Anyone born in the late 1970s will know the name Hawk The Slayer. A mystical movie that sat long side Krull and even Star Wars, it was the quintessential tale of good vs evil.
Our man Saxon sat down with writer/director Terry Marcel to disgust the original movie and over 35 years later, his hopes for a sequel… Hawk may yet return.
FTN: Terry, thanks very much for taking time to chat with us, it’s a real pleasure; there’s a lot of fond memories of Hawk the Slayer here at FTN HQ, so we’re looking forward to talking to you.
Firstly, Hawk the Slayer, has some pretty obvious comparisons with Star Wars, such as the elf and dwarf (Baldin and Crow) and also the general look of Voltan. Were the cast and crew aware of these similarities whilst filming?
TM: No absolutely not. The whole idea of the costumes was to simply get away from what had been so prevalent in film – the green tights, the Robin Hoods, it was a conscious decision of mine to make it totally different by not using any of those old-fashioned Hollywood style tights. There was no conscious attachment to Star Wars.
FTN: Hawk has gathered quite a cult following over the years thanks to television viewings and hard-to-find VHS and DVD copies. Were you or anyone else at the time thinking the film would become a cult classic or was the film making viewed as ” popcorn kitch”?
TM: It’s interesting that you ask that question because I’ve done a lot of interviews over the last two months and I always ask the interviewers “When did it become a cult classic?” because I made it 35 years ago and never expected it to be come what it’s become. I’m as confused about it as you are.
FTN: There were some very respected cast members in this; first off, did you have any input into the brilliant casting of John Terry or Jack Palance?
TM: John Terry was an actor I found. I was doing a small picture in Florida called There Goes the Bride which was an adaptation of a stage play and we couldn’t take anybody from the UK so we were looking for a young guy to play the bridegroom in it and he was a local unknown actor.
I used him in that movie and then when we started to cast Hawk I said to Chips, who were the company that made it, ‘I’ve got this guy in Florida who would be a marvelous Hawk’, and they said ‘Have him go to the ITC offices in LA, if they like him he’s on’. Well, of course he walked into the office and most of the women swooned and that’s how we got him!
FTN: There is also a large British presence in the movie with Patricia Quinn and Roy Kinnear. What was it like working with both the British and American cast?
TM: Very good! I always remember one of the best scenes with Roy Kinnear was with Jack Palance, and they loved doing that scene together. They worked extremely well together. I find that a lot, I worked as a first assistant on a lot of movies with American actors and they seem to just get on so well with their British counterparts. (Continues after picture)
FTN: There were some pretty amazing stunts in this movie, notably Jack Palance’s climatic sword fight. Were there any problems staging the fight due to his age?
TM: No, there wasn’t at all. We had a stunt supervisor called Eddie Stacey who worked the fight through with John, and Jack watched and took notes and then in the final sequence he just stepped in and did it! He was fantastic.
FTN: A sequel, Hawk the Hunter, has been rumored for a while. Are there any truths to it and if so, what stage is the movie’s development at?
TM: I’ll tell you exactly where we are. I will be at Frightfest at the end of this month where they will be showing the new Blu-Ray of Hawk the Slayer, I’m there to introduce it and to take part in a Q&A.
A kickstarter will start on that day for the final piece of money for the sequel, Hawk the Hunter. We’ve got most of the money in place and have been fortunate enough to have game company Rebellion on board to do the CGI, we’ve also got one of the greatest rock performers our country has ever known, Rick Wakeman, on board to do the music. We’re all set to shoot it in Lithuania in November, if we can just put the final piece of money together through the kickstarter campaign we’re a go!
And that’s where you – and us – come in. If you would like to see a Hawk sequel, at the end of August (August 30th) go to Kickstarter.com and search ‘Hawk the Hunter’ to donate to the production of the movie.