Dragonslayer (1981) - Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Hohum Score



A young wizarding apprentice is sent to kill a dragon which has been devouring girls from a nearby kingdom.

IMDB: 6.7
Director: Matthew Robbins
Stars: Peter MacNicol, Caitlin Clarke
Length: 109 Minutes
PG Rating: PG
Reviews: 11 out of 117 found boring (9.4%)

One-line Reviews (80)

Kudos are also in order for Derek Vanlint's sumptuous widescreen cinematography and Alex North's robust'n'rousing score.

The movie itself may be quite a bit cheesy in 2007, maybe the acting is a bit over-the-top, but the Dragon alone makes this movie worth watching.

At the time, this movie had special effects that were mind blowing.

I enjoyed it thoroughly and it is a must for any father/son movie adventure!

Enjoyable, watchable fantasy .

"Q" has far too many things wrong with it - tedious and unnecessary storyline and bargain basement special effects among others - and "Reign of fire" spends endless amounts of screen time on people arguing about minutiae and too little time on, well, DRAGONS.

because I'd hate to see the reputation of this fine film dragged through the mud by what would most likely be a lesser sequel.

Funny acting by the veteran Ralph Richardson and enjoyable support cast .

Her story is compelling.

Forget it's MacNichol in the lead, try to tolerate the soundtrack and sit back for an enjoyable evening of fun.

Ralph Richardson is of course fantastic in his role as the sorcerer,the locations are marvelous,dark,misty dank,thick with atmosphere, and the score is Alex North's best work,his Dragon theme and scenes of it flying high in the atmosphere add an epic value to it all,just breathtaking.

A very well made film with a great murky atmosphere, exquisuite scenery, great midieval set designs, and breathtaking battle sequences with the most ferocious dragon in cinema history!

Furthermore, the movie could be a bit more exciting, the feeling of terror is a bit lacking and the tension isn't built up very well, perhaps partly because Disney didn't want it so.

Dragonslayer is worth watching for him alone.

The Disney company took a lot of heat from angry parents because many thought this co-production with Paramount was going to be "a Disney movie" (if you follow me), and nowhere as intense as it turned out to be to their freaked-out children!

A boring film, except for the Dragon.


It needed a stronger sense of pacing, and more engaging characters.

The film benefits from some very stylish costumes and sets, and the breathtaking scenery helps as well.

Robbins delivers a movie that's just as exciting as Jackson's films in half the time.

The only thing that let it down from this perspective , was that some of the parts in between the dragons fighting were a little dull .

Peter MacNicol is a likable enough lead with his spontaneous boyish charm, Caitlin Clarke and Chloe Salamon are stunning as the female leads, and Ralph Richardson without a doubt steals the movie as Ulrich.

Overall I'd say Dragonslayer is a worthwhile film & I enjoyed it, having said that I'm not sure how many other people would share my sentiments.

The music by Alex North is enjoyable, the production design and cinematography are most atmospheric, and the special effects are, for the most part, pretty damn good, having been done in old school, practical fashion.

And the slow pacing and periodic focus on natural scenery make the movie feel both more realistic and more grand at the same time.

Its the effects that make this film stand up and get counted, for the time the effects were mind blowing and they ain't half bad now.

And you need a good attention span because parts of the movie run slow.

Entertaining and fun movie with acceptable special effects bringing the dragon to life .

Each scene the dragon apears is compeling, gripping and unforgeteable.

"All in all it was enjoyable watching.

While indeed it might be too intense and graphic for the youngest of viewers, it's good, straightforward entertainment, directed with style by Matthew Robbins.

Ridley Scott's Legend had Tom Cruise (bad idea), Conan was too slow, and many others were killed because of a bad script or terrible effects.

and I found the first watching to be exciting, with unexpected twists and great special effects.

The tiny, smouldering red eyes convey an intense fury that makes the villagers' fear of the dragon quite understandable.

The tomboyish Clarke is an intriguing presence and Richardson has some fun in the sorcerer role.

And of course,as so many have mentioned,Verminthrax Perjoritive,the Dragon,he is a terrifying awe inspiring sight to behold,the scene where you first get a good look at him,rising up from the side in the cave must be one of the best special FX I've ever seen,magnificent,then to see him crawling through the cave has an eerie believable look to it,like some fantastic documentary,it still leaves me slack jawed in awe.

Entertaining film.

The result of this craftsmanship combined with a compelling story and effective performances is a very well made sword and sorcery film.

This is an enjoyable fantasy movie.

It benefits from a delightful performance by Richardson, as well as equally engaging work by Sydney Bromley and young MacNicol.

You have to give credit to "Dragonslayer" for what it does right; the special effects are quite good, the principal characters are compelling and the story is never predictable.

Without being too camp, it manages to be very entertaining, and along with NeverEnding Story, Princess Bride and Legend this is one of the better fantasy films I have seen.

A stunning film!

In many modern fantasy movies, the creatures and dragons are uninspired, dull, and drab, despite the computer engineering behind them.

A quirky, enjoyable journey into a magical Dark Age .

I also remember the movie being a tad slow moving.

The editing is OK, but the cinematography was a mix of inventiveness and boredom.

If you want to see compelling fantasy with one ferocious dragon, you've chosen the right movie.

All in all, a couple of minor flaws, but it is most enjoyable, and one of the better fantasy films out there.

Enjoyable movie, worth renting if you like fantasy type movies.

Maybe I was the right age when I watched it but I really enjoyed it.

Boring Disappointment .


"Dragonslayer" is a dreary and gloomy fantasy that isn't nearly as much fun as it should have been.

The characters, with the exception of Tyrian (John Hallam) the king's hit-man, are just too bland.

' Although an older movie with dated special effects, Dragonslayer is a breathtaking feat of 80's movies and a great job by good ol' ILM.

Thrilling as well as spectacular musical score by the classic Alex North , some of the score by Alex North was "recycled" from music he'd originally composed for 2001: A Space Odyssey that went unused .

You get supposedly quiet scenes and the music playing behind is fast paced and furious.

To those people I would recommend Reign of Fire, a movie with plenty of dragons and no story!

Yet the main character is a bit of a tedious person and I found it a bit hard to feel lots of sympathy for him ,let alone identify and feel with him.

Fans of dungeons and dragons should especially enjoy the fantastic fight sequences and gripping drama surrounding the young apprentice Galen/Gaylon, a wizard in training.

The Dragons & special effects re great but the acting is poor, very boring...

You ask, what was entertaining then ?

Those who were bored in this film were obviously just watching to see the dragon.

The effects must have been impressive in their day and do hold up well and the unexpected gore adds some realism.

Please don't waste you time watching a minute of this pablum.

As for adults it's a little slow & doesn't feature any real blood, gore or violence worth mentioning & a lack of any big action sequences mean I'm not sure the average adult would be totally satisfied either.

******Warning, Spoilers*******While by no means a great film, suffering as it does from wooden acting and some pretty annoying music, Dragonslayer is somewhat better than the rest of the early 80's sword and sorcery films and for fans of the fantasy genre is worth watching for several reasons.

The dark atmosphere of the scenes were perfect for the movie, and I have to say that hiding the dragons features for a good portion of the movie was directing and editing beauty because it kept dragon enthusiasts on the edge of their seats writhing and thinking, `Let me see it!

The sorcerer's castle is appropriately dark and dreary, the people live in a village that appears to be little more than sticks and rocks put together, and the dragon's lair, full of fire and steam, is an unforgettable sight.

If your movie is about a dragon, it sure as heck shouldn't be this boring!

For children from ages 8 and up though, this is an exciting and nice movie, although there are better movies in this genre like Dragonheart, Willow and Legend.

The result is an entertaining spectacle.


Recently re-watched it and still enjoyed it for what it was: a fantasy-adventure.

The characters are believable and enjoyable.

I find the whole "virgin sacrifice" concept to be an enormous flaw that not only wrecks a lot of the credibility of the story, but makes it run into cliche.

The story had some interesting (and unexpected!

Dragonslayer kind of crept into and out of theaters and has been little seen since; which is a shame, as it is actually a very entertaining film.

The special effects are mind blowing for their time.