Tuesday, May 3, 2011
bad/awesome flixxx review: Excalibur (1981)
"Now look, I once stood exposed to the Dragon's Breath so that a man could lie one night with a woman. It took me nine moons to recover. And all for this lunacy called, "love, " this mad distemper that strikes down both beggar and king. Never again. Never." - Merlin
"My pride broke it. My rage broke it! This excellent knight, who fought with fairness and grace, was meant to win. I used Excalibur to change that verdict. I've lost, for all time, the ancient sword of my fathers, whose power was meant to unite all men... not to serve the vanity of a single man. I am... nothing." - Arthur
"Your rage has unbalanced you. You sir, would fight to the death, against a knight who is not your enemy. Over a stretch of road you could easily ride around."- Lancelot
"The days of our kind are numberèd. The one God comes to drive out the many gods. The spirits of wood and stream grow silent. It's the way of things. Yes... it's a time for men, and their ways."- Merlin
This is a pretty great film. It gets confusing in the middle, but I think anyone who grew up studying the legend of King Arthur will enjoy this one. I think maybe my first experience with the story was the Disney version called "The Sword in the Stone". This gives you the beginning of the story and more of the ending concluding with the search for the holy grail. It also has a shitload of bigtime actors in it in some of their earliest roles. Liam Neeson, Helen Mirren, Gabriel Byrne, Patrick Stewart, some dude named Nigel Terry as Arthur (and one of the most badass movie posters I've ever seen) in EXCALIBUR!!!
This one starts out with a dude named Uther Pendragon & his knights trying to beat this guy the Duke of Cornwall and become King to unite the land at his sorceror Merlin's behest. He begs Merlin for the Sword of Power (Excalibur) so Merlin goes and gets it from the Lady in the Lake. Then he gets up with the Duke and makes a truce on the promise the Duke will call him King and be cool. The Duke invites him over to party since they have peace, but Uther falls in love with his chick at dinner, royally pissing off the Duke. Uther says fuck it, and lays siege to the duke's castle, and then splits after he makes Merlin promise to use his powers to let him bang Iygrane (the chick). The duke searches for Uther, but Uther rides over on Dragon smoke disguised as the Duke and bangs Iygrane getting her preggers in the process. The duke is killed at the same time and his daughter Morgana knows the truth cause she's got the sight.
So Iygrane has Uther's baby but it gets taken away by Merlin cause he tricked Uther into promising him whatever he wanted. Then the duke's old buddies come and kill Uther while he's searching for his kid in the woods, except before he dies, he crams the sword into a rock. Merlin puts a spell on it so no one can pull it out except for the kid who he names Arthur. Fast forward to a tourney where knights are trying to win a chance to pull the sword out. Arthur is there with his adopted family and he forgets his bro's sword, so he pulls Excalibur from the stone so his bro can use it (like he just happened to think "well this will work"). Everyone is like you're the king, but some dudes are pissed and say its Merlin trickery. So Arthur bolts. When he wakes up in the forest, the knights are fighting and he gets the ones on his side to go help the captain of star trek TNG out and falls for his daughter Guinnevere. Everyone bows down to him.
Then Arthur on his exploits encounters a knight from across the sea, Lancelot. Lance won't let him pass, and Arthur gets pissed and breaks Excalibur fighting him. But the lady fixes the sword since Arthur learned his lesson. Then he asks Lance to join him, and creates the knights of the round table after winning the final battle for peace at Camelot. Lancelot falls in love with Guinnevere so he never hangs around with the dudes. He hides in the woods. Brings this squire Percival home. Then Liam Neeson accuses Guinnevere of banging Lancelot. Everyone is like, "what the fuck?" Then they make him fight someone. No one will stand up for her except Percival. Then lance falls asleep on his own sword. Then he comes and fights for her anyway. He almost dies, but Arthur makes Merlin save him. He splits. But Guinn comes to bang him out in the woods. Arthur goes out there and stabs his sword inbetween them. Guinn cries and joins a nunnery. Lance splits off into the woods for good. Morgana traps Merlin in an ice sculpture and steals his magic. Then she BANGS her own fucking brother! GROSS! and she gets herself preggers with Arthurs kid.
So Morgana has the unholy kid Mordred. It makes a curse come upon the land. Since Arthur and the land are one, he gets sick as hell. Then he sends all of his knights to look for this cup: the holy grail. Most of the die looking for it. Ten years later Percival almost finds it, gets trapped, escapes, finds a haggard Lancelot, the finds it in a dream?!? And then he goes back to Camelot. He makes Arthur drink from it. Arthur gets better immediately, forms up a small army, forgives Guinn, and goes to kill his own incest son. He calls upon Merlin who wakes up and becomes a ghost and steals his magic back making Morgana advance in age so she looks like a fucking old gross witch. Mordred sees her and kills his own mother. Then Arthur and Mordred kill each other. But as Arthur's dying he tells Percival to throw the sword in some water. He lies to him at first, but then he does it, and then Arthur is floating away with three chicks. I think he was dead.
Pretty awesome. John Boorman was great. I say check it out. Swords and sorcery jams are my fav.