Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hawk the Slayer

Hawk the Slayer is a classic of bad 80s fantasy, and is available for rental from Netflix. I recently watched it again for the first time since the 1980s, and found myself remembering just how much this film seemed like most games of D&D I played or DMed in high school (and even into college.) I have to say that Jack Palance's scenery chewing still entertains me, as does Crow the android Elf. And the terrible effects seem more charming than cheesy to me, but that could just be old age playing tricks on me. (I must admit, though, that the realization that Hawk has gone on to become Christian Shephard on Lost does make the experience a bit more surreal.)

What impresses me most about the film, though, is its unblinking sincerity. The terrible acting and script are buoyed up by a dedication to this film as if it were Citizen Kane, which isn't far off from what I see as the style of the best RPG campaigns I have played in. Frankly, if I can get a game to feel as entertainingly and devotedly cheesy as this, I consider that a victory in DMing.