Traumafessions :: Reader Puca on Dragon Slayer

I saw DRAGON SLAYER when I was eleven years old, in the year it was released. In the film, the king has made a bargain with a very nasty dragon. In exchange for the dragon not destroying his villages, he provides the dragon with virgins. Twice a year there is a lottery to choose a girl to be sacrificed to the dragon. But one year, the Princess learns that her name has never gone into the lottery. She sees this as a horrible wrong she must correct and replaces all the tiles with her name to guarantee that she is chosen at the next lottery.

Even when the Princess has the chance to escape her self-induced fate, she doesn’t. She descends into the cave. You don’t see her for a while, until the Slayer (PETER McNICHOL) happens upon her. And there she lays, dead (one would assume), but looking pretty decent except for a little blood…

… and there are baby dragons munching on her leg!

They’ve eaten off a fairly clean portion, and you can see the bone, and the baby dragons happily munching along like a hungry man eating a bad, fast food fried-chicken leg still attached to the chicken, ripping off more flesh as they go.

And they clean that bone.

It’s visible in the darkness of the scene; a long white shank between two hunks of meat.



And I wondered if she was dead when they started eating her. The baby dragons are hungry little buggers that look like nuclear-waste mutated MUPPETS. When SLAYER-boy McNICHOL kills them, they quiver about and are even creepier and sad because although they may be virgin-eating monsters, they’re just babies.

Since then, I’ve never been able to deal with movies where people are eaten, especially if they’re eaten alive. And if my ankles are touched or grabbed for any reason, I take serious umbrage!

Then my boyfriend learned of this trauma and thought it would be funny to bite my ankles. It was at his peril.

I found the scene in bits (at about 1:45) in a music video someone made, and it still turns my stomach.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Amanda By Night
Amanda By Night(@amanda-by-night)
13 years ago

I have never seen this movie, but remember this scene quite well. When this movie came out, everyone (including the parental unit) were talking about this scene. Yikes! It looks really disturbing.

You know, this brings to mind the scene in Bloodsucking Freaks where they cut off the dancer’s feet. It upset me greatly. Something about having your feet removed is really creepy. And I’m just now starting to realize that!

13 years ago

Awesome film, the best movie dragon ever.

Professor Von Whiskersen
Professor Von Whiskersen(@professor-von-whiskersen)
13 years ago

I watched this movie over and over again when I was a kid.  It was whatever year they were showing it on HBO all the time.  They were also showing a lot of Chariots of Fire that year.  Being a child and not having a good grasp of things like “clocks” and “tv guides” and such, I would always miss the beginning to Dragonslayer.  To this day, I can’t remember if I EVER saw the beginning.  But of what I did see, my favorite part was always when his spear was being forged, and his shield was being made from dragon scales (only material that is dragon-flame proof, right?).

Oh Dr. Janosz Poha!  You were the best Dragonslayer that ever inhabited an early 80’s fantasy movie!

Corey Convex
Corey Convex(@mrcanacorn)
13 years ago

Ahhh, Dragonslayer…I was nine and I just remembered that Caitlin Clarke were my first movie boobs. 

Thanks, Disney…and thanks, Puca for dislodging this memory!

Needless to say, I was not traumatized….by the bare breasts or the foot eating.

The dragon was indeed awesome!

13 years ago

Prof.V.W, Peter Venkman:”Where the hell are you from anyway, Johnny?” Janosz: “The upper vest side.”

Jeff Allard
Jeff Allard(@jeff-allard)
13 years ago

What a cool movie! I loved it as a kid and when I worked at a mom and pop video store in the ’90s I would alway played this at least once a week during my shifts. 

13 years ago

The gore didn’t really get me as much as I was dumbfounded that they didn’t save her!  I mean, it’s a Disney film for chrissakes and they didn’t save the fuckin’ Princess!!!  How messed up is that!?!

13 years ago

Some of the best fantasy effects ever were in this movie, imho.  Talk ’bout putting the “claymation is better than today’s CGI sh*t” argument to rest: they used a life-sized dragon and suggestive filming angles to make the thing look durn REAL.

13 years ago

STILL the best dragon movie ever made, for my money! Just love the practical dragon effects here, so much better than CGI monstrosities, even with the sometimes-dodgy mattes when the Dragon is swooping in with death from above! Love it.

Also love the fact that Peter McNichol is the titular slayer–I was a big AD&D nerd at the time, and I knew that wizards were NOT supposed to be the big warrior men they sometimes get portrayed as. His bumbling incompetence giving way to confidence and power is a nice character arc, too.

Great, now I’ve got ANOTHER movie I need to rewatch! 😉