Monday, December 18, 2017

Metal Hurlant Resurgence: Loyal Khondor – review

Director: Guillaume Lubrano

First aired: 2014

Contains spoilers

The Metal Hurlant series was a sci-fi anthology series (6 episodes per season) based on the comic book series Métal Hurlant – which was published in the US/UK as Heavy Metal. This was from season 2 and I have to say that I was not expecting a vampire episode and, to be fair, might be pushing it to describe this as vampire. But that’s my prerogative.

The first season (on DVD as Metal Hurlant Chronicles) had six unrelated episodes (bar a connection by the remnant of a living planet passing as a comet). In this season there was a continuity drawn between some of the episodes but they actually all stood self contained.

Marem Hassler as the Princess
This sees a convoy of ships from a defeated race travelling the expanse of space. They have lost their planet and the King (Marc Duret) recognises that it is loyalty to his daughter, the Princess Alaria (Marem Hassler), which is holding his people together. Unfortunately she has developed the cold disease, her temperature plummeting and her life expectancy low. On their planet there was a fruit of a tree that would prove a cure, but now?

Karl E. Landler as Khondor
Her guardian and protector has been the warrior Khondor (Karl E. Landler) and he believes that the alchemist Holgarth (John Rhys-Davies, Sliders: Stoker & Chupacabra Terror) holds the answer to a cure. Holgarth recently left the convoy and he searches him out, at first going to a grimy space port and then to the planet where Holgarth has moved to. Holgarth, it appears, has been waiting for Kondor. The warrior is the last of his race and Holgarth has an elixir of immortality for him, explicitly not for the Princess.

space vampire
But… Vampires… you ask. Well Holgarth tells Khondor what it is that can save the princess and – spoiling the entire episode – it is the blood of one of his race – all the blood. Now the reason I went vampire on this is that all of the blood is clearly not the case, given the trope-like slick of blood around their figures, but mostly this is not a simple transfusion, he cuts his own throat and she sucks the blood from him. There is no doubt in my mind that this makes the cold woman a space vampire and deserving of a place in the pages of TMtV.

we could have seen much more
Thoughts of, "why not take the elixir, then offer your blood" aside, I really like the Metal Hurlant series and, if I had a complaint, it is just how short the series is – I really would have liked to have seen more. The score is for this episode and this, more than others, suffered a tad as it could have been so much more, so much longer. Khondor was a fascinating character and the makers could take him and make a great fantasy space opera out of the character. Still, we have what we have and I’ll give that a solid 6 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.


Unknown said...

Thank you for the review ;) !
Signed - The official KHONDOR

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Not a worry Karl, thanks for the performance 😀