Sometimes you just need a good fantasy movie. Whether you’re sick of the typical romantic comedy or horror film or if you just like special effects, fantasy movies that involve story-book like battles between good and evil are often a remedy for what ails you.
While there are plenty of newer fantasy films available (Beowulf comes to mind), there are plenty on your video store shelves that are just as good and will likely be available to you at all times simply because people forget they even exist.
Here’s some that fit that category:
This Tom Cruise film is actually a bit confusing (I hear they cut quite a bit of it out before it hit the theaters) but it’s not half bad. Cruise plays a hermit who has to fight the Prince of Darkness after one of the last two unicorns on Earth is killed and the other captured; something that can plunge the planet into darkness forever. Mia Sara (most famous for her role in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) plays Princess Lily; who Cruise must also rescue.
Beast Master (1982)
You’ll see this movie on television on occasion. But, the unedited version is much better. What can make a better story than a hero with the ability to talk to animals seeking revenge against a power-hungry priest and his witches? There are some nice sword battles and plenty of furry animals to keep the younger viewers happy.
Dragon Slayer (1981)
As children, we are read fairy tales involving handsome princes slaying dragons to save the woman they love. This movie doesn’t have a prince, but it does have a young man facing a dragon that is about to devour his girlfriend. And, considering when it was made, the special effects aren’t too bad. If you watch closely, you can see Ian McDermott (Emperor Palpatine in the Star Wars movies) in one of his first film roles.
The great thing about this movie, which features a teenaged girl (Jennifer Connelly) facing the Goblin King in an effort to rescue her brother, is the fantastic music throughout. The Goblin King is one of David Bowie’s best roles. Almost all the characters in this film are Muppets; something kids might enjoy despite the dark theme.
Clash of the Titans (1981)
The special effects in this movie are weak by today’s standards and I have a feeling somebody will eventually attempt to do a remake of this film. But, this is one of the few movies that feature a hero facing everything from Medusa to the Kraken in an effort to save the woman he loves.