Posts Tagged ‘Conan The Barbarian’

The last film of the Ator trilogy (things  get a bit complicated so it can also be considered a third of the quatrology) Ator: The Iron Warrior is what I would consider the most mind boggling of the bunch. While first two films: Ator The Fighting Eagle and Ator: Blade Master  were relatively straight Italo-Sword and Sorcery films (made by Joe D’Amato  just in time to cash in on the whole Conan The Barbarian craze of the 80’s).

D’Amato being a true cinema exploitator in heart  gave up on the further sequels when he found out there will be no Conan 3. So, the third Ator was instead directed by Alfonso Brescia (under the pen name Al Bradley) who changed the direction of the franchise into a more art house and psychedelic territory- sometimes to it’s own detriment.

 

 

Film begins with young Ator playing with his twin brother Trogar (this of course completely contradicts the story of him being adopted as a baby). Trogar ends up kidnapped by an evil redhead witch Phaedra. Now, next thing we know Phaedra ends up imprisoned for her crimes (I’m guessing not just the kidnapping because they sentence her to 18 years).  Also sorcerers hold her in a hula-hoop shape prison while they announce their verdict. I guess magic hula- hoop is the only way to contain a powerful witch (you learn something new every day).

This looks suspiciously like a 80’s synth- pop video!

Now, from the exchange between Phaedra and the good witch Deeva (black lady with a giant hair, previously seen in The New Barbarians) we learn that one of the twins was prophesied to protect the future of newborn princess Janna (so Sleeping Beauty kind of a deal?)  Anyway, 18 years later Phaedra returns without an ability to kill but with a mysterious warrior dressed in red and black with a metallic skull mask to do her biding. Who could that be? I wonder…

Once released Phaedra‘s fist order of business is to destroy the life of the young princes (Savina Gersak, a famous Yugoslav actress at a time) as much as she can. I also noticed that princess has one eyebrow colored in red– I guess that was the style at a time? She starts by making a scene in the court and the princess even treats her kindly! That doesn’t really stop her thou. Iron Warrior makes an epic entrance and starts destroying everything and everyone on his way. Princess somehow manages to run away but the King ends up speared six ways ’till Sunday.

 

 

Ator ( now with a darker and braided hair and wearing something that looks like a medieval version of a Mad Max costume) aimlessly wandering the lands  finds Princess Janna and saves her form the evil dwarf- like creatures  and confronts the mysterious Iron Warrior for the first time. Fight ends in a draw.  He decides to help Janna defeat Pheodra and regain her rightful place in the kingdom. Phaedra keeps performing her tricks like placing an impostor claiming to be Janna’s father, the deceased King or trapping them in a haunted castle.

I especially like the part when he throws a spear at him, and he catches it and throws it back…

Eventually Ator and Janna manage to find sorceress Deeva in her cave and she sends them to an island that has risen from the waves. There they must locate a gold chest, but Phaedra tricks Deeva, imprisons her and  then takes her place. Two of them don’t really figure out the switcheroo, at least not in time.  When Ator finally figures out that something is terribly wrong he goes on offensive and kills almost the whole army of the Kingdom. Witch just keeps pranking him and after his mighty sword proves ineffectual he decides to switch things up and sticks a torch in her mouth!? Didn’t see that one coming!

Take that you evil witch!

Now, when it seems that he finally saved the day Ator frees Princess Janna (yes, she has a habit of being captured all the time ), and she hugs him but then she does that evil stare into the camera, like she is possessed or something. That kind of faux- horror ending just seems out of place in a story like this.

She’s evil, EVIL!

Verdict: Now what Brescia does manage to achieve is the strange dreamlike atmosphere that is omnipresent in the whole movie . And it’s usage of strange angles and  frequent use of  slowmotion are somewhat ahead of time. Unfortunately, bizarre editing will often leave you scratching your head wandering what the hell just happened so any moments of actual excitement are few and far between.

Aftermath: D’Amato was by all accounts displeased how Ator 3 turned out and he publicly said that he doesn’t consider it a part of the series. So he personally took back reigns with the Ator 4 aka Son of Ator aka  Quest for the Mighty Sword and that movie is fascinating story all by itself. Noted for the absence of series lead Milles O’Keefe (replaced by his “son”, burly Eric Allan Kramer) but also for it’s usage of a Hobgoblin costume taken directly from the set of the infamous Troll 2! If fact that prompted the movie to be released as Troll 3 in Germany making it unlikely sequel of two different franchises! You don’t see that happening every day.

This will show everybody!

Thanks and acknowledgments: This is dedicated to our German friend who keeps reading and supporting (especially our Sword and Sorcery posts), people like you make it all worthwhile.

 

 

 

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Cave Dwellers is actually a sequel to Ator: The Fighting Eagle and its original title was Ator: The Blade Master. However, this film was done by the same people who did various other films back in the day so they changed the title, changed the credits and added footage from another film in the credits! Rumor has it that Cave Dwellers didn’t have a script and most of it was improvised on the spot. Wow. But you know what, that explains a lot about this movie. Let’s start with the basic plot.

Old man Akronas (played by Charles Borromel) creates some kind of mystical weapon called Geometric Nucleus (sounds like something you wouldn’t like to mess up with). Akronas feels that it can further the evolution of man, but fears what wicked men like Zor will do with it. Zor knows about this thing and tries to take it. Before telling his daughter Mila (played by Lisa Foster) to go “to the ends of the earth” to find Ator we get 5 minutes of flashbacks from original movie in which is shown how Ator had defeated the evil Spider King. Three minutes later and Mila is already on the other side of the Earth where she finds Ator (played by Miles O’Keeffe). On her way there she managed to kill several professional soldiers and get arrow to the her tit (I guess thats why you can’t quite aim at woman’s heart). Meanwhile, the evil Zor (played by David Brandon) has arrived to Akronas’ estate the moment Mila went out. He is quite an odd villain – big moustache, philosophing a lot while enjoying in sound of his own voice. And he imagines that he is something like Sharlock Holmes since he uses similiar interrogation methods on Akronas instead of just plain torturing him like any other good villain would do.

I

I used to trace Ator all the time but then I took an arrow to the tit

On the “other side of the Earth” Ator cures Mila’s tit (no, it’s not what do you think) and now he starts philosophizing. Seriously, everyone in this movie are talking some serious, heavy shits instead of just going pew pew all the time. Like the fact that Ator is using too many words for a bodybuilder isn’t confusing enough. Anyway, he wants Mila to prove him that she is really a daughter of Akronos. So he locks her in the cell with nothing inside under excuse that “if she is really the daughter of the Great One she’ll know what to do” (hm maybe I should use this the next time when government’s clerk comes to my home demanding from me to pay my bills). Then Mila in MacGyver style makes explosive literally out of nothing and blasts her way out. So they hit the road. Evil Zor uses his evil spells to lure them into some cave where they get attacked by cannibalistic neanderthals (?) and invisible monster. Wow how did they think of that? Hm I know. They were like “Hm we don’t have any budget so let Miles slaps himself while pretending to fight with some invisible monster”. This scene is so hilarious that you’ll have to check it out down here:

 

After cavemen encounter (contrary to the popular belief barbarians did exist at the same time as cavemen) Ator decides to visit a small peaceful village, the birthplace of his parents. He tried to organize them to fight against Zor. Instead, they betrayed, poisoned and captured him and Mila. All of that in exchange of Zor’s promise they won’t need to give sacrifices to the Serpent God. But nevertheless, Zor’s soldiers still pillaged them and burned their village. Talk about choosing a wrong side. Ator and Mila have been taken directly to Zor who plans to sacrifice them to the Serpent God along with several virgins (one them is big bearded guy). Ator somehow manages to free himself, then to defeat soldiers, Serpent God puppet and escape the castle. All of that with one swing and a bit of wrestling.

 

Now when they are free at last they want to go back to the castle they escaped from. Mila suggests secret underground passage (it’s an old castle after all) but Ator has better idea. He will attack from the sky using a fucking paraglider! You can actually hear soldiers stationed on the castle walls saying “Is that a bird”. Well, they didn’t live to see the answer since Ator bombed them with dead exploding herrings. After clearing his way through Ator lands safely onto castle walls and faces Zor in another 1v1 sword-fight. Where he defeats him, obviously. But no clichee will be left out. Akronas didn’t allow Ator to kill Zor under excuse of fair trial. In that moment, seemingly weaken Zor attacks Ator despite any healty logic and ends up impaled on the sword (this was to ensure that none of the cliches would be left out). Happy-end, Geometrical Nucleus (whatever that might be) is safe once again. Mila starts hitting on Ator but he ditches her with the most painless line he could think of: “When I defeat all the evil in the world then I’ll come back to you”. Absolute win!

Is that Ator up there?

Conclusion: Most of the costumes, sets and props look thrown together at the last minute or reused from other low budget productions. Some of this works OK, but most of the time you are wondering why there are handrails in the castle that appears to be 1500’s Bavaria, when the voice over explained that this movie occurs in the dark ages. Why are there samurai running around, and yet the snake cult temple looks distinctly Mediterranean? And how comes that Mila took only 3 minutes to reach Ator but when they went back the same way to the castle it took them over 40 minutes? I know you travel slower when in party but come on! I have to mention camera and night filters which are especially bad during zoomed in scenes. Of course, archive footage, flashbacks from the first part and shameless ripping off Conan the Barbarian are mandatory.

Next up, a magical journey to the past to save the future! No wait, that actually makes sense.

Continuing our long ( possibly never-ending?) quest of watch all the Barbarian films we encountered an oddity- yes, a time traveling barbarian movie! Generally not a lot of those exist (possibly because Sword and Sorcery and the City doesn’t really go together all that well ) Beastmaster 2: Through The Portal of Time being one of the only notable exemptions from that rule. Also, the movie is directed by B- movie writer Joseph John Barmettler (of Skyscraper fame), and the lead is none other than Deron McBee aka Malibu of American Gladiators (1989).

Our Barbarian King Doran (McBee) likes spending his time strolling the woods, fighting an occasional masked savage(yes, there are different levels of savagery) and scaring his woman with a masked he stole from said savage. So generally good times. He is also the last in long line of Kings (we use this term very broadly ’cause his kingdom is like 10-15 men) entrusted with a mystical amulet with inamaginable powers (including but not limited to space/ time manipulation).  The sacred amulet was originally gifted to his ancestor by a powerful Sorceress for non- disclosed reason.

Ill-advisedly he decides to leave on a hunting trip with his pal while all the barbarian woman engage in some skinny dipping in the river along with some nude gossiping too. Just at that time the evil wizard Mandrak (yes, not really an original name, is it?) decides to strike. Now, Mandrak attacks with his three or four men – he really should have invested in more henchman,  instead of his (limited) magic arsenal. I mean I can find more henchman right now and I have no delusions of world domination or wish to raid any barbarian villages.

Now the protective powers of the amulet are nowhere to be found because Madrak crusifies Lystra between the two trees and then rapes her repeatedly. Probably because he lost a hand in his raid against nude women! Dorin arrives (predictably) too late with Mandrak and his mini- horde all gone along with the amylet. Then he vows vengeance and begins his quest to find the mystical sorceress and right the wrong. Unfortunately at the first step of his “epic” journey he and his friend end up ambushed and his friend pays with his life. I wouldn’t want to be Dorin‘s friend given his recent track record.

Dorin ends up being captured by the savages who sacrifice people to the Lovecraftian deity but eventually Sorcerers show up pretty pissed that he lost her amulet. Now ,Sorceress has a bit of that passive/ aggressive thing going on ’cause she frees him in the end and gifts him with the magic sword from the stone (where have I seen this before?) to help him on his quest of recapturing the sacred amylet?

I wonder what kind of magic is she using for that hair?

And as we all now the only place where a mystical artifact can take you is the Los Angeles in the 90’s Magic simply works that way. Now we see a reporter named Penny who’s just trying to report on rising street violence (kinda like April O’Neil in TMNT), but she becomes a victim of the said violence  in no time. She gets viciously attacked even loosing her shirt in the process (as is mandatory in B-Movies). But our hero shows up just in time, and starts throwing gang members left and right (it seems people have gone soft during the centuries). Reporters deduce that he is from some Nordic country because yeah, in those countries people walk around half naked with swords like it’s the middle ages.

Ok, this dude is the exception.

Now, having a bit of a head start in our brave new world you would expect the Evil Wizard to be ruling L.A. by now. Ok, maybe not the whole city but surely he had taken control of numerous street gangs and made them into his own private army of terror! Nope, not really, he and his only remaining henchman (now sporting a punk rock haircut) are robing random people of the street and spending their money in a seedy bar (with a single hooker). That bar also has probably the ugliest bartender in all the history of cinema

Man this dude is ugly, I still can’t get my head around it

Fascinated by his size the reporter Penny (bearing uncanny resemblance to his dead wife) takes him home and shows him the wonders of modern technology, and also the wonders of modern sex (ok, it hasn’t really progressed that much). Now,  Mandrak’s sees his nemesis on the TV (throwing people around like a crazed WWE wrestler) a spark lights inside him finally lights up. Will his genius finally shine again?  In mere moments he develops a devious plan to defeat the foul Barbarian– to attack him first! To attack him first? Man, he sure is rusty in this plotting evil schemes thing. Well, at least he decides to even the odds by using FIREARMS! Yeah, pure genius. No way he can block the bullets with his magic sword (only he can).

He threatens the goon as seeks the location of Mandrak’s and manages to kill him before he speaks. Thankfully cameraman dude shows up, and somehow they figure out Mandrak’s locations. That location is shockingly just a random warehouse (I guess that’s the only thing crew had available) and the otherwise pathetic finish out to be hell of a lot of a fun because of a simple thing- a hand! You see Dorin was wearing Mandrak’s severed hand on his belt for like a whole hour of the movie and now we know why- to pimp slap the Wizard with his own hand!!! He might act like an idiot in every other scene but here he is comical genius.

Now, after finally defeating the Wizard, reclaiming the amulet and finding the love of his life against all odds, across  the whole space and time what does our hero do? He activates the power of the amulet and strolls back home, walking down the railway too- he is just that stupid. Penny continues her best April O’Neil impersonation by narrating about Dorin’s heroic deeds on camera. And that is all.


Verdict I absolutely understand all the budget constraints (first part of the movie is mostly just forest + a smoke machine) and some thing you can chalk off to 80’s clichess but other things- not so much. For example in the case of Conan the Barbarian Arnold was never given too many lines and that coupled with his incredible physique sold him as formidable and even menacing. On the other hand when you have McBee with his California blonde hair and horse-like teeth (actually quite useful in another role *see Trivia) just blabbing along like a schoolgirl, all of that muscle can’t save him from looking ridiculous. Now, to his credit MbBee sticked to acting even to this day and he actually got a LOT better (see his guest spot on Veronica Mars, episode You Think You Know Somebody if you want proof.)

Trivia: Daron McBee (as if American Gladiators and Time Barbarians weren’t enough) went on to star  in another movie worthy of the WM Crew list. Yes,he appeared in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation as Montaro. Dont’ tell me you’ve forgoten all about this- I mean he is really hard to miss!

“Without your weapons, you are no match for Motaro.”

Kingdom of the spiders shall last 1000 years, and people shall suffer 1000 years, for it is written. And this time shall be known as the Age of Darkness and  the shadow of the spider shall be the law. Indeed, the people shall pay tribute to the word of the master and live in bondage in the valley of the shadows,  even to very mists of a volcano that sleeps above. When 1000 years is done a man will come to promise different way and he shall be named Toran and many  will believe and many will be prosecuted. The sign of Toran will bare witness to the legend, but Toran will fail. For the wrath of the Spider King is mighty  indeed. People of the valley shall weep, for there is no hope, for it is also written that the Spider King will reign until the day the mountain speaks forth in anger. Then out of the darkness prophecy relives, for Toran casts the seed upon the wind, and even in death to hymn his born a son. That’s pretty much it.

The son of Toran is born on stormy night, in a small village. We see woman holding a baby with rather large head, being quite upset. On the other side of  village, in a shack, a lone man wakes up. Saying nothing else than “It is done”, he gets up and leaves the shack. Then, we see golden black man, playing with  his spiders. Yes, that’s right. He is no one else than the High Priest of the Spider (played by Dakkar). Word travels fast across the land, and the news  about arrival of son of Toran have reached to Spider King. Obviously shaken by such news he announces to his servants that child must die, before he reaches  manhood. Sounds familiar?

The child must die

The child must die!!!

The man from the shack comes named Griba (played by Edmund Purdom) to take the new born baby from her mother, and she gives her son to him without either of  them saying a word. That’s what I call motherhood! Anyway, Griba manages to take baby far away, just moments before men of High Priest of the Spider came to  village, slaughtering everyone in their way. But he couldn’t keep the baby for himself, so he decides to give him to young, but poor couple from another  village, with promise that, for their effort, they will receive provisions, armor and hunting weapons.

Transaction complete

Transaction complete!

Many years later, baby has grown up into Ator (played by Miles O’Keeffe), the greatest gay icon of his time. He is in the field, playing with his sister  Sunya (or at least he thinks she is his sister). Ator and Sunya (played by Ritza Brown) are apparently in love (?!). Ator fails to understand the fact that  he can’t marry Sunya (what about incest being sick?). They’ve had a short discussion after which Ator decides to visit his father, in order to ask for a hand  of his sister!!! Funny things is that everyone in the village looks exactly the same like 20 years ago, including his parents, who haven’t aged even for a  day. Now, back to marriage proposing. In normal and traditional occasions, every sane father would kick out such sick and twisted suitor. But no! When Ator popped the question, after previously explaining the situation, his father and future father-in-law (that happens too), replied to him “Ator, you don’t know  how really happy you made me” (!!!), after which he started explaining to his adopted son events from the beginning of this review. So basically, general  happiness in the village, preparations for the wedding, Ator wearing a girly boots while being happy that he will become his own brother-in-law, etc… But,  as it always happens, right before the wedding started, evil High Priest of the Spider attacked village, in orgies of blood and intestines… It seems that  professional soldiers are no match for peasants armed with rakes and pitchforks… Still, soldiers outnumbered peasants, ending up with many casualties on  both sides, and village torched to the ground… Oh yeah, they kidnapped Sunya, and during that act we could clearly see genuine medieval panties.

Medieval panties

Genuine medieval panties.

After leaving the village, Ator encounters Griba, who tells him about prophecy according to which Ator will end tyranny of Spider King. Griba takes Ator under  his command, and starts training him in swords fight and karate (?), providing our hero with the armor and swords. During one of their trainings, Ator helped  lady in distress (what a gentleman), who was attacked by some bandits. No, in this movie she didn’t thank him by allowing him to harvest the fruits of her  loins, so they departed. Anyway, without any previous explanation, Ator goes to some random cave where he finds The Mighty Sword of Might aka Toran’s sword.

Mighty sword of might

Mighty sword of might!

During hunt in a forest, Ator gets captured by Amazon women warriors (not again!). And not just by any Amazon woman, but by the girl he saved from bandits  couple of scenes ago. To get this short, after a speech consisted of shitload of more feministic bullshits, Amazon queen announces that her girls will fight  in tournament and the prize is content of Ator’s underpants. And not only that… The victor of competition will have the honor and the duty to be fertilized   by our muscular hero, thus bearing a child that will be future queen of all tribes. I wonder what they will do in case that child happens to be a male? Meh,  it’s best not to think about it. Anyway, as you have already guessed, victorious girl is the woman Ator saved from the bandits. And who captured him in  return. Her name is Roon (played by Sabrina Siani). Her orders are clear: spend the night with Ator, get plowed and fertilized, and kill him in the morning  (black widow syndrome; or is it mantis). But when Roon heard about his kidnapped love and his intentions to desecrate the Temple of the spider, she got  softened and decided to join him. For that goal, they needed to get away from Amazon village. There is one more problem. Toran’s sword is being held in the  center of village and guarded by Amazon warriors. So they sent a bear, who was Ator’s gift to Sunya (I should have probably mentioned that earlier), to do  their dirty job. How brave… Distraction was successful, they’ve got the sword and escaped the village.

Fertilizing

Fertilizing time!

Somewhere along the way, Roon got trapped after following mysterious deer of mystery, which lured Amazon girl into cave and then ridiculously disappeared. On  the other side, Ator encounters evil sorceress, after following the image of Sunya. Evil sorceress shows him a vision where Sunya is now with the High Priest  of the Spider (once she went black, she never came back), seduces him, and right when he was about to heat her oven, Roon rescues him, by shooting an arrow  into sorceress’ mirror, thus making her look like a hideous monster. Seems to me like another rip-off, this time of Odyssey. Since our heroes got reunited at evil sorceress, they choose to get some rest at a local inn. Only thing worth of mentioning there is a fat inn keeper girl  (played by Chandra Vazzoler), who serves the bean and shows her tits.

Mystery deer of mystery

Now Ator and Roon are in the other cave, surrounded by blind blacksmiths and blind warriors. No one is attacking them so they proceed deeper in the cave  where Ator finds mighty shield of might. He fights with his shadow, takes the shield and, on his way out, he heroically kills blind people. Such a bravery!  True warrior indeed!

Fight with the shadow

Shadow-warrior

Grand finale takes the place inside Temple of the Spider. Ator and Roon are outnumbered by black knights, but they eventually kill every single one. Just to  mention that the scenes of swords fighting aren’t worth mentioning. Only High Priest of the Spider has left. Fight between him and Ator lasts for some time,  but it ends up with High Priest of the Spider seeing his own reflection in the mighty shield of might, which makes him explode (???). Now the only thing left  to do is to save Sunya, who is trapped in giant spider web made of ropes. But it’s not that easy. Ator there finds Griba, who reveals to him that he was just  using our hero in order to become the next High Priest of the Spider! What a twist! I bet you didn’t expect that. Anyway, after a short fight, Ator pushes  Griba into ropes (sorry, i mean spider web), frees Sunya and both of them hit the road. But it turns out that Griba wasn’t enough meal for Spider King, so  the giant spider (which can be barely seen) went outside to pursue gay Ator. There, Ator uses a Sunlight reflection of his mighty shield of might in order to  distract Spider King, come closer, and cuts him with the mighty sword of might, thus ending his reign. End of Spider King tyranny is represented with archive  footage from Animal Survival show.

You blew up!

Conclusion: This is, by the far, the worst Conan of Barbarian rip-off!!! Poor casting, terrible acting, awful scenes of fight, low budget, ugly women, Miles  O’Keeffe being even more gay than in Sword of the Valiant, static camera, boring and repeating choreography… The fact is, women do like Miles, but Miles  doesn’t like them… It would be much better for everyone that writer and director of this calamity David Hills, should have stick to making porn movies as did in following years. Also, don’t miss pathetic ending scene. It’s to throw up your life.
In short: This movie shall last 90 minutes, and its viewers shall suffer 90 minutes,  for it is directed.

In the era of “Conan the Barbarian” rip-offs, someone came up with idea that new Conan doesn’t need to be a man by default. Women can also be savage  barbarian warriors. And who would take such an idea into realization? Roger Corman production of course. Though, he wasn’t the first. I believe that “Barbarian  Queen” is an attempt of making cash-in of “Red Sonja”, despite the fact that both of these movies had been released in 1985.

’80s assumption of men being complete pigs, who wouldn’t accept “No” for an answer is also represented here, on the very start of the movie. We see cute girl  sitting by a river, innocently picking flowers (yeah, right). Suddenly, while she was going back to her home through forest, a lasso came out from nowhere  and gets tied up around her ankle. On the other end of rope, couple of evil men were pulling young (and pretty sexy) girl to them, in order to fulfill their  unholy intentions of raping her. Mission was a complete success (just to mention), after which “Barbarian Queen” title card comes up.

Silovanje

Now we are at nearby peaceful village. Everyone is in the rush. And for reason. There is a wedding to be prepared. And the groom is no one else than Argan  (played by Frank Zagarino). Honoring the tradition that it is bad luck if groom sees the bride before the wedding, his future wife Amethea (played by Lana Clarkson) is preparing herself hidden in hut. Amethea is asking her bride-mates if they happen to know where is her sister. One of the bride mates replies to  her that her sister went to pick some flowers by the river (sounds familiar?) and hasn’t returned back yet. Still, the show must go on. But, moments before  ceremony begun, an arrow comes out of nowhere and hits the priest right in his forehead, at which point bandit raid started. The long bloody battle takes the  place, with a lot of raping, casualties on both sides and village burning. However, Amethea and her bride-mates had survived, but not without personal loses.  Her bride-mate and future husband had been taken away. There, she decides to get them back.

priest

I used to attend wedding ceremonies but then I took an arrow in the head!!!

Traveling among the river with two more women warriors, Tiniara (Susana Traverso) and Estrild (Katt Shea), Amethea stumbles upon a bandit outpost where  another of their girls is being held. Naked of course. Old man with a beard is preparing to rape her. He is famous for his brutal raping, making girls to  scream out loud (he probably possesses large tool). But Amethea kills him with her sword through his neck, thus ending his days of raping, while other 2  girls made a decoy for his pals. Soon, it all ended up after a brief sword fight, finding her sister Taramis (played by Dawn Dunlap) in state of shock, with  Amethea’s Conan style words “If I can’t kill them all, let the Gods know I have tried”. Whatever.

Cica

Love knows no age!

Somewhere along the way, Amethea picked up Dariac (Andrea Scriven), a rebel orphan kid who connects her to underground rebel organization. There we find out  that bandits are actually kingdom’s men. Rebels take her to The City, where Argan is being held and forced to fight in gladiator battles. Amethea and other  girls who follow her went under disguise into the city, but Tiniara gets captured and raped. Funny thing is that seems that in this town women don’t have a  right even to speak, and men are allowed to rape any woman they want. Eventually, all of them got captured when Amethea tried to stop another raping, previously causing a small riot in the city. She had been taken to the leader of raping army himself, evil man Arrakur (Arman  Chapman) who wanted to discover location of rebel’s hideout. His interrogation consists of very funny character delivering, demanding that Amethea takes her  clothes of and attempts of raping her (well, dough). On the other side of the castle, in much less pleasant torture chamber, Tiniara got killed during her  escape attempt.

Interrogation methods

Interrogation methods.

Meanwhile, Estrild had managed to infiltrate the castle (boudoir section), where she finds Argan enjoying the orgies of women, wine and more women. She  informs him about Amethea’s intentions of rescuing him. At first, Argan didn’t sound like he approves that idea (I wonder why), but eventually he agrees to  lead the gladiators into rebellion when the time comes (If he manages to take other men away from women and booze, that is). Main gladiator Strymon (Victor  Bo) also agrees to help them. While her beloved fiancé enjoys the orgies, Amethea is being tied up to a rape machine. Yeah, that’s right! Fucking rape machine! As if there weren’t enough  men to rape around, someone came to idea to hire mad scientist for making such machine. And all of that in the name of science!!! However, after brief period  of forced sex, Amethea manages to get free and push the mad scientist into boiling acid! There, she reunites with Estrild and starts planning the final blow,  which will happen during gladiators tournament.

Rape machine - only for persons with heavy brain damage

Rape machine – only for persons with heavy sexual dysfunction!

Now we all know what happens. When all of them got finally reunited, the big, bloody rebellion took a place. Funny thing is that Argan needed to say only two  words in order to convince gladiators into battle (I guess freedom is still more important than wine and women). After 15 minutes of complete chaos,  Strymon’s betrayal after which Dariac killed him (no, really), Pope of Perversions (priest who owns boudoir), using a rubber dick as a weapon, it all comes to  grand finale when Amethea fights Arrakur. He easily overpowered her, and it looked like that death was certain. But, no. While preparing to strike the final  blow, Arragor took 5 minutes to swing a sword, which was enough time for Taramis to come behind and kill him with a dagger. Evil Arragor is dead, wedding  from the beginning finally took a place, Amethea becomes the barbarian queen (so, I guess that makes Argan the barbarian king; I wonder if Conan would have  something to say about this), everyone is happy and cheering. The end!

Conclusion: I don’t know if this cash-in attempt was successful, but I do know that this is far more feminist than Red Sonja. I really doubt that even in  Dark Age men had such power over women. Also, casting for this movie (at least for female roles) couldn’t be worse. During the entire movie Amethea and rest  of the chicks, are talking like hotline girls, often with inability to show any emotions. At the best, sometimes they show wrong emotions in a wrong time,  for that matter. Choreography is a decent, but leaves the mark of Roger Corman production everywhere (filming at 2-3 remapped locations, over and over). I am just glad that he was sticking  to male “Conan the Barbarian” rip-offs afterwards.

Deathstalker II: Duel of the Titans is an example how sequels should not be made. This “masterpiece” of Roger Corman’s production (the guy should be given some sort of medal of shame) is considered to be the follow-up to 1983’s original low-budget Deathstalker (low budget = Roger Corman). But, apart from it’s  title, this movie has nothing to do with it’s predecessor. And you will see why.

Deathstalker (John Terlesky) is now completely different person, which can be seen in introduction. He seemingly infiltrated the treasure room of some old castle, followed by an almost naked blond. It appears that they are looking for something. I don’t know what exactly is he doing that since he became the king at the end of previous installment (I guess the royal paycheck wasn’t enough to him). Anyway, they notice some sort of an altar, inside which he finds red crystal.  Then, in the scene that recalls either Raiders of the Lost Ark or Conan the Barbarian, Deathstalker (which will be known as DS for the rest of this review),  takes it from an altar and puts it into his pocket. That was the sign for an army of ninjas (no, really) to attack. After he killed a couple dozens of ninjas (NO, REALLY), a woman warrior named Sultana (Toni Naples) marches in with the escort of her elite guards. Seeing that, DS decides it’s time to hit the road,  so he breaks through a shuttered window, drops to a stone bridge below, leaps onto the back of his horse, which was parked right under the bridge, and  disappears into the night. Sultana, who watched entire show from the shuttered window, just turns to her guards and yells “I’ll have my revenge, and  Deathstalker, too!”, at which point the title card “Deathstalker II: Duel of the Titans” comes up with a fiery background and some really retarded music,  which sounds like it has been taken from a really bad video game.

IT BEGINS
IT BEGINS!!!

After escape from old castle, our hero stumbles upon young woman who had been previously kicked out of the castle grounds. She was tossed out by 3 guards.  After some really retarded insults from even more retarded actress, guards decided to teach her a lesson. But, before they even started to rape or beat her (or both), DS decided that it is time to act and kicked their asses. Grateful lady in distress introduced herself to DS as Reena the Seer. DS then takes  Reena (played by Monique Gabrielle; former Penthouse Pet and later porn actress) to inn, when we see a lot of naked girl dancers, pig-man who again eats pig’s head, some of boiled pee, and more nudity. One guard bitch-slaps Reena in front of DS, and we got ourselves a good old bar brawl. Seeing the complete chaos at the inn, DS did something he does the best – escaping on the back of the horse into the night. But, this time he took Reena with himself. Eventually, they hid from the pursuers at her hut deep in the forest. There, she makes him another cauldron of boiled pee and tries to foresee his future. We notice that there  wasn’t enough budget even for her visions, since the only thing she did was looking at crystal and speaking. But those visions were enough to convince DS to  help her. She reveals to him that she is actually Princess Evie, but the evil sorcerer Jerak had her abducted and cloned, in order to take control over the kingdom. Well, she didn’t say so directly to him, but anyone with even half of brain would get a picture.

Bitchslap me

Bitch slap me, please!

Meanwhile, Sultana is at pirate den, where we can see chicks wrestling in the mud, bunch of the rough drunken guys and a lot of fluorescent barrels with “Beer” written on them using a marker (?!). She wants to hire some mercenaries to finish off Reena and DS. A lot of money is offered, so pirate leader introduces her with his the most roughness, and therefore, the most drunken boys. Shocking thing is that for one of them has been said that he was the member of Genghis khan strike force for 5 years and part-time consulter to Attila the Hun (Dafaq?). No one bothered to explain almost 800 years gap between those 2 “jobs”, but never mind that now (also, midget being dismissed by Ivan the Terrible is beyond any discussion). Ever more shocking thing is that they are drinking beer from glass mugs and glass bottles, and directors didn’t even try to hide it.

Pirates = advanced technology

Pirates – advanced technology!

Selected pirates managed to ambush Reena and DS, while they were riding through some canyon at night, attacking them using explosive arrows. After finding  a safe cover and securing the lady, DS starts assassinating each one of them with pocket knife. Each assassination is followed by out-of-place sinister synthesizer sounds. For the Coup de grâce, DS hits pirate midget with shuriken and the moment later, midget explodes, leaving the smoking pile of shits  behind him!!! What a finale!!! But wait!!! There is more!!! Unhappy because of failure, Jerak (played by John La Zar) kills the pirate leader by stabbing him through cauldron with his sword!!! Even magic can’t do that!!!

Along the way, our heroes battled the army of undead zombies but, besides completely illogical DS escape from death trap (spikes wall), nothing was the worth of mentioning. Oh yes…And during entire event, we can hear in background the music from “Saturday night fever”. What was the purpose of it, remains mystery to me. However, back in the castle, the duplicate of Princess begins to fade so she has to eat little children in order to maintain her body. I fail to see the purpose of this quick fact too, since it wasn’t mentioned again until the end of the movie. Probably it was lame attempt of adding horror elements here.

Sign

Turn left at Cimmeria!

Following the instructions Reena’s crystal ball gave to them our couple ends up captured and tied up by Amazon women warriors. Now pay close attention. Be  sure to spot FIAT 1300 parked in the upper-left corner of the Amazon village opening scene. Such an oversight is too much even for Roger Corman’s 100$  production!!! Anyway, DS reputation as womanizer is well known among the Amazon women. And that’s not a good thing for DS, since the Amazon women warriors  are feminists too. And like every good feminist they hate men. So, for his crimes against womanhood, DS will be put on trial by combat to death! But, it isn’t going to be combat with weapons and shield. That would have some sense. No, fight is going to happen at wrestling ring, where DS will fight versus HUGE  woman Gargo the Amazon. After exhausting, crippling 15 rounds of wrestling, DS wins the battle, showing mercy on the end by refusing to finish off already  knocked down woman mountain. For that he has been rewarded with wild sex with Amazon queen (played by Maria Socas). Yeah, even feminist warriors need their oven heated occasionally. With the risk of losing our woman readers, I would say that they need it much more often. But that reward has it’s price. Amazon  queen wants to be married with DS, so once again, he decides to escape. I really can’t blame him.

Royal carriage

Royal carriage?

Being jealous on Amazon queen, Reena leaves the village on her own and gets captured by Sultana, after which evil woman warrior had Reena hanged above huge  cauldron of boiling pee. Death seems to be imminent for real princess. But, DS arrives just in time (probably because he was running in fear from proposed  wedding). DS battles Sultana and kills her, saving Reena in the last moment. Following 30 minutes are just fill-up , consisted of ninjas attacking Princess Evie (with sexual results), while DS impales her duplicate with his  meat-sword, skeletal raising Sultana from dead (with sexual results), massive fight when even God himself helps DS (by sending bolt after bolt of lighting  onto our hero’s enemies), Princess Evie showing the full potential of her brain damage, and so on…

All of above mentioned events led to final battle when DS confronts Jerak in, perhaps, the most ridiculous sword fighting scene since “The Sword and the Sorcerer“.  Their battle looks like background sword fight of two extras in some other low-budget Conan the Barbarian rip-off, and I could swear that I heard the sound of of two wooden swords clashing!!! Also, we are now able to fully notice how gay Jerak actually is . Highlight of this combat is the  moment when Deathstalker, after being cornered, brakes evil sorcerer’s sword with his fist (?!), killing him and thus ending this story.
And oh yeah, he marries real princess and becomes the king (again).

It is wood, all right.

Conclusion: This movie looks like as if fans of original Deathstalker (therefore, not the brightest people on Earth), got money by begging in front of church  which they used to make a sequel, though it’s much more fun that it’s previous installment. But, not everything in this movie is as bad as it seems. For example,  colored light gels and inspired location shooting are pretty decent, providing colorful ambiance for each new area. Also, most of the sword battles are very  well choreographed. And for the end, don’t miss the outtakes over the end credits! It puts tombstone on this.

This movie presents us with the story of fierce warrior- The Deathstalker, the man on a quest to find three powers, the chalice, amulet and the sword and to by uniting them all become a power himself! With a foolproof set-up like that you just know that the movie will be all kinds of WIN.

deathstalker-1

Age of Awesome Magic? Oh, boy, oh, boy!

Films start abruptly with some kind of goblin-caveman prowling the forest. Quickly they catch their victims, a confused looking dude and a girl but naturally they seem more interested in the girl. Deathstalker runs into them and seeing healthy human female decides to intervene. Fallowed by spaghetti western music he  disembowels the goblin cave man and then has a word or two with the confused dude. It turns out that he stole the girl even before she was stolen by the creatures. Bit scared of the blond barbarian he offers her to him. Deathstalker takes her… and then kills him anyway! My hero!

He jumps on the girl like she is the last female on the planet but gets interrupted by an old man. He fallows the old man, who turns out to be the adviser to the King. He takes him to the King- right here in the forest? It turns out the King was exiled by his former magician Mungar- now the new ruler of the land. He begs Deathstalker to be his hero and despite of the incredibly EPIC music ‘Stalkers says no! In his last plead he admits that his only daughter is taken by Munkar and promises Deathstalker anything he wants but he just shrugs it off and rides away.

No long after Munkar’s general Kang apears in the forest and tries to take a magic sword from the old Witch.That proves futile because of the two thing. First thing- Witch turns his sword into a giant snake that start strangling him and second Deathstalker appears- and when Deathstalker appears heads start flying. Faced with his  epic fail Kang ends up despairing, indubitably aided by his evil Master. Thankful the Witch decides to teach Deathstalker about the three powers of creation. They turn out to be the amulet (key of the Munkar’s immortality), sword (instrument of justice) and the chalice (of magic- not really sure what exactly does it do). Also, if you join these three powers- and you become the power. Not sure what she means exactly but it sound neat. Deathstaler doesn’t seem interested at first but decides that he does want to BE the powers so he start on his quest. He takes a break to drink some water but the ugly Witch  appears againnow as a reflection in the water and she points him to the cave nearby. Cranky because she won’t even let him drink water he heads into the cave and finds small gnomish/ devilish creature. Then a giant pops  out of nowhere and after almost crushing his skull ‘Stalker gets some help from the little creature- he throws him the sword. Immediately the sword starts glowing as if to  prove it’s magic powers and after a moment to admire the blade ‘Stalker scares the giant away. Then the creature explains that he was a human and that he can be freed only “by a boy who is not a boy”. Hmmm, that problem gets solved in about 30 seconds as the sword (of justice) turns Deathstalker into a small blond kid and he leads the little imp away from the cave. He does turn into a man but his general appearance doesn’t get that much prettier.

Deathstalker.(1983).DVDRip..avi_001147800

…sadly, his human form is really not that much better

Meanwhile a group of bandits tries to rape a girl tied to a tree. Metrosexual looking dude (he has an armor that reveals his chiseled abs) called Oghris surprises them but falls victim to their superior numbers yet in the last possible  moment The Deathstalker appears. And we all know what happens- heads start flying again. Also the bloods starts pissing everywhere. Feeling generous that day he doesn’t touch the girl (the only time he does something like that) but is happy to join the young swordsman on his way to the tournament. It turns out the tournament is held in the castle to determine  the Munkar’s hair to the Throne. That set-up seems dubious (’cause of Munkar’s immortality) but who knows. They are surprised that night by a hooded warrior and after a brief dueling it turns out the warrior is almost naked she- devil Kira played by the late great Lana Clarkson. Clarkson generally specialized  in playing young, buxom beauties and truth be told she was never as young or as buxomy as right here in the Deathstalker. They naturally team up and Deathstalker teams up with her  in some other way that  same night*. Ex-imp surprisingly watches everything but is smart enough not to make a sound. You never know what could angry ‘Stalker do.

Team Up*

Then we’re in a grand hall of the Munkar’s castle. We are faced with one of the strangest bacchanalia ever. Girl mud- fighting, barbarians losing their mind, skinny dude with horns eating like an animal and weirdest of all Man- Pig mutant having a “Be or not to be” moment with a regular pig’s head. Munkar wishes them luck on the upcoming tournament and then presents them with a captive princess. He gives his blessing to a Man- Pig to (I guess) rape her but the bearded barbarian stop him- wanting the princess for himself. Crazy, all- out brawl then ensues and surprisingly Kaira shows some sympathy to the poor princess saving her ass (literally) from more than a couple thugs. In the end ‘Stalker frees the princess and tries to take her away but Munkar stops him- and promises he’ll send her to Stalkers room later that evening.

deathstalker feast

Munkar may be evil, but he sure knows to throw a party!

In an attempt to cleverly deceive the ‘Stalker Munkar transforms one of his incredibly ugly guards into the Princess with a mission to kill the ‘Stalker when he least expects it.  The guard is not thrilled with a metamorphosis at first but seems overjoyed with the fact that he has boobs mere moments later.

Sex change in the middle ages. Much simpler!

Deathstalker stop the knife  but proceeds to almost fuck a dude- only in the last seconds does he realizes something’s wrong. It seem that the transformation was starting to wear off. He throw her/him from his room just as Kira was walking down the hall. She initially seems worried about the princess and even gave her something to wear (Kira doesn’t seem to fancy clothes too  much as we already now) but he turns back into a man. They engage in a duel and menage to severely wound one another.Deathstalker disturbed by the noise runs towards them but  it’s already late, his love (kinda) dies in his arms.

Tournament finally begins and we are treated with many moronic fighters and number of 80s wrestling moves! That same night we see Oghris in a torture chamber with Mungar. It turns the whole point of Tournament was to bring Deathstalker out in the open and Oghris was Munkar’s inside man all this time. That doesn’t stop Munkar from torturing  him a bit for good measure of course. Anyway, he volunteers to kill ‘Stalker and heads into his chambers. Then because he grow fond of him as a friend he asks him to run away so he can spare his life. ‘Stalker gets extremely mad at this. He lays down his sword (that makes him invincible and stuff) and starts a fist fight with  a dude. He catches him with a rear-naked chokes and apparently Oghris dies.

Tournament continues and Munkar is shocked to find out ‘Stalker is still here. He tries to bring about his demise via Man-Pig but the creature fails miserably. Then people almost start a riot suporting the Deathstalker as the future ruler. We hear the witches voice” you can be the power” and we know what happens next. Munkar sets a trap for ‘Stalker using an amulet and then sends his strongest warrior to disarm him and behead him if possible. Well, it was not possible, ‘Stalker not only stabs the dude with his own weapon but uses the Force to get the sword back in his hands (a new power added in the last minuts of the movie, congratulations to screenwriter here ) and finishes him with it.

Deathstalker VS Pig-Man

Now possessing the both sword and the Amulet Deatstlaker seems invincible. Munkar transports him outside and then multiplies himself. Stalker seems confused by the sight of many Munkars (also the horror synth score) but decides to cut them one by one. The evil wizard even tries to make him sword impossible to hold (que in some poor neon red  effects) but the Witch appears and proclaims “Don’t let the illusion become the fear” (will this woman ever shut up?) and that seems to be just the boost of confidence the ‘Stalker needed. He easily walks trough the wall of fire, takes the Chalice from the disappointed Munkar who then gets disembodied by his own people.

Deathstalker then proclaims  “all the powers of creation and chaos I destroy you” and we get heroic music as the (cartoon) thunder goes from a chalice to the sword and back. The End.

Deathstalker.(1983).DVDRip..avi_004462120He became- THE POWER!

Verdict: This movie has an incredibly stupid storyline (with unexpected bits here and there I admit), awful acting, laughably choreographed fight scenes,  incredibly funny soundtrack and really poor special effect (even for that time period)  but I would still recommend it. Why? Because it’s great freakin’ fun in equal measures filed with idiocy and nudity and most importantly it has a absolutely fantastic scene of Man-Pig  hesitatingly eating a regular pig and that alone is worth the price of admission/VHS/DVD/BluRay.

Deathstalker.(1983).DVDRip..avi_001922240

“To eat or not to eat…”

One more observation- it’s interesting how even the mighty Conan seems like  a monk who took a vow of chastity when compared to Deatstalker whose only occupation seem to be jumping onto the ladies whether they showed any interest for him or not. The only times when he is not indulging himself seem to be times when he’s indulging his other passion- brutally slaying people of course. You won’t find another hero like him even if you try!