Retro Magic: 1980s Fantasy Movies, One Person’s “Best” List

“Long before Game of Thrones, there was a time in history when HBO stood for ‘Hey, Beastmaster’s on!’  A time when, if you asked for a dragon, you got a puppet instead of CGI.  A time when the words ‘fantasy hero’ didn’t call to mind a pensive Viggo Mortenson or a bespectacled Daniel Radcliffe — nay, but a shirtless, bemuscled Arnold Schwarzenegger (or cheaper facsimile) dripping with oil.”

So begins compiler Leah Schnelbach via TOR.COM, continuing on:  “I have travelled back to that time to bring forth the Ultimate 1980s Fantasy Epic Ranking List Post!  And By Crom, I swear I’ve gotten . . . most of them.  Join me below to celebrate the 1980s fantasy epic, in all of its loincloth-wearing, phallic-sword-waving, secret-wing-unfurling, spandex-bulging, camel-punching glory.”  And thus introducing “A Ranking of 1980s Fantasy That Would Please Crom Himself!,” although with the caveat that the order of the eighteen entries within the list is the author’s personal opinion — as well as that, with apologies aforethought, it is possible one or more important and/or favorite films could have been missed.

Still, as a paean to times gone past, to simpler days when broad shoulders and semi-nudity might still be enough to guarantee a happy ending, it is a list worth visiting here.  And then, should there be quarrels (in my case it could be I’ve seen far too few of these myself — though of those I have, I will always retain a special spot for THE LAST UNICORN), that’s what the following “Comments” section is for.


  1. This was great, thanks for sharing! I recall thinking “Clash of the Titans” was so dorky it was almost cool. But really it was dorky dorky dorky. That wooden owl was literally a hoot.

    Saw a bunch of the others, not all. “Ladyhawke” had its moments and of course I (as my teenaged daughter and numerous women of all ages) was entranced by BEASTMASTER!

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