Posts Tagged ‘Sword and Sorcery’

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.

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Yeah, I bet you thought I would leave this movie alone. How can I? It has to be pinpointed as an example of how to ruin great original movie with watered down sequel. Though I have to admit that I am writing this review in top secrecy, without even letting know the rest of the Worsemovies crew. I just can’t risk spreading that info since bunch of zombie-like fans of this movie would probably annoy me with their “Why so bad? This movie good. Me smash you” ‘arguments’. But unlike my usual reviews this one will go without detailed analyzing of every scene. Partly because the most of you probably know this movie too well and partly because it really sickens me to write about it.

Somebody call PETASomebody call P.E.T.A!

As some of you might recall Conan the Barbarian was quite a success. Director John Milius had done a pretty good job and had a vision of trilogy ending with aged Conan ruling over kingdom. Nice idea. But people from Universal studio didn’t share his views. They were seeing Arnold as a new teenage role-model and they did not like combination of violence, sex, and gore. So what did they do? They dumped Milius and brought more family-friendly action director Richard Fleischer (“20000 Leagues Under the Sea”,”The Narrow Margin”) instead. “And what is wrong with that? He is not an inexperienced director.”, some of you might say. I’ll tell you what is wrong. Everything! Do you want a list? You got it! First, he tossed away original scripts done by comic book writers Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway. I guess the script about half-naked barbarian who fights monsters and meets a lot of half-naked women wasn’t PG enough. Second, Conan gets involved in much more dialogues. And lets face it, dialogues are not what Arnold is good at. Next thing… While Milius had Arnold lose weight and practice swordsmanship so he could look like a real warrior, Fleischer did the opposite thing. Wanting to recreate the giant on the covers of the paperback Conan novels, he demanded from Arnold to bulk up as much as he can. Poor Arnold’s organism probably went into the state of shock during the time between two movies (this might be how the rumors about Arnold’s triple bypass came out in the first place). But Conan didn’t get a lot of muscles only. No, he got feelings as well. Conan now jokes and cares about other people feelings. Fleischer attempted to show us how it would be in one of the most disgusting scenes of the movie, in which Conan completely smashed (after barely one bottle of wine) tries to show how to handle a sword to one of his companions. And his companions… Don’t get me start about them. Arnie gets an idiot side-kick Malak (played by Tracey Walter) to provide comic relief. Then there is Zula (played by Grace Jones) who is some kind of demented amazon warrior. The only thing Zula does in  this movie is glaring and hissing like snake at people. And the only person other than Arnold from the first movie is Mako, who plays a role of inexperienced wizard Akiro. There are others as well but more about them soon.

The plot is simple. Evil Queen Taramis (played by “queen” of sequels Sarah Douglas; Superman 2, Puppetmaster 3, Beastmaster 2) promises to revive Conan’s true love Valeria. In return he has to lead virgin Princess Jehnna (played by Olivia D’Abo -complete miscast) and her bodyguard Bombaata (played by now retired basketball player Wilt Chamberlain) on a quest to steal a magic crystal. Of course, Jehnna is the only one who can handle it. With that crystal they will be able to recover a horn that will bring deity Dagoth to life and give a huge power to Taramis. Conan agrees without much of thinking and journey begins. On that journey they face the usual array of monsters, soldiers, evil wizards, ilusions, etc… Conan is confident. He knows what he is doing. What Conan doesn’t know almost until the end is that Taramis ordered Bombaata to kill him as soon as horn is recovered. And Jehnna is going to be sacrificed to Dagoth. That’s why she needed to stay a virgin (and she did thanks to PG). As it always happen, our heroes manage to overcome every obstacle. Unlike the fight between Conan and Toth-Amon (played by Pat Roach) in a hall of mirrors, which is is well-staged, the final battle between Conan and Dagoth is ridiculous, silly garbage.

Conclusion: Is “Conan the Destroyer” watchable? Yes, for someone who knows absolutely nothing about Conan, I suppose it can be a silly sword-and-sorcery popcorn flick. For real fans of Conan this is nothing more than shameful attempt of cashing-in the success of original flick combined with general lousiness we get from the most of the sequels. The basic would even be OK if there wasn’t for retarded companions. Toning has been done drastically and without subtlety. While the fight between Conan and Toth-Amon (Pat Roach), in a hall of mirrors, is well-staged and exciting, much of the rest of the film seems flat, silly, childish and with bad humor. There aren’t many movies in this genre that are worse than “Conan the Destroyer”. Barbarian brothers? Maybe. Hawk the Slayer? For sure.

P.S. In order to show you that half-ass job was done even at production part of this movie here is a complete list of technical errors, or shortly, goofs:

-Telegraph poles visible in the opening scene
-When Conan hits one of the Taramis’ guards’ rope nets with his sword it makes two swords clashing sound
-When Malak asks “Why are they trying to kill us?”, Conan answers, and the same line of dialogue can be faintly heard playing again
-During the fight with Man Ape it cuts to a shot of his friends behind one of the panes, and Malak says “That’s exactly what I would have done, exactly.” His lips don’t match the words at all
-Just after Akiro reads the legend on the wall of the crypt regarding the woman-child with a certain mark we can see a pink star shaped mark on the swell of Jehnna’s left breast. However, earlier in the movie, when Jehnna first awakens in the castle of Toth-Amon this same area of her chest is perfectly visible but the mark is not there
-When Zula is fighting Bombaata, she leaps from the saddle and throws herself on him, knocking his head-circlet off from the impact of collision. In the very next shot, Bombaata’s circlet is back on his head as he struggles with Zula.
-During the opening sequences between the sword fight with Togra and Conan. You can see Togra wearing a long cape in the long shot. When they do a closeup of Togra drawing his sword, he’s not wearing the cape anymore, but when they charge at each other on horseback Togra is wearing his cape again. When the swords clash in the closeup, the cape is once again missing for the rest of the fight
-Shortly before Akiro is rescued from the cannibals and joins the party there is a scene where Akiro can be seen on the last horse riding through the forest despite not having joined the party yet
-When the smoke dragon carries the girl to the crystal castle she is bare foot, but when the wizard lays her down she is wearing boots
-In the first shot of Conan kneeling on the ground with his sword, the shadow around him changes between shots
-When Queen Taramis first speaks to Conan, the amount of blood on Conan’s sword keeps changing between shots
-During the opening fight sequence Conan drops the net over Valeria’s stone altar. But a few shots later, the altar is bare and the net is nowhere to be seen
-In the scene where Malak locks the stone gate by pushing the lever to the left, when the rest of the party enters the room, the lever is to the right (unlocked) again
-In the first forest scene, just before they rescue Akiro, the first two camera shots shows Conan wearing a top and a cape-like fur. The next shot and on, Conan is fully topless
-As the ice palace is collapsing and Conan is starting to row the boat with his companions with him, he is wearing just a loincloth, but while still rowing the boat in the middle of the lake, he is fully clothed
-During the start of the fight against the temple guards, Conan throws his dagger into one of the guards. Later on when they reunite with their horses, the dagger is back in its place
-In the ravine just after they get the Horn, Conan’s dagger is visible, despite being lost in a previous scene
-Man Ape firstly claw-swipes and then scratches the left side of Conan’s head. Those claw and scratch marks on his face and left side of his head are visible
-During the fight between Conan and Man Ape, Conan gets four bloody scratches on his arms, but there was no showing of Man Ape scratching his arms
-When the ice palace is falling apart and the party is just rowing away inside still, you can see a moving crew member in the rock formation above the water. Also, in the same sequence, in the frontal shot from the back of the boat, the skull is on top of the rudder and a spike points down, in the rear shot of the party the skull is on bottom and the spike points up
-During the first battle, when Conan hits the second horseman with his sword, as the man falls from his horse there is a shadow of the cameraman on the ground
-While Malak falls from the waterfall there is a harness attached to his back
-During his battle with Man Ape, the blue make-up used on the monster can be seen rubbing off on Conan’s body in various scenes for short periods
-When Jehnna is bestowing Conan’s companions with rewards, there is no sign of damage to the room
-When Malak throws his knife at Dagoth as Dagoth is trying to break Conan’s arms, a black wire can be seen on Dagoth’s arm
-When Conan repeatedly swings his sword through Man Ape, certain shadows and areas of Conan’s body and hair are invisible (allowing you to see through him) for brief periods

We can not talk about The Conquest, probably our weirdest and most fascinating entree into the Barbarian (aka Sword and Sorcery) genre without talking about the man who directed it- Mr. Lucio Fulci. Starting his career as a director of Italian comedies he subsequently moved to more fitting (and by that I mean more violent) genres like Spagetti Western and then horror movies. He claimed worldwide fame with the notorious Zombi 2 (aka The Zombie) billed as an unofficial sequel to Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (something akin to the things Albert Pyun is doing- just better).

Now, many of those hyper- violent and gory films were scripted by his collaborator Dardano Sacchetti (sort of like Jagger/Richards of the Giallo Horror). So, when Lucio decided to take a break from  he  usual routine and try his luck with a (supposedly) A-budgeted project (co-production between Italia, Spain and Mexico) inspired by the early Conan the Barbarian craze and didn’t bring Sacchetti with him that created rift between them and they  never  collaborated again. Many people consider The Conquest the turning point after which Fulci’s career never reached former highs (although the loss of quality can also be attributed to Fulci’s  problems with the diabetes and his constant battles with depression). “So, was it all worth it?” you ask. Well, you’re about to find out.

conquest_poster_01

Film starts with a very ethereal (and also very foggy) ceremony that marks the boy’s passage towards the manhood (and also equips him with an armor and a magic bow (more about that later). Then we are bombarded with extremely synthesizer- based score that sounds incredibly like as of a bad outtake for the He- Man cartoon. Things get more crazy from there with an inarticulate chants performed by seemingly barely legal naked girl with a golden mask and feathers (I am not making this up- and you can see this pic as a proof).

 conquest-1983 Sabrina Siani ( Ocron) continued to be just as naked in all her other roles,  unfortunately she also continued to be just as flat

 

Enraged pack of Dog-men (yes, such things do exist in this universe) attack the human village and ravage it completely.Poor leader who tried to reason with them gets his head opened and brain smashed for his efforts and they even find the time to pull apart one lady (a most horrible death if there is one).

http://rutube.ru/video/7f54cc108341f5d590d7717ef5f6b17d/

Saving a lady from the snake the boy- Ilias provokes a wrath of some local barbarians. Enamored with his bow they try to take it from him but end up taking only arrows (to the knee of course). Unfortunately he runs out of arrows and stars runing for his life. Just when it seems that it’s too late a musclebound barbarian appears and starts wrecking hawk with his BARBARIAN NUNCHUCKS!!!

Barbarian Nunchucks, so fuzzy you could die!

Barbarian and the boy start the journey together all the while having interesting moral dilemmas (it’s ok to eat an animal, but only if someone else has killed it, also it’s ok if you kill the man that killed the animal and eat his animal). But golden headed maiden still plots their doom and they are forced to run for their lives faced with a pack of Dog-men. After escaping they found themselves in another village, by coincidence the same one where cute girl that Ilias saved lives. The two of them sneak out after the dinner when everyone is sleeping and… SHE GETS BRUTALLY KILLED BY THE DOG-MAN!!! Then they proceed to rape and slaughter everything that moves. Our hero somehow survives but gets overwhelmed and captured- presumably so they can eat him
for dinner.

Conquest_Full_Movie_1983_-_Fighting_Fantasy_Horror_Luc.mp4_002076407A hero, or a dinner?

It all falls down to his nunchucky-wielding barbarian friend Mace and he doesn’t disappoint.He uses diversion-  gunpowder explosions while he frees his friend and then together they start chopping up terrified Dog- man. They maybe are good guys but that doesn’t mean they are into mercy and all that stuff. In the meantime the evil Ocron is performing a mystical ceremony by rubbing herself with a really big snake (if there is some symbolic in this I won’t point it out). She summons the evil master Zora to this plane offering him his body and soul in return for the Ilias’s head and his bow (man, she must really like that bow).

Conquest_Full_Movie_1983_-_Fighting_Fantasy_Horror_Luc.mp4_002538452

 

Ilias insists on punishing Ocron for her crimes and his barbarian friend reluctantly agrees to take him to her.They go hunting for food but get surprised by some cartoon arrows.They escape on the raft but Ilias almost dies from the infection (arrows were obviously not just drawn by hand by also poisoned). While he struggles Mace the barbarian fights of some swamp yetis and then confronts the dark lord Zora. Zora using old Mortal Kombat trick copies all of Mace’s powers (and his good looks) and now we have ourselves a barbarian nunchuku fight! That alone is worth the price of the movie.

Not that’s what I call- ACTING!

Now Ilias finally realizes it’s time to go back to his mystical land and that he’s got nothing to be ashamed of (I mean he almost died minutes ago) but as he’s sailing of his barbarian friend gets captured by those crazy yeti  creatures. He sees not other way and returns and with that demonstration of courage he finally becomes a man. Also when you’re a man you get cool laser arrows like this.

conquest_shot2lMan, this is badass!

He saves his friend and finds the time to play with the dolphins (no, I don’t know how that fits anything) but mighty Zora is still not stopped. He menages to surprise them in their sleep and capture them. And then- beheads Ilias!? Ok, I have to admit I’ve never seen the main character headless in the third act of the movie before. Ocron tries to drain the mystical power from the head of Ilias but fails because his soul has already moved on and we have final confirmation of that in the vision of Mace who gets visited by Ilias ghost. Mace following the instruction burns his friends body and covers himself with ashes for protection. And then- IT REVENGE TIME!

Now, that’s a lot of revenging!

As you can see Ocron finally loses her mask (she has a funny wolf head) and soon her life too. She does get reborn as a white wolf but that’s another story (one I’m afraid we’ll never learn).The End

Verdict: So, was it all really worth it? Well, my guess is- probably not. But still- this film stands firmly as a the most fascinating anomaly in the Barbarian genre. With it’s extreme gore and nudity, strange and surreal atmosphere, and unexpected story structure ( bravely choosing to deviate from Campbell’s Heroes Journey standard) The Conquest deserves to be admired.

While we close off our (extremely successful dare I say) Barbarian Month on WM I would like to present you one of my personal favorites. An  animated show by brilliant Harry Patridge (aka Happy Harry)who ingeniously combined Space Opera and Sword and Sorcery genres with his off beat humor to produce something that has authentic 80es Animated Show look and all the brutal carnage you can take.

I PRESENT YOU KILGAR AND HOGSTRONG- STARBARIANS!

Episode 1

Episode 1,5

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.

During this (Barbarian) month we covered a wide range of Sword and Sorcery flicks and as you noticed nearly every single one of them was a rip off of ‘s Conan The Barbarian. Well, not this film!
This movie is a rip-off of Kurosawa’s legendary Yojimbo! Literally you just take Yojimbo, change a setting to the desert planet of Yura, replace fantastic Toshiro Mifune with less than fantastic David Caradine , add some bad creature effect , a four breasted stripper and sparkle it all with a doze of acid and voila- you get The Warrior and the Sorceress!

Disclaimer: David Caradine looks nothing like this mighty dude!Disclaimer 2: Woman with an extra set of breasts has only a small cameo !

A hooded warrior  (Caradine) arrives in the town. Right off the bat we see the half- naked sorceress Naja (Maria Socas) being tortured by one of the gang members. He quickly decides to cause the commotion in this case by fighting the knights guarding the city’s well. As you can guess they prove no match to his (caugh, caugh) Kung Fu skills. Left unguarded well gets overan by villagers making the leaders of both city’s clans extremely unhappy.

Just look at those bare legs of Caradine, the sign of the real Warrior!

With his reputation preceding him The Warrior visits the first of the clan leaders, the fat man. Dude looks like a giant bold baby, surounded with naked women and his personal assistent
the Lizardman (who’s by all accounts- a hand puppet)*.  They strike a dead right there and then and Caradine walks away with a … of gold. in the meantime… Fat man’s cometitor is trying out a sword made by the priestess. She promised to make a sacred sword of Yura for him, sadly she did not deliever and was imediatly returned to the her cell.

Man’s best friend- his lizardman!

Soon the two sides confront each other in the city’s square. Caradine, a supposedly big asset to the fat man decides to sit this one out and completely changes the complexion of the fight. But just as thing were starting to heat up the slave-owners entered the city gates. As they all love slaves they stop what they’re doing and start biding with the monstrous slave-owner Burgo. After a fine day of selling and buying the slave-owners dance the night away. But little do they know that the Fatman and his trusted lizard poisoned Burgo’s wine in an attempt to frame their competition aka the mighty Zeg. Things seemingly go as planed ad the scaly slaver prophets his revenge with the brilliant words “gather our army and avenge out deaths”. Hopefully he dies at that instant, that would be cool.

He doesn’t look too good, does he?

Dark Warrior seeing all that goes staight to Zeg and offers to sell an information. He explains fat man’s scheme to Zeg, takes some gold and then start roaming around the castle. He finds the Sorceress in the dungeons. She starts rambling something about the secrets and prophecies and then finally agrees to come with Caradine. He starts cutting through soldiers with his usual ease and they succeed in escaping. Next thing Warrior does is almost unforgivable, he steals the (fat) man’s best friend, his lizardman and delivers him to Zeg.What fallowes is the exchange Sorceress for Lizardman and we finally start to wonder does the Warrior have a plan or is he just enjoying fuckin’ with everyone (and getting rich in the process).

Because of all the stuff he (seemingly) did for him the Warrior is invited to the grand feast at Zeg’s place but uses opportunity to AGAIN free the Sorceress (and kill a ridiculous tentacled monster but the less said about that the better). He plays dumb and continues the drinking at a main table but this time Zeg’s got a superise for him! Yeah, the main selling point of this movie a stripper (backed with techno soudntrack), but not just any stripper, a four boobed stripper!!!

Just in case you find yourself in this kind of situation…

Scenes with her are so funny and absurd that they almost make this mess worth a while. Ending her act she attacks Caradine and he chockes her to death but not before she poisons him.For some reason they do not kill him right there and then but they chain him and put him in the cell.

Воин и колдунья (The Warrior And The Sorceress 1984).avi_003661027

Let’s celebrate our new-found partnership!

Then Zed offers an alliance to the fat man which he jolly excepts. when they hug to celebrate he stabs him to death and finally succeeds in reaching the complete domination. Unfortunately just as he was at the top of the world the bunch of lizard-like slavers launched the attack on his army. Naja, the Sorceress frees the Warrior with Caradine’s help finally forges the magic sword of Yura and using it they lead a rebellion against the powers that be- in this case the Slavers. Warrior suddenly appears leading the villagers and then… does what he always does, funny circular motions that are usually supposed to represent Kung Fu. The power of the mighty sword of Yura that we waited to see entire film is… NOTHING AT ALL. The damned sword doesn’t even have cool sound effect that goes with it and doesn’t seem to help Caradine the slightest. He even menages to loose it half-way into the fight with Zeg’s former general and still win fairly easily. Damn, that Sorceress is an incompetent bitch!

David Caradine + Sword of Yura = Everyone dies

After massacring every last Slaver and all of their human underlings (with minimal help from the villagers) Naja tells him “to holy victory” * which is supposed to mean something but it doesnt Being the cool cat that he is he leaves them all and walks into the sunset into new adventures that thankfully didn’t get filmed or captured in any way.

Yeah, hi to you to!

Verdict: Idea a of Samurai film by the way of  of SF/ Fantasy seemingly has some potential but that potential is mostly wasted. Caradine seems to be having a good time and feels constable in his role but the fact is he made his living by acting martial artists and never bothered to learn any and that completely undermines all his effort. If you want to be a convincing warrior in a Sword and Sorcery flick you need to look the part/ or have some serious sword-fighting skills and truthfully (ignoring the man’s significant cool factor) he really had none. Also the movie is considered one of the most violent and bloody barbarian flicks and that may be true but the doesn’t make silly action scenes any better. The only thing that separates this movie from the rest of the pack is the presence of four-boobed stripper and mind0 boggling weirdness of her scene is the only thing worth watching in this film.

Knowing how cheap Corman is, this girl probably had real four boobs, I can’t imagine him paying to get them made…

Trivia: When the director of the film  John C. Broderick originally read the script he called Corman and said that he couldn’t do it because movies was not based of Yojimbo but an (almost) straight scene for scene rip- off. Corman said that the same was true of The Fistfull of Dollars and that Leone had no trouble because Kurosawa used an American book Red Harvest as a model for his film- so there is no real original. He got Broderick to direct but that statement was of course a  blatant lie- because Leone was sued and forced to pay compensation to Kurosawa for remaking  Yojimbo without his knowledge. Thankfully for Corman almost no one knows of existence of  The Warrior and the Sorceress so he’s safe… FOR NOW.

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.