Saturday, April 5, 2014
Synopsis From Back Cover:
When young Willow Ufgood finds an abandoned baby, he is suddenly thrust into an adventure filled with magic and danger. According to ancient prophecy, the sacred child is destined to end the reign of the evil sorceress Queen Bavmorda. Now, with only a single swordsman at his side, Willow must overcome the forces of darkness that threatens to destroy anyone who stands in his way!
This movie is one of the first ones that I remember going to watch by myself. We were traveling with the carnival when it came out, and I really wanted to see this. My mom and brother wanted to watch something else, so they went in one theater, and I went into another, and I fell in lifelong love. It could have been in Sedalia, MO; at the Missouri State Fair, but I could be wrong. That may be where I saw Darkman a few years later instead, but where I saw it isn't important, it's the fact that I saw it that matters.
There is just so much to love about this movie. It's a classic tale of an underdog hero, who despite all the naysayers puts his fears behind him, and does what needs to be done to save the day. Willow Ufgood is not a normal hero, he's a small guy. As a matter of fact, his whole race is small. When you think of Nelwyns, think of the Munchkins in the Lad of Oz, but a bit more timid. They are not know for their bravery, even if they do have a warrior class. When Willow finds a little Daikini (human) baby, his first instinct is to leave her in the river. Against his better judgement, his children and wife take little Elora Danan into their home. When danger from the outside world threatens the entire village, Willow is tasked with bringing the baby to the first Daikini he meets and leave her there.
Willow is a struggling magician, and not a very good one at that. He lacks the confidence within himself, which causes him to fail every time to tries to do anything right. So when he is charged by the village to take the baby back where it belongs, he doesn't know what he can do. He tries to give the baby to an army, and when that fails he is left with a Madmartigan, a swordsman who is locked inside a cage at a crossroads. Madmartigan, played by a still gorgeous Val Kilmer, isn't a human that would inspire confidence in most people. He's beligerent, a little full of himself, and just a tad bit shifty. But he takes the baby with him, and proceeds to a bar and a whore.
Little does anyone know that the evil Queen Bavmorda, Jean Marsh at her campy best, is hunting that poor little girl down. She wants her dead. For whatever reason little Elorna Danan can bring her to ruin, and Bavmorda can't have that. She sends out her daughter Sorsha, the lovely Joanne Whaley, and General Kael out to bring the baby to her.
What follows is a frolicking adventure story filled with magic, sword fights, trolls, curses, and brownies. It's a grand tale of bravery and the triumph of good over evil. It's a modern version of David and Goliath, with better special effects, at least better for the late 1980s. It is a movie I will never tire of watching. It's loud, brash, a little campy, but it's so much fun. It's also a little heartwarming, though I won't admit to that very often.