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Despite its box-office failure in 1981,Dragonslayerwas gradually recognized as one of the finest fantasies to emerge from the post-Star Warsboom in special effects. It's still one of the best adventures of its kind, featuring one of the most fearsome fire-breathing serpents in movie history. Ominously named Vermithrax Pejorative, this ill-tempered monster terrorizes the peasantry of sixth-century England, feeding on maidens sacrificed by a duplicitous king until a sorcerer's apprentice named Galen (Peter MacNicol, long beforeAlly McBeal) is recruited as a reluctant hero. Aided by a tenacious beauty (Caitlin Clarke) and his resurrected mentor (Ralph Richardson), Galen confronts the soaring beast in a breathtaking climax. Employing a then-innovative technique called Go-Motion to animate the dragon, the special effects are still dazzling, and stunning locations in Scotland and Wales allow director Matthew Robbins (cowriter of Steven Spielberg's feature debut,The Sugarland Express) to maintain a vivid atmosphere for the wealth of movie magic.--Jeff Shannon
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review by . July 31, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
I can remember watching DRAGONSLAYER in the movie theatres during my high school years, and, as I understand it, the DVD transfer is going to be upgraded from what was released on Laser Disc not long after the film's theatrical run.This has always been one of my favorite stories to come out of the Great (19)Eighties of film. The Go-Motion Effects by ILM were at the beginning of their use in feature films, but that doesn't stop this dragon from crawling around caves in search of the inadvertant hero …
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