In Defense Of: “Legend” (1985)


When I think back to when I was a wee whippersnapper, fantasy pics brimming with imagination, goblins and magic were very much the du jour. Peter Yates’ Krull, Ron Howard’s Willow and Jim Henson’s Labyrinth led the charge in the 80s, and are mostly remembered fondly. However, a lesser known entry into the genre is Ridley Scott’s fourth full-fledged feature, Legend.

It’s sad really, as on paper, Scott’s dark fantasy adventure is a real head-turner. Principally, its cast is noticeably impressive, with a budding Tom Cruise as the plucky hero, Jack, and a vivaciously menacing Tim Curry as devil-like antagonist, The Lord Of Darkness. Special effects maestro Rob Bottin steps up to the plate with some deliciously grimy creature makeup and visual effects, while veteran film composer Jerry Goldsmith and 80’s band Tangerine Dream, fashion a marvelously atmospheric fantasia of orchestral and poppy goodness for the eardrums.

Truth is, they just don’t make ‘em like they used to. Although it may not go down as one of the British filmmaker’s finest outings, there’s something undeniably alluring hidden deep within Legend‘s gothic fantasy, fairy-tale story and eerie ambiance.

So, sharpen your swords and dust off your finest armour, and come join us as we take a trip back to Scott’s critically derided flight of imagination as we rediscover what made it so memorable to young audiences everywhere…

All Posts