Gort vs The Black Fortress: A merry Krull Christmas

Commander's Log, Stardate 24122013.2:

"Obi-Wan Fred-Jonesy tells Prince Tight Pants he needs to defeat a god-like alien before he can get his end away with Princess Ginger 'Fro"

A film filled with swords, sorcery and flying horses about a world being invaded by aliens that stars both Hollywood icons before they were famous and someone from Grange Hill, written by one of the writers for the Adam West Batman series and directed by the guy who did Bullitt? "Why have I not seen this film?" you may be asking. Well, chances are you have. Krull is something of a Sunday-afternoon regular on TV and has been for a long time, but we doubt you've actually sat down and watched it since you were a kid. You really need to, because you'd probably remember why you used to love it so much.

Princess Ginger 'Fro is being forced into an arranged marriage with the prince of a rival kingdom to cement an alliance against the alien Slayers who've invaded the peaceful world of Krull. Thankfully for her, she actually fancies Prince Tight Pants and his Beard of Wonder.

"Wow, his pants are tight!" thought Princess Ginger 'Fro

A magical wedding ceremony begins that's actually quite sweet and involves putting magic fire into water and passing it between the couple. Unfortunately, the Slayers interrupt the wedding, kill everyone but Prince Tight Pants and abscond with Princess Ginger 'Fro. Apparently, there's a prophecy that whoever marries her will rule the planet and their son will rule the galaxy. The 80s - not big on equal opportunities.

"Stabby or shooty - the choice is yours..."

The Slayers themselves are awesome: Black Stormtroopers in chitinous armour, carrying swords that fire lasers from the handles when they flip them over. When Prince Tight Pants manages to stab one, they screech in a nicely horrible way while their body dissolves and a slimy hand puppet wriggles out of their skull and slithers away. That's pretty much the moment you'll be sold on Krull.

"Where did we park?"

Anyway, Obi-Wan Fred-Jonesy, rescues Prince Tight Pants and tells him he needs to recover an ancient weapon from a volcano, find a way to get into the Slayers' impenetrable Black Fortress of doom, which teleports randomly across the planet once a day, and defeat a god-like alien being, who looks a bit like a 20-foot tall Pumpkinhead, before he has any chance of getting his end away. No pressure.

The new XBox One controller was a bit unwieldy

The weapon in question is The Glaive (which actually isn't a glaive at all, that's a kind of spear), a sort of cross between an oversized throwing star and a remote control toy plane directed by XBox Kinect. Despite having a dodgy name, The Glaive is actually badass. We love it even more because it turns out to be utterly useless and the villain is finally defeated with a flamethrower powered by love. Yeah, that happens.

"Dude! It's Liam Neeson!"

So where do the embarrassing pre-Hollywood and Grange Hill cameos come in? Well, to help him in his quest, Prince Tight Pants recruits a ragtag troupe of bandits and outlaws including Liam Neeson, HagridTucker Jenkins from Grange Hill and an alien cyclops who traded his other eye for the ability to predict the moment of his death. Yeah, that happens too.

A cyclops on a flying flame horse, because: reasons...

It's pretty hard to argue with Krull. Yeah, it's ripping off Star Wars, but everything was back then - still is, to an extent. Nonetheless, its seamless mix of scifi and fantasy is almost unique in cinema and the film is as beloved and as quotable as The Princess Bride in certain circles. It's a little clunky, a little cheesy, but very innovative, a bit scary and a lot of fun. Essentially, it's the perfect Christmas movie.

"Come and have a go if you think your pants are tight enough"