Reviewer's Corner

A Film Review by Malcolm L. Carlock

This delightful film takes an interesting twist on the idea of the "heroic quest", making us perhaps take a closer look at ourselves, as well as throwing in a bit of philosophy (and a certain amount of moralization) along the way.

The story opens onto an idyllic setting, introducing us to a group of small, brown, curly-haired people who live in what we would consider unusual happiness and peace, and in relatively quiet harmony with nature. One day, into their midst comes a powerful and seemingly magical new object.  At first it seems to be quite useful, but ultimately is seen as a source of discord and unhappiness, if not outright evil, in the community.  A decision is made that one of the members of the community must take the object away and dispose of it.

The member of the community to whom this task has fallen leaves his home with a certain amount of sorrow and trepidation, embarking on an arduous quest for the place where he believes this object can safely be disposed of. During this journey he encounters quite a number of large, loud and dangerous people, and more or less constantly risks injury and death.

Eventually, the goal is reached (though not without many setbacks), thanks to the considerable wisdom of an old bearded fellow whose presence and assistance proves crucial to the quest, as well as some of the abovementioned large and loud people, at least two of whom, in a pleasing instance of romantic justice, end up living happily ever after.

The journey is completed, the troublesome object is disposed of, and following another long journey, the protagonist returns home to a life of peace, though a certain shadow remains (possibly the viewer's strong suspicion that the film is soon to be followed by an inferior sequel.)

Producer/director Barry Took is to be commended for his vision and originality in creating this thoughtful and colorful film.  Four stars. 

Malcolm Carlock

The new Joe Campbell

[1] "Barry Took" was meant to be a take-off on "Terry Brooks".  Years later, I learned there really is a director (and a comedian, and not a few distinguished scientists and businessmen) named Barry Took.  Sorry guys!

From: Malcolm L. Carlock (

Subject: Movie Review: The Valar Must Be Crazy
Newsgroups: rec.arts.sf-lovers, rec.arts.movies, talk.bizarre
Date: 1990-09-08 04:44:36 PST  

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