Peter Yates was a surprising choice to helm a space epic in the wake of Star Wars; his 1983 film Krull has a wonderful production design to play with; those wondering what Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Dune might have looked like should take a swatch at some of the scenes, from the giant glass sider to the eye-popping fortress that holds Princess Lyssa (Lysette Anthony). Colwyn (Ken Marshall) sets out to rescue her, with Liam Neeson, Alan Armstrong, Robbie Coltrane, Todd Cathy and Bernard Bresslaw amongst his merry band of warriors taking on laser-firing robots with bows and arrows. A silly romp that gives outer-space a uniquely British flavour Krull didn’t hit the spot enough to spawn a sequel or franchise, but it’s a good-looking fantasy romp that’s alternative viewing for sci-fi fans.
Adapting a Peter Benchley novel in the aftermath of Jaws was always going be a difficult prospect; the lack of a killer shark stopped The Deep from reaching such iconic status, although Peter Yates’s film is a good-looking thriller with personable leads. Gail and David (Jacqueline Bisset and Nick Nolte) are holidaying in Bermuda when they meet up with adventurer Romer Treese (Robert Shaw) who is on the trail of sunken treasure. There’s plenty of danger, from a Haitian drug cartel to a deadly Moray eel that guards the treasure, and Shaw is always good value as a similar grizzled sea-soak to the one he played in Jaws. The Deep is likably old-school in its traditional adventure plotting, but Yates brings excellent production values to the fore, with impressive underwater photography that catches his photogenic leads at their youthful best.