The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1988)

Vincent Ward directs Hamish McFarlane, Bruce Lyons and Chris Haywood in this time travel fable where a Cumbrian mining community dig through the earth to escape the Black Death and end up in Eighties New Zealand.

One I’ve waited decades to watch, probably building it up a little excessively in my head due Vincent Ward’s near infamous relationship with personal favourite Alien3. This is the movie that made 20th Century Fox bet the farm on a xenomorph threequel set on a wooden planet populated by monks… only to get cold feet weeks before the shoot started. Honestly, as much as I would love to have seen his unrealised iteration of Alien3 I think things worked out for the best… even if many people, including David Fincher, would disagree. The Navigator itself, away from its footnote status in one of the greatest movies franchises… is fine. A good concept, that often looks fantastic, especially the monochrome medieval sequence… yet doesn’t really have enough character work and incident to make it more than a one-watcher. Don’t give up on it though, it actually outgrows it calling card debut nature in the very final moments, delivering a surprise coup de grace when it should be powering down. A fine little indie movie matching the ambition of early Luc Besson but not quite as fun.


Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here

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