Copyright Company and Date: Copyright 1987 MGM/Cannon International
Submitted by J. Villiard on July 25th, 2013
Cabot - A meek and nerdy college professor here on Earth, Tarl Cabot is teleported by way of a magic ring to the world of Gor, where he becomes a powerful (albeit whiney) warrior.
Beverly - Cabot's love interest on Earth. She's about as shallow as a mud puddle.
Talena - A warrior princes. She is out to rescue her kidnapped father, King Marlenus, and return her village's stolen Home Stone from the evil Sarm. She's good with a sword, and looks great in a loin cloth.
Torm - Another warrior from Talena's village. He's more of the real-deal when it comes to this fighting stuff, and has a short fuse that goes off every time Cabot screws something up. Run through with a sword.
The Elder - As his name implies, he's old. He's basically the brains of the group.
Hup - Midget stowaway. After being discovered, he volunteers to be a guide to Cabot and his group on their journey.
Sarm - Oliver Reed! A former priest-turned-evil-ruler. He is determined to destroy all of the villages so he can steal their Home Stones. His Adam's apple gets shish kabobbed by an arrow.
Surbus - Fat and greedy tavern keeper who hates to lose a bet. He also seems to hate midgets and women. Blinded by the light... then stabbed to death.
King Marlenus - A wise and righteous ruler. He has been taken captive by Sarm, and is being tortured as to Talena's whereabouts.
Xenos - Jack Palance! He's in this movie for only a couple minutes at the very end, but somehow still winds up with top billing in the credits. Must be nice, eh? Anyway, he claims to be a priest who has come to guard the Home Stone that Cabot has returned. But is he really?
It only takes a slight scratch from a sword to kill a trained barbarian.
It only takes about a day to become a warrior on Gor.
A digital watch can give you a great advantage in a sword fight.
All barbarians look alike, so impersonating one is a breeze.
If you need a guide for your quest, just open up your backpack and hire the midget who pops out.
Even barbarians understand when one of their own has to stop to take a leak.
STUFF TO WATCH FOR
4 mins - This is the worst break-up bit ever. Obviously, nobody taught this girl how to "let a guy down easy."
13 mins - You just watched the guys surrounding you slaughter half a village. Do you really think that showing them your driver's license is going to somehow stop them from kicking your ass, too?
15 mins - He's dead?! Seriously?!? He didn't even swing the damn sword! If a scratch like that is all it takes to kill you, then being a mercenary was clearly the wrong career choice for you!
25 mins - Speaking of "the clothes on your back," would somebody PLEASE get Cabot some pants?!?
31 mins - Midget abuse!!!!
39 mins - I see women's professional wrestling is popular here, too.
45 mins - He got blinded by the light off of a Casio digital watch, and then got run through with a sword? That has to be one of the more humiliating barbarian deaths in movie history.
48 mins - Ahhhh! Nothing like the sounds of pessant screams and cracking whips to get a guy in the mood, eh, Sarmy?
50 mins - You guys aren't very good at paying attention to details, are you? That mask is only covering his face, you know!
50 mins - I can understand it. I mean, even barbarians have to answer the call of nature, now and then, right?
56 mins - THAT's how they treat their sick people here on Gor? Man, and you thought socialized medicine was bad.
Talena: "Just remember to hold me, and to treat me like a slave."
Merchant: "Buy my snake?"
Torm: "We've already eaten, thank you."
Cabot (in barbarian "disguise"): "Hey! Hey, it's ok! I'm taking a pee! Just move on! I'll join you later!"
Barbarian Leader: "All right!"
Meet Tar; Cabot! He's a mild-mannered (see: geeky) college professor who seems quite wrapped up with his work. When we join him, he's giving a lecture to his extremely bored students. Actually, it's hard to tell if the students are actually bored, or if they're just looking at him like he's bat-s**t crazy, as the subject Cabot is speaking on is the magic ring he's brought with him to class that can teleport people to other dimensions. I don't know at what college a class on magic stones would be considered part of the ciriculum (Hogwart's, maybe?), but it's pretty clear this isn't one of them as the students aren't buying it.
After class, Cabot meets Beverly, the girl of his dreams, out by his car. He's planned a nice romantic weekend for the two of them at a remote cabin. Now, at the last minute, Beverly decides to tell him that she's not going with him. Why, might you ask? Well, as she explains, there's "nothing for her out there." And by that, she means that there are no clubs, stores, nightlife or other places where she can blow money and party. In fact, it's so unappealing to her that she breaks up with him and rides off with the preppy jerk she's leaving him for. Nice chick, huh? This girl's so superficial that a papercut would be lethal to her. A broken-hearted and humiliated Cabot drives of in a rain storm. He can't see the road through the bad weather and smacks into a tree.
When he awakens, Cabot discovers that he's not in Kansas (or wherever the hell he was before) anymore, but rather in a massive desert. Climbing up a hill, Cabot is confused when he sees a stone village being ransacked by a horde of blood-thirsty soldiers on horses. Down in said village, King Malenus and his daughter, Talena, are fighting a losing battle to defend their home, while the wicked Sarm looks on from a distance with stone-faced pleasure. Soon, Marlenus is captured and the village's sacred Home Stone is stolen. Sensing victory, Sarm orders his son to and then to either kill or capture the remaining pessants.
Talena manages to commandeer a horse and escape, but her retreat is cut short when Cabot (who is fleeing from his hiding spot) scares her horse and makes her fall off. Sarm's son and his troops go down to capture Cabot, who tells them that he isn't one of the villagers, and attempts to prove it by showing them his driver's license as if these goons were the local police. One thing leads to another until Cabot picks up a sword from off the ground and, in what can only be described as the luckiest moment in the history of barbarian swordsplay, kills Sarm's son without even swinging the sword. Seriously, Sarm's son (the guy is never given an actual name, so I've gotta call him something.... deal with it) charges, Cabot doesn't even hold the sword in an aggressive manner, and somehow Sarm's son gets slashed dead. The other soldiers accompanying Sarm's son corner Cabot in order to kill him, but they are ambushed by a swarm of escaped villagers who are inspired by Cabot's "heroic" kill. Cabot is knocked unconscious in the mob scene, and carried back to the cave where Talena and the others are hiding.
When Cabot wakes up in the cave, his reaction is pretty much what anyone's would be: "Where the hell am I?" The Elder, Torm, and Talena explain the situation to Cabot who could really care less. All he wants to do is go home, and he's quite the crybaby about it. Torm is not impressed by Cabot at all, but The Elder is convinced that this stranger is the savior that they've been looking for. So he sets about training Cabot to become a warrior. Torm and Talena teach him swordfighting and archery until after a long time (actually it seems like less than a day), Cabot passes his final test: dodge a spear by moving your body slightly to the right. This apparently convinces The Elder that Cabot is ready to help them retrieve the village's Home Stone, and rescue King Malenus. So the four set off on their long journey to Sarm's kingdom.... with Cabot b***hing and moanng all of the way. So much so, in fact, that I'm actually surprised that The Elder didn't finally turn to him and say "Look! If I hear one more word out of you, I'm turning this caravan around and going back home! Understand?" This is your hero, folks. Tarl Cabot: The Whiniest Warrior on Gor!
Along the way, we are treated repeatedly to two different things: Talena's perfectly tanned lower body clad in nothing but a loin cloth (very nice!), and Cabot's lower body, including his milky-white buttocks, clad in even less than a loin cloth (ewww!!!). To say that I had a love-hate relationship with the costume designer for this flick would be an understatement.
Cabot's inexperience soon shows through, as he allows thieves go come in the night and steal the group's supplies, and thus is subject again to the ire of Torm. Now they must venture to another kingdom where they can trade for new stuff. Here they encounter Surbus, a fat barbarian tavern-owner, who is torturing a midget named Hup. What Hup did to incur the wrath of Surbus we never know, but it must have been pretty bad because the big bully hangs Hup on a hook by his shorts and threatens to slit his throat if he sees him again. Inside the tavern, our heroes don't fair much better. In order to get the stuff they want, Talena is forced to fight against one of Surbus's slave girls in what can only be described as a caveman's version of a WWE women's wrestling match. Complete with snapmare takedowns, running spears, a clothesline or two, and even a foreign object being thrown into the ring for the girls to hit each other with. Talena emerges victorious from the battle, but Surbus welches on part of the deal. The group leaves with what they can, and also encounter Hup the Midget (how he got down from that hook, I don't know, but they found him hiding in one of their backpacks... I also don't know what happened to the supplies that were in that bag before, but I know I'd be pretty p**sed if I opened up my sack expecting to find rations, and instead out popped a little person) who offers to be their guide through Sarm's land. Instead of eating him, the group accepts his offer.
It seems the group is not done with Surbus, yet. The angry lardball ambushes them with several of his men, but he is defeated when Cabot blinds Surbus with his digital watch (intentionally? I'm not sure. It might have just been dumb luck) and Talena introduces a sword to his lower G.I tract. The rest of the goons are dispatched quickly, and we're treated to more trekking through the sands of Gor, as well as more griping by Cabot. (SHUT UP, already! My six-year-old doesn't bellyache as much on a long car ride as Cabot has already in this movie!)
Eventually, the fivesome encounters a caravan of slaves being driven by a crew of Sarm's barbarian henchmen. After being forced to overpower one of the guards (Cabot forgot to turn off the alarm on his digital watch, and it tipped the guy off; how many barbarians can say that that's happened to them?), Cabot dons only the mask of the fallen guard and tells the others to move on because he's "got to pee!" First of all, as weird as it seems, it amazes me that nobody in any other movie of this genre hasn't tried the same line? I mean, it makes sense, right? These guys are all human, so they all must have bladders. And that means that, sooner or later, they're going to have to drain the pickle. So the other henchmen believe him. The problem is that all Cabot did is put on the helmet. Everything else - his body shape, his skin color, his armor he's wearing, the cape he's NOT wearing that the other guy was - looks nothing like the man whom he is impersonating. But nobody notices a damn thing, and they just buy his line. Apparently, the mental requirements for becoming a barbarian on Gor aren't really high. Either that, or they're just really bad at paying attention. God help these guys if one of them ever has a wife who comes home with a new hairstyle. He won't say s**t, and she'll be divorcing him within the week.
Eventually they arrive at Sarm's palace. Sneaking in will be tricky, but they never get the chance to try. Cabot needlessly picks a fight at a slave auction and gets all of them (save Hup) captured. While his friends are taken away, Cabot is taken directly to Sarm who is entertaining guests. Sarm, who earlier in the film had been calling for Cabot's death, now decides to try and entice him into joining forces with him. He calls for food, wine, and even a prostitute to come and pleasure Cabot in hopes of getting him to sign with the home team. Cabot isn't having any of it, though, and when the opportunity presents itself, he jams a hot branding iron into the villan's midsection, freeing Talena in the process.
Suddenly the whole castle is thrown into battle. Cabot and Talena free the other hostages, including King Malenus who takes Cabot down to a special room, where they find the missing Home Stone. The fight back out of the palace is a costly one. Torm sacrafices himself to help Cabot, while Talena, Malenus, The Elder, and everyone else is captured by Sarm, who intends to toss them into a pit of fire. His plan is cut short, though, when Cabot appears in the nick of time and sends an arrow flying into Sarm's neck. With the villan disposed of, King Malenus leads his people back to their village to begin the process of rebuilding. As for Cabot, he decides to take a prize of his own... a little "private time" with Talena. On their way back to a seculded area, they run into Xenos! He claims to be a priest who's here to guard the Home Stone, though Talena doesn't recognize him. Is he the real deal? Is he a fraud? Who cares?! Cabot's been looknig to nail this chick since he got here, so now it's time to get him some action. Which he does.... until he's sent back to Earth by the Home Stone. Once home, he wastes no time in showing up he shallow ex by punching her new beau in the jaw, and leaving her to pick up his pieces. Meanwhile, Xenos lays out a brief description of his plans now that Cabot is gone. Could this be a sign of a sequel? It better be, since Jack Palance got top billing for all 5 minutes he play Xenos in this movie.... all of which came at the very end of the flick.