[4K Ultra HD Review] Dragonslayer; Now Available From Paramount

dragonslayer, 4k, reviewDragonslayer [4K Ultra HD] amazon-cart-logo

Director: Matthew Robbins

Cast: Peter MacNicol, Caitlin Clarke, Ralph Richardson

Release Date: March 21, 2023

A Review By: Kevin Lovell

Disc Rating: 8.5/10


Set in sixth-century England, an ill-tempered, fire-breathing creature—ominously known as Vermithrax Pejorative—terrorizes its citizens until a young sorcerer’s apprentice named Galen (Peter MacNicol) is reluctantly tasked with confronting the beast. For Galen to succeed, it will take more than magic to defeat the dragon.

Please Note: Paramount Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.

[4K Ultra HD Review] Dragonslayer; Now Available From Paramount 1

‘Dragonslayer’ takes viewers back to a time where dragons and magic still held power over the world and accompanies a young sorcerer’s apprentice named Galen who is tasked with travelling to a kingdom in the place of his master where an ancient dragon keeps the townspeople living in terror and the young women of the town are chosen by a lottery to serve as sacrifices to appease the dragon. Now Galen must use everything he has learned of the dark arts as well as try to win over the trust of the locals if he hopes to stand any chance of slaying the dragon and freeing the town from their longstanding suffering.

The 1981 fantasy classic was directed by Matthew Robbins from a screenplay that he additionally co-wrote along with Hal Barwood and Robbins does a great job at the helm of ‘Dragonslayer’ guiding along the epic adventure tale with heart and style. The film’s cast includes Peter MacNicol, Caitlin Clarke, Ralph Richardson, John Hallam, Peter Eyre, Chloe Salaman, Ian McDiarmid and many more, with the majority offering fitting and capable enough performances for the most part in each of their respective roles.

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‘Dragonslayer’ was first unleashed into theaters in the summer of 1981 and the beloved cult-classic fantasy adventure still delivers a beautifully crafted and thrilling ride today, more than four decades after its initial release. Featuring marvelous visual effects that even earned the film an Oscar nomination and the dragon itself still looks quite spectacular today which is a truly impressive accomplishment when considering just how much those type of effects have progressed in the decades since; all with an engaging and at times even quite shocking story and collection of characters that quickly pull you into the tale and keep you glued to the screen throughout its duration. If you’ve never had the pleasure of this fantasy gem from the early ‘80s but enjoy a great medieval fantasy adventure, then I would definitely urge you to give this one a chance whenever it’s convenient.

Paramount Home Entertainment has finally brought the cult-classic ‘Dragonslayer’ home for the first time on 4K Ultra HD (and Blu-ray somewhat surprisingly) for a whole new generation to discover and previous generations to experience like never before. The 4K UHD release brings the film home sporting a quite magnificent new Ultra High Definition video presentation with Dolby Vision and HDR-10 that breathes new life into the fantasy adventure and is only beautifully complemented by a stellar new Dolby Atmos soundtrack that further immerses us into the classic film. In addition to the impressive new video and audio presentations within, the release also features a notable collection of bonus content including a brand new multi-part feature with new interviews and behind the scenes content. It all comes together to deliver a wonderful release for this 1980’s favorite that should have fans absolutely thrilled. If you’re a fan of ‘Dragonslayer’ that’s fully 4K capable then this will probably be a must own. For anyone that’s already considering a purchase this one is definitely recommended.

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The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘Dragonslayer’ features a full 2160p Ultra High Definition presentation with Dolby Vision and HDR-10, presented in a 2.35:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks spectacular as a whole and offers a sharp, clean and richly detailed presentation from start to finish without any faults or issues arising along the way. The presentation delivers a rewarding and filmic presentation that looks sharp and impressive in nearly every aspect from character clothing and facial details to the dragon itself and all backgrounds and landscapes on display throughout appearing stellar while still retaining its share of grain and other welcome artifacts representative of its source material. The Dolby Vision addition only improves upon most of it and contributes a beautiful color palette complemented by deep, crush-free blacks. Overall, this is a great Ultra High Definition video presentation that should have fans of this cult classic thrilled.


The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack serves up a clean, crisp and surprisingly immersive audio presentation throughout. It regularly utilizes all seven available channels to immerse the viewer within the adventure and send action and nature effects, along with crowd chatter and plenty more throughout the various speakers whenever appropriate, with the dragon roaring in the rear channels on multiple occasions, while always ensuring that any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously never become distorted or rendered problematic along the way. Overall, this is a solid new Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that holds up great throughout and should easily please the majority of the film’s fans.


The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘Dragonslayer’ features some great new bonus content that fans should thoroughly appreciate. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Matthew Robbins and Guillermo Del Toro’, in addition to the in depth new multi-part feature ‘The Slayer of All Dragons’ (running approximately 63 minutes in length altogether) which features new interviews with the director and members of the creative team discussing the film and bringing it to life, along with behind the scenes content and more. We are also treated a collection of ‘Screen Tests’ (running approximately 16 minutes) and the film’s ‘Original Theatrical Trailer’ (approximately 2 minutes).

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*Please note: The above images were provided by Paramount and are not reflective of the actual 4K Ultra HD release or its quality. A standard Blu-ray copy of the film was not included in the release that could be used for screenshots therefore the above publicity stills were utilized. They are all the property of Paramount and any other respective owners.

Disc Rating: 8.5/10


‘Dragonslayer’ is Now Available to Own on 4K Ultra HD, Limited Edition 4K Ultra HD Steelbook, Blu-ray & Digital from Paramount Home Entertainment

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