mikelcho wrote:I finally found, on DVD, a classic dragon film that I've been trying to find on home video for a long time: Dragonslayer (1981).
"Are you afraid of dragons?"
"No. In fact, if it weren't for sorcerers, there wouldn't be any dragons.
Once the skies were dotted with them, magnificent horned backs, leathern wings, soaring
... and their hot breath wind. Oh, I know this creature of yours... Vermithrax Pejorative
. Look at these scales, these ridges. When a dragon gets this old it knows nothing but pain, constant pain
. It grows decrepit, crippled, pitiful... spiteful
In the 4 decades since she was created for the screen, Vermithrax Pejorative has seen no equal. Not Smaug, a pixelated costume worn by a superstar actor, not the soulless, but beautifully rendered graphics of Reign Of Fire, not the cartoons of Dragonheart. The only dragons that even come close are her own children, Drogon, Reaghal and Viserion. Only those three have the spark of life, while remaining truly dragons.
Despite Clash Of The Titans
coming the same year, and at the risk of impugning the name of Master Harryhausen, she remains as the final, and greatest, stop motion creature achievement of the late 20th century. She was created almost identically the same way as Kong had been birthed 52 years prior and the Tyrannosaurus rex would come to life 12 years later in Jurassic Park
, a combination of life-size animatronics, and then state-of-the-art animation techniques. Her design has directly influenced how cinema and television dragons have appeared since the moment she took flight. Dragonslayer
as a film is woefully underrated, almost forgotten and ignored, despite being the mold into which Peter Jackson poured Lord Of The Rings, the nursery from which Westeros' Mother Of Dragons would receive her progeny. It is near perfect, and so is the great winged despair, the flame in flight, Vermithrax Pejorative.