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Hawk the Slayer

UK 1980
produced by
Harry Robertson
directed by Terry Marcel
starring John Terry, Jack Palance, Bernard Bresslaw, Ray Charleson, Peter O'Farrell, Morgan Sheppard, Cheryl Campbell, Catriona MacColl, Annette Crosbie, Shane Briant, Harry Andrews, Christopher Benjamin, Roy Kinnear, Patrick Magee, Ferdy Mayne, Peter Benson, Barry Stokes, Maurice Colbourne
music by Harry Robertson

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Sometime in the Middle Ages: Evil Voltan (Jack Palance) has abducted the abbess (Annette Crosbie) of a monastery for ransom, but knight Ranulf (Morgan Sheppard) instead enlists the help of Hawk (John Terry) - the benevolent brother of Voltan, whose fiancée Voltan killed - to help them, who wields a magic sword & who soon summons the giant Gort (Martin Bresslaw), the elf Crow (Ray Charleson) & the dwarf Baldin (Peter O'Farrell) for no apparent reason. Together they steal the gold for the ransom from a slaver & hide it in the monastery to lure Voltan to the place. Soon, the monastery is under siege by Voltan & his men, & a nun, who still believes in a peaceful resolution for it all, betrays Hawk & his friends, & soon they are made captives by Voltan, while the nun herself soon makes the acquaintance of Voltan's sword.

But of course Hawk & company have enlisted the help of a good sorceress who frees them & helps them in their final battle with cheap magic (mainly an indoor snowstorm & laserbeams), which in the end turns into a man-on-man duel between Hawk & Voltan ... which Hawk wins of course, & though many of his comrades (Ranulf, Crow & Baldwin) have died in the process, victory is his & the abbess is set free, Voltan is dead, but is he ? The last scenes of the film hint at a sequel that fortunately was never made.


This film was produced when childish fantasy recycling movies were booming in wake of the incredibly childish & incredibly derivative first Star Wars movies, but in all, Hawk was a rather sad affair: The direction lacks any magic so much needed for a fantasy movie, more resembling a filmed outdoor-theatre-production - the camerawork is incredibly static, the rather unimpressing forest scenery seems to never change from a very limited strip of wood, the special effects seem bottom of the barrell, most of the actors talk & play as if on stage, the sun seems to be the only light-source (not that all of this would be essentially a bad thing, just in this case). Furthermore, John Terry in the lead lacks any charisma much needed for the role (but in all fairnes, so did Mark Hammill of the Star Wars-movies), & the music (by the film's producer) a very flat pseudo-rock score is used in the film rather indifferently & - apart from not creating anything remotely like a Middle Ages-atmosphere - more often than not destroys the tension of the respective sequence rather than complimenting, even augmenting it.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD