1980s Fantasy Adventure Epic Revived With Gorgeous Upgrade

By Brian Myers | Published

Fans of the 1981 cult film Dragonslayer will be delighted at the recent news regarding the fantasy movie’s re-release. The film is now available with a total upgrade to 4K, which can be viewed on either a Blu-ray disc or by digitally purchasing it from a streaming service. The digital enhancements are but part of the new experience that awaits film buffs, as the Blu-ray version is loaded with extras as well.

Dragonslayer Looks And Sounds Better Than Ever

Dragonslayer not only looks its best but also has audio that has received a brilliant upgrade. The Dolby Atmos audio mix gives the dialogue and sound effects a seemingly flawless contribution to the film, matching the drastic improvements to the newly enhanced visual quality.

Blu-Ray Includes Documentaries

Along with the original theatrical trailer, the Dragonslayer Blu-ray contains multiple short documentaries that chronicle the making of the film. These give the fan an opportunity to go behind the scenes with various crew and cast members, which goes a long way in revealing just how much exhaustive effort went into bringing the script and the creatures in the film to life.

The Involvement Of Guillermo Del Toro

Viewers also have the option of listening to commentary from Dragonslayer director Matthew Robbins and award-winning director Guillermo del Toro. The documentary Welcome to Cragganmore can also be viewed, which includes an in-depth look at how the special effects from the Star Wars universe impacted films forever.

Special Effects From The Star Wars Team


The special effects for Dragonslayer were brought to life by Industrial Light and Magic. Founded in 1975 by science fiction film pioneer George Lucas, Industrial Light and Magic serves as a mechanism to bring screenwriters’ imaginations to life. Dragonslayer served as the first film outside of Lucasfilm to use the company. The special effects company wasn’t the only thing that the film had in common with the Star Wars films, however.

Somehow Palpatine Returned

Ian McDiarmid, who played the part of Brother Jacopus in Dragonslayer, secured a pivotal role in the Star Wars universe two years later. Playing the antagonistic Emperor Palpatine in Return of the Jedi in 1983 was the first of several films in which McDiarmid portrayed the film franchise’s most reviled character.

A Dragon And An Unlikely Hero


For those who haven’t yet viewed the film, Dragonslayer is the tale of a sixth-century village that is plagued by a 400-year-old dragon named Vermithrax Pejorative. A party from the village of Urland begins a quest to find the sorcerer Ulrich of Cragganmore in hopes that he will be able to help them end the dragon’s reign of terror. But after Ulrich is unexpectedly killed, the task is thrust upon his young apprentice to finish the job.

A Box Office Failure Now A Cult Classic

The production budget for Dragonslayer was $18 million, a hefty gamble for a fantasy film at the time. Nearly one-quarter of the film’s budget was used to bring Vermithrax Pejorative to life, a move that was proven worthwhile but also kept the film from making a profit at the box office. Dragonslayer was only able to take in $14.1 million in ticket sales, showing a substantial loss for Paramount Pictures.

Dragonslayer stars a young Peter MacNicol as the apprentice Galen Bradwarden. Alongside MacNicol are Caitlin Clarke, Ralph Richardson, John Hallam, and Peter Eyre.

Source: Blu-ray