thing for the elf as well.
Hawk the Slayer
Reply #8. Posted on November 12, 2000, 02:12:50 AM by tfm
I try to return to this site every few months to update myself on what is arguably the best sci-fi film to date. The characters are colorful, and, with an outstanding music score--powerful. Those of you who delight in gratuitous profanity to make up for only having a brainstem to support you, I suggest that you tender your cinematic critiques for films such as Joe VS The Volcano--Hawk is way out of your league.( If I have offended you--that was my intention).
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