Tuesday, May 9, 2017

My Life in Fandom: Krull, a Perfect Pulp Fantasy Movie


It's not just the year that others and I refer as the breakpoint for most SocJus death cultists, before which all is in a memory hole of WrongThink. Over on the film and television side of things, that year (plus or minus a few years) is the anchor point for the previous big explosion of Pulp sensibility in those media. A lot of beloved films and series first hit theaters and airwaves in that era, making big impacts and influencing future works accordingly. Star Wars is just the one that figured out how to turn that into a business empire unto itself.

One of my favorite movies came near the end of this era, in 1983: Krull. Swords, sorcery, space-faring alien conquerors, prophecy, teleporting fortresses, princesses in peril, a world in danger, and a magic giant throwing star misnamed "The Glaive"- everything a boy wants out of his films. I loved it enough to insist on renting a copy and showing it my first girlfriend; that she didn't get it should have warned me that this was not a good match.

The reason I'm pointing out this film is that it--like the more famous Raiders of the Lost Ark--is clearly a Pulp story, one that freely blends Fantasy and Science Fiction together into a coherent story that entertains first and foremost. If I were to cite examples easily found online of what the Pulps are to normies, this film is one I'd readily cite- especially for Pulp Fantasy.

The band of companions (all of them men and boys), the motivation of love for one's spouse, one's country, one's nation, for the posterity one leaves behind- things routinely derided now. The struggle against fate, against cowardice, against despair, against lust are all aspects of their struggle against the villain, The Beast. Even the magic weapon isn't without flaws, and the climax has a twist to it that is clearly Superversive in its sensibility. It's been almost 35 years, and I still have not tired of watching it; I put it on annually, at the least.

By the middle of the decade, this moment passed and with it went the surge of earnest optimism that it carried- something I would not find again until Lucas's doomed Prequels. The nihilistic taint would carry forward, and now I see that it is this quality that is the root of my discontent with much of what is published--regardless of medium--since. Even the lighter fair can't avoid a snide sneer, a mockery from the margins, that undermines what otherwise would be worthy follow-ups- and this is before the wholesale descent into the Pink Slime, the One Plot, and the Sanctioned Fanfic. To get this itch scratched, I had to go east (anime) or play games.

We need more works like Krull--new, unashamed works of heroism, romance, and adventure--and not more Sanctioned Fanfic consisting of Pink Slime stamped out using a One Plot template. That's why we need to fork without fear, and build our own platforms; the Death Cult won't do it because they can't, and they can't because they hate what we love, yet can't avoid the fact that only we can make what they require to survive.

And we will make SF/F--across ALL media----fun again.

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