Listen to Gobbledygeek Episode 426 – “Geek Challenge: Hawk the Slayer vs. The Adventures of Robin Hood”

Top: Bernard Bresslaw, John Terry, Patricia Quinn, Ray Charleson, and W. Morgan Sheppard in Hawk the Slayer (1980), directed by Terry Marcel / Bottom: Herbert Mundin, Errol Flynn, and Alan Hale, Sr. in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), directed by Michael Curtiz

Gobbledygeek episode 426, “Geek Challenge: Hawk the Slayer vs. The Adventures of Robin Hood,” is available for listening or download right here, on Spotify, and on Apple Podcasts.

Ah, merry old England. A land of many fine tales as well as some pretty crummy ones. This week, Paul and Arlo explore both sides of English mythmaking in a Geek Challenge that hearkens back to the Middle Ages; i.e., the 1930s and 1980s. First up is a movie Paul has been trying to get Arlo to watch literally as long as they’ve been podcasting: Terry Marcel’s 1980 sword-and-sorcery epic (?) Hawk the Slayer, featuring John Terry and Jack Palance as improbable brothers warring over the power of the Mind Sword. In return, Arlo has Paul watch Michael Curtiz’s 1938 classic The Adventures of Robin Hood, starring Errol Flynn as the screen’s most iconic Robin. The boys discuss Hawk as Paul’s Rosetta stone; Robin Hood as one of those movies you just sort of absorb by osmosis; gloriously cheesy synth scores; Daffy Duck becoming a friar; and more. Plus, Jonathan Hickman’s X-Men!

NEXT: to celebrate the career of the late, great Christopher Plummer, we’re doing another Geek Challenge featuring Wolf and The Insider.

BREAKDOWN

  • 00:00:30  –  Fade In / Intro
  • 00:06:34  –  Hawk the Slayer
  • 00:52:10  –  The Adventures of Robin Hood
  • 01:24:37  –  Outro / Next

LINKS

MUSIC

  • “Hawk the Slayer” by Harry Robertson, Hawk the Slayer (Original Soundtrack) (1980)
  • “Duel, Victory and Epilogue” by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

GOBBLEDYCARES

nos·tal·gia: Hawk the Slayer

nos·tal·gia
noun
longing for something past

ORIGIN: 1770, Modern Latin rendering of German heimweh, from Greek nostos “homecoming” + algos “pain, grief, distress.” (i.e., you can never go home again.)

In 1981, HBO had about five movies that played over and over and over again: Star Wars, Friday the 13th, Billy Jack, The Little Dragons, and…Hawk the Slayer. Now, seeing as I was eleven years old, addicted to science fiction, horror, gunslinger/martial arts, cheesy teen romance, and, of course, fantasy, and I already had an obsessive personality, I watched all of these films ad nauseum. This may go some distance towards explaining a great deal about me, but that’s for another column.

My memory of Hawk the Slayer was that it was a dumb but harmless bit of 80’s sword-and-sorcery fluff. Well…I had the dumb part right.

Voltan (the Dark One, we’re informed…many times), played by Jack Palance, confronts his apparently-twenty-years-his-junior father and demands his birthright, the “keys to the ancient power.” Since Voltan (the Dark One) speaks with the Gravelly Voice of Evil Scenery Chewing and wears the Helmet of Evil Burn-Scarred Face Concealment, naturally the wise father refuses. What’s an aspiring tyrannical overlord to do in a situation like that? What’s that you say? Stab his extremely youthful father in the heart? Precisely. Baby-Daddy winces slightly as he’s brutally murdered by his Crone-Son and the bad seed exits stage left.

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