107 – Krull

Ken Marshall wields the Glaive in Krull (1983)
literally who cares what this thing is called shut the hell up

Mike Rosen returns to fight Tim on the merits (or lack thereof) of cult 80s sci-fantasy film Krull! Jen moderates to the best of her ability!

Krull hit screens in 1983 and failed to make its money back, although it is beloved by the kind of people who liked Ready Player One.

For exhaustive contemporary coverage of Krull, visit the Internet Archive’s scanned copy of Starlog issue 76, from November 1983.

Special effects makeup artist Nick Maley seemed to enjoy making the film, judging by his reminisces.

One valiant effort to market the movie: Krull-themed weddings! To our knowledge, none of the brides or grooms have come forward to admit to their participation. But it’s hard to see how the movie missed with marketing concepts this good:

One [marketing gimmick] suggests approaching the local bakery about creating special pastries in the shape of the Glaive and dubbing them the punny ‘Krullers’. “Everyone knows what a cruller is…a tasty glazed donut. Now comes the Kruller…a tasty Glaived donut.

Tim Kirk via The Moving Arts Film Journal

For another fantasy misfire and more of guest Mike Rosen, try our episode on Ron Howard and George Lucas’s Willow!

106 – Planet of Storms

Still frame from Pavel Klushantsev's Planet of Storms (1962)

Tim and Jen return to Soviet filmmaker Pavel Klushantsev’s optimistic world of space exploration for 1962’s Planet of Storms! Hear the full episode on Patreon for a pledge of as low as $2/month and get access to all our other bonus content.

The original film is available on YouTube with English subtitles. If you’re curious about the 1955 Disney short Man in Space, you can watch it here, but you won’t actually learn much about the historical origins of rocketry.

See photos of the actual Venusian surface captured by some of the unfortunate Soviet probes we mentioned.

If you missed our Road to the Stars episode, listen to it here!

ERRATA: Jen speculates in the episode about the reason for the lack of cultural impact the film made in the United States. It turns out there’s a good reason. Planet of Storms didn’t arrive in the US in official, unadulterated home video form until some time in the 90s. As we mentioned, the film was cannibalized for two different American productions. One was Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet, with new footage directed by eventual New Queer Cinema trailblazer Curtis Harrington. The other, as we mentioned in the episode, was Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women. They both suck.

105 – The Astrologer

Jen and Tim are astounded by one of the most pompous auteur statements ever made— Craig Denney’s The Astrologer from 1976! Hear the whole episode over at our Patreon for a pledge of as little as $2/month, and get access to all our other bonus content as well!

More on The Astrologer (1976)

The Astrologer had a theatrical run from at least 1976 through part of 1977, but was considered lost for many years. It eventually resurfaced in 2021 on YouTube. Paramount appears to have a copyright claim on the picture (amazing that they’d even want it), but that doesn’t mean it can’t be seen if you know where to look.

The story of auteur Craig Denney is as mysterious as it is surprising. Jim Vorel has a good rundown at Paste Magazine. Long story short, Denney made a bold play for notoriety, only to disappear sometime in the 80s. No one knows when he died, if he’s actually dead, or even his real birthdate! And that’s just the start of the confusion! From the article:

Denney’s friend and associate Arthyr Chadbourne (who plays business manager Arthyr in the film) has disputed these figures, suggesting instead at L.A. screenings/Q&As that Denney was notorious for exaggeration and self-aggrandizing. As Chadbourne reportedly said then, “Craig was wonderful with hype. Everything was millions … you should read some of the things we used to send out to investors.”

Jim Vorel, Paste Magazine

Vorel’s article draws from this well-researched piece by Sean Welsh over at Matchbox Cine. Did Craig Denney fake his death? Where the hell did he get all his money? Which of his claims about his life were true? Was he even as successful as he claimed he was?

If you’re curious about our allusion to Romeo & Romeo, check out our episode about possibly the greatest addition to queer cinema in the last twenty-five years.