Kroll.  Miodne, oldskulowe science fiction

Today, cassette tapes can be purchased for a few dozen luxury goods in bazaars, bankrupt rental stores, and antique shops. But twenty years ago, it was an expensive and desirable commodity, and the VHS market was an important branch of the business. The number of distributors operating in Poland can be counted in the hundreds (!), although the legality of some of them remains silent. In total, several tens of thousands of titles were released, and among them you can find many rarities (which is easy to notice on Allegro, where individual cassettes sometimes cost several hundred zlotys, while other, more popular cassettes do not even go down to zlotys symbolic). And while this may surprise some people, the VHS market was much richer than the DVD market, and with enough perseverance, you could get literally everything, from ironclad classics to musty exploitation cinema. Of course, there is no complete list of all films released, which makes collecting cassette tapes seem like a treasure hunt. Even today, when exploring old rental stores, I'm left with a feeling that Indiana Jones would probably understand better – maybe there will be something no one has found yet?

Each episode of VHS Nostalgia will focus on one film: usually a forgotten, shoddy one released in a small print run. The only selection criterion is “coldness”. And not only the beauty of the film itself, but also its surroundings: the cover, the narrator, the advertising slogan. In VHS Nostalgia you'll find both titles you might remember from the rental racks, as well as ones that no one wanted to watch until right after the premiere. However, every time it will be an interesting film for a reason. So we will meet voracious brains, human-animal hybrids, penniless guards, and pigs that eat human flesh. I listen!


Kroll It is a marriage between heroic fantasy cinema and science fiction style star Wars. At the time (1983) it was one of the most expensive fantasy films ever made, which is surprising because Kroll It was not produced in Hollywood at all, but in Great Britain, and there are almost no important names in the cast. As a result, production Petra Yatissa (Former director buried) did not receive much attention from the audience and did not recover its budget. Only years later did it gain cult status in some circles.


Title Kroll It is a distant world located somewhere in space. In terms of setting and costume, it resembles the late Middle Ages, with influences of science fiction cinema. So the characters wear costumes Robin Hood (Including the famous socks that Mel Brooks would parody a decade later), but during the battle they use, among other things, laser weapons and other cool toys, somewhat borrowed from the imagination of George Lucas. Inspiration list roll It's long, and some elements are taken from an RPG Dungeons and Dragonsand the plot is very reminiscent of the Lord of the Rings: The main character, the young King Colwyn, must obtain a magical artifact and go with a group of brave soldiers to the Black Castle, ruled by a dark, shape-shifting monster who is holding his beautiful fiancée captive. It is easy to guess that if Colwyn fails, he will lose not only his lover, but also his kingdom, because the monster wants to rule the entire universe.


At this stage, the first question arises: Is Tolkien’s relationship with… star WarsFloors Robin Hood, written according to a simple sequence of quests, reminiscent of quests in role-playing games (find an artifact -> gather a team -> find a sage who will show you the path to the villain, etc.) Is it possible? Absolutely? Contrary to appearances, yes, although I have to admit when evaluating roll It's hard for me not to take into account feelings toward the imperfect but very charming fantasy cinema of the early 1980s. In fact, Yates's film can be criticized for many things: the characters are nice but one-dimensional, and there is no point in looking for anyone among them who can break from the canon of fictional heroes (so we have a spunky, charming young man, a loyal princess, a sage capable of sacrifices, a thief who will be found In the end he is brave, noble, etc.), the number of theatrical errors and extremely visual special effects will cause a lot of headaches. In contrast, the main character (the now completely forgotten Ken Marshall) seems more like an amalgam of well-known characters (moreover, he looks almost identical to a young Richard Chamberlain) than someone who could encourage viewers to visit. Cinema.


Pomimo l Kroll It defends itself bravely, thanks to the ingenuity of its creators, allowing them to skillfully combine interesting motifs into a cohesive and attractive whole. On the screen we will see Dark Knights who turn into bloody snails after death (!), a lonely but very effective giant who not only knows the exact moment of his death, but is also able to show the middle finger of fate and save. The heroes at the decisive moment are, above all, the magical horses that run so fast that they leave a trail of amazing smoke behind them. However, what is particularly noteworthy is the design of the Black Castle, a gloomy and unreal place, reminiscent of the surrealist paintings of Salvador Dali. I really wish any modern mainstream fantasy film had the visual ingenuity shown by the creators roll.


Despite its faults, Peter Yates's production is still a pleasure to watch today, and James Horner's sumptuous score, playing almost constantly in the background, only intensifies the impression of a great old-school adventure.

Text from the archive.

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