Friday, 28 August 2015

Star Knight (1985)

I'm not sure what this film is trying to be.  Is it intended as a deconstruction of traditional "questing knight" stories?  Or perhaps it means to be a mockery of medieval values and virtues?  Or is it just an unfunny comedy that fails to live up to its potentially interesting premise?

Sadly, I suspect it is probably the latter.

The film begins with an alchemist using a pentagram to attempt to summon an 'angel' to aid him is his quest for eternal life.  His invocation is answered by a brilliant light in the sky.  The peasants promptly assume this to be a dragon, and demand that the local ruler do something about it.

Said ruler is a hypochondriac old man whose main concerns - other than his own health - are making sure the taxes are collected and keeping his daughter (who is named as a princess despite the fact that her father is a Count) from meeting any men.  If she got married, after all, her husband might try to usurp him.

The captain of the ruler's guards is Klever (pronounced Clever, the "joke" being that he is anything but).  Klever is infatuated by the princess.  Klever dreams of being a knight.  Klever wants to slay the dragon and achieve all his goals as a consequence.  Klever is also played by Harvey Keitel in the middle of his 1980s career slump, and frankly he looks horribly lost and uncomfortable in almost every scene he's in.

You may remember that a few paragraphs ago I mentioned a potentially interesting premise, and here it is: the "dragon" is a space ship.  The pilot of the ship encounters the princess when she sneaks out of the castle to do some skinny dipping (because of course she does) and the two fall in love.

We don't get to see them fall in love, of course.  That would require effort.  Instead, we get told about it after the fact, when the princess returns.  Her alien paramour can't breathe our atmosphere, you see, so their love is doomed (doomed!).  The princess isn't willing to give up so easily, though.  For that matter, neither is Klever, no matter how much you'll come to wish he would.

Unless you find buffoonery hysterical, there's nothing to recommend here.

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