|THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER
|Copyright 1982 Sorcerer Productions
| Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 15 September 2001
- Talon - First introduced as a boy, he grows into a skilled swordsman with a small army at his command. Not the sort of person you want to have swinging a ham hock at you; much less his magnificent tri-bladed broadsword.
- Alana - Feisty princess who has a very unladylike habit of kicking men in the groin.
- Mikah - Revolutionary leader that wants to free the kingdom, but first he needs to do something about looking so darn goofy.
- Darius - Joe Regalbuto! Talon's friend and second in command. You know, seeing him lustily loving women and swinging a sword was about as close to an acid trip as I'll ever come.
- Cromwell - Richard Lynch! Evil king that conquered the realm and killed Talon's parents (the previous rulers - King Richard and um, his wife). He knows the value of a good sword and apparently even composed his own marriage vows. Unfortunately his taste in armor emphasized style over substance, resulting in an untimely death.
- Elizabeth - Lead whore in Cromwell's castle. She commits hara-kiri to prevent the torturer from using her as a bargaining chip. Plus, she always wanted to be Japanese.
- Verdugo - Every tyrant needs a torturer. I imagine that the notices are posted soon after seizing power. "Wanted: large, bald, sadistic man with experience in breaking fingers and cutting out tongues." One of the bad things about this position is that the prisoners always get loose eventually and guess who they are gunning for...
- Xusia - Richard Moll! A powerful sorcerer raised from the dead by Cromwell and goaded into using his black magic to destroy King Richard's army. Everybody is standing in line to stick a blade between his ribs (in fact, Cromwell has already done so and gotten back in line for another try).
- Machelli - Advisor to Lord Cromwell, but actually Xusia in disguise! Was I the only one who didn't see that coming? *Cough*
|Sword and sorcery movies have a number of things going for them. First there's the fact that women simply didn't worry about clothes in the old days unless the temperature demanded them. Second is that the writer's and director's imaginations can run free. Which leads me to a conclusion: forget John Malkovich, I want to get inside Albert Pyun's head and look around.
Xusia has lain dead for a thousand years when Lord Cromwell and his retainers break into the burial cave. No traps or magical wards impede their progress and soon they gaze upon the tomb where the greatest practitioner of black magic who ever lived is interred. Why didn't somebody at least cast fireball - contingency - permanence or something? Makes you wonder if Allanon, Gandalf, and Belgarath are sleeping on the job.
A witch was brought along for the sole purpose of resurrecting the sorcerer. Her chanting annoys the creature (Xusia looks like Richard Moll crossed with an iguana) and he rises up, cleaning the hot wax out of his ears and looking generally unhappy. Cromwell then provokes the mage into a demonstration; the resulting slight of hand causes the witch's heart to burst from her chest. It flies across the room and Xusia catches it like a pulpy baseball. Wondering why her ribcage didn't prevent the sudden cardiac desertion won't help, because it's magic.
Armies, led by Cromwell, stream into King Richard's domain. With noxious spells to aid them, the invaders easily destroy any opposing forces and soon approach the capital city. The sorcerer is no longer needed after turning the tide so favorably and Cromwell stabs him. Xusia escapes by leaping off a cliff.
Here is where the good king makes an interesting strategic choice: he meets the attacking horde upon the field. Why not force them into a siege? It's one way to even the odds and Cromwell seems to be a jerk; maybe an ally will send forces to Richard's aid. What does happen is that Talon gets to see both his parents (the queen was a little slow fleeing and Darwin noticed) slaughtered. Armed with his father's extraordinary sword, the lad breaks free of the skirmisher's, escaping to fight another day.
The weapon used by Talon deserves special mention. Along with being a substantial broadsword, it has not one, but three blades! My arms and shoulders get tired just looking at the monstrosity. Then there's the fact that it can fire two of the blades and impale opponents at a distance! Apparently this works on compressed air (like a Nerf gun!) and Talon somehow procures sufficient replacement blades to make the system feasible.
Once again, I want a look inside Albert Pyun's head. Safely protected by a reinforced shark cage just to be prudent.
Years pass and things are once again stirring in the subjugated kingdom. Mikah and Alana have secretly organized a rebellion; the time has come for action. It seems everyone and their mother knows about the uprising though, even the barkeeps blab about it to patrons. Predictably, the evil king bursts in and the princess flees while her brother "holds them off" (great idea, they cannot chase her if they're beating you senseless). Talon, now a mighty warrior, intervenes when a number of amorous guardsmen finally catch Alana and attempt to ruin her virtue.
With her brother imprisoned and a number of loyal followers trapped by the elite "Red Dragon Archers" the princess has great need and little bargaining room. She agrees to a night of sweaty barbarian lovemaking with Talon if he will save the day. Stopping the king's men from using peasants as targets is first on the list, so he decides to turn their fiery nature (bows equipped with propane torches) against them. Check this out: the hero dumps a single cask of oil onto the ground near the archers. Torching the resulting trail immolates twenty or thirty troops. One small cask of oil! The ground was sand too; why didn't it soak up the liquid?
Secret passages allow Talon to enter the castle dungeons and free the prince. However, in the resulting alarm, he is captured and scheduled for crucifixion on Cromwell's wedding day (Alana has the worst luck avoiding guards). Craccus and a hodgepodge force make an attempt to free their captain, but the next time we see them it is in the dungeon. Obviously that failed; not certain whether I'm talking about the rescue attempt or the budget set aside for filming it.
Cromwell has planned to kill three birds with one stone at his wedding celebration. The troublesome barbarian is to be crucified, Alana will become his queen, and assassins are posted to kill the attending monarchs from other kingdoms. Sort of a big day. Unfortunately nothing ever goes according to plan on your wedding day.
The concubines want to save Talon for some reason; they free the prisoners, who break into the armory and swarm through the fortress. Some of the other kings recognize the crucified warrior and decide war is preferable to sitting idly by while he dies (boy, talk about knowing how to win friends and influence people). Then, lastly, and make sure you are sitting down for this, Talon yanks himself free. He has six-inch spikes driven through his hands into rough timber, but he pulls them out. Starts kicking butt once Craccus throws him the sword, too.
Requisite scenes of good guys fighting bad guys occur, with the real drama playing out in a watery chamber below. Talon, Cromwell, and Xusia all square off to decide who will be the victor and Alana's lover. In a surprising plot twist, she spends the entire fight wrestling with an amorous constrictor. The victor should not be very surprising. Any guy who can uncrucify himself is going to mop the floor with those other jokers.
Oh yeah; this is another one of those movies, like Buckaroo Banzai or Hawk the Slayer, that promised a sequel in the ending credits and never delivered.
You go in the cage. Cage goes in Albert Pyun's head. You go in Albert Pyun's head. Shark's in Albert Pyun's head...
|Things I Learned From This Movie:|| |
- Narrators are a natural phenomenon caused by static electricity.
- Evil tyrants do not make good gardeners.
- Never try to hide in some place called "Skull Cave."
- Torturing people can really work up an appetite.
- When falling: always try to land on either a thatch roof or topless harem girl.
- Sometimes politics involves bows and arrows.
- Sorcerers do not have nads.
- Armor made out of gold sequins might be very pretty, but its ability to turn aside a blade is lacking.
- 4 mins - What sort of decor is that? Postmodern cave demon?
- 12 mins - I don't think that a leech is the proper treatment for someone with second and third degree burns covering their body.
- 32 mins - Hey, what is making the table rise? Oh!
- 35 mins - Cromwell's troops do not seem to understand how doors work.
- 48 mins - Okay, this guard just punched a hole in the wall, but falling through a door knocked him unconscious?
- 54 mins - RANDOM GRATUITOUS BREAST SHOT!
- 66 mins - You cut out her tongue? Sort of interferes with her duties as the king's whore...
- 75 mins - Hey idiot; if you stop pushing the pedal with your foot then the grinding wheel will stop. Forget it, I hope the other guy grinds your face off.
- 76 mins - Idiot...
- 81 mins - Why is this shot here? Because it is cool. That's why.
- Guard: "Beat it kid or die!"
Talon: "That's a small threat. That's a very small threat."
Guard: "Why you...scum!"
- Dude: "She is to be married to Cromwell tonight..."
Mikah: "Like hell!"
Dude: "...and the warrior is to be crucified."
| ||Audio clips in wav format||SOUNDS||Starving actors speak out|| |
||Narrator: "Know you now of days long past. The time when the world was young. When sorcery thrived and wild adventure was forever in the offering..."
||Cromwell: "I will allow you to live as long as you serve me. Betray me and I will joyfully send you back to rot in Hell!"
||Talon: "Now, you want me to snatch your brother from the king's dungeons for one night with you? Now, that's a slim bounty for such a task." |
Alana: "Why you bastard!"
||Darius: "Damn his heart! He goes out for a joint of beef and ends up rescuing a king's wench! Now it falls to us to fetch him."
| ||Click for a larger image||IMAGES||Scenes from the movie|| |
| ||Watch a scene||VIDEO||MPEG video files|| |
|Young Talon uses his sword to kill a pair of attackers. Just look at all the problems that this scene has! First off, the one bad guy's flail loses a head that is mysteriously reattached moments later. Second, the editing is all goofed up: Talon was intended (by the script) to kill his enemies in reverse order.
| ||Leave a comment||EXTRAS||Buy the movie|| |
|The Sword and the Sorcerer
Reply #9. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Iressivor
Awesome movie. One of my all-time favorites since I was a little boy. While everyone else was enthralled with Conan the Barbarian and other such "higher profile" 80's fantasy films, I had my eyes glued to this one.
The characters and dialogue are great in this film. Richard Lynch performs beautifully as Cromwell; he simply exudes evil. Lee Horsley also does an admirable job as Talon, and really makes the hero worth cheering for. Overall, the supporting cast does very well, too. Kathleen Beller makes a strong, yet sensual performance as Alana, and Prince Mikah, played by Simon MacCorkindale, shines prominently in one of the movie's best scenes, in the torture chamber with Cromwell.
The only thing that was really lacking in this movie was the script, which was originally quite a bit longer. As I've heard, nearly an hour of footage was left out of the final cut, all of which can be read in Norman Winski's novel, which is based on the original screenplay. The book delves deeper into young Talon's sibling rivalry with his older brother, Duncan, and his relationship with Alana, who was Talon's love interest long before they met in the movie. Some other points of interest from the book:
-- Talon's triple-bladed sword was designed by King Richard. Aside from its mechanical spring-loaded blades, the sword itself is a blessed artifact, and thus magically heals the wounds that Talon suffers from the crucifix spikes.
-- Talon and Mikah actually grew up together in Eh-Dan, and knew each other quite well. The movie credits also have a listing for a "Young Mikah" character, who was part of the many scenes cut from the film.
-- A still photo from one of the film's deleted scenes is printed on the back cover of the novel, and depicts King Richard having tackled Cromwell to the ground after being captured by the outlaw king's forces.
The novel itself is a great read, and serves as a perfect component for the film's various plot holes. If you're a fan of the movie, I would encourage you to pick it up. You can readily find a few copies for sale on Amazon or eBay.
Though it's the kind of movie that you either love or hate, I will freely admit to loving every minute of this one.
|The Sword and the Sorcerer
Reply #10. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Dakin
You know, I find it somewhat surprising that no-one mentions that this is one of the few movies in which you can actually watch someone die. The stuntman falling off the cliff missed the airbag and died, but the directors in their wisdom left the scene in. A grisly statement about Hollywood: "Why pay for that scene twice? It looks very realistic the way it is!"
|The Sword and the Sorcerer
Reply #11. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by KK
Gotta admit I've wanted to see this one for a long time; it's one of those movies that you can really love-to-hate. Now I saw it as an adult - mom of four - and I enjoyed it... campy-ness and all. I like sorcery tales and
good-guys-end-up-successful (and laid) and bad-guys-end-up-dead (usually in a suitably gory fashion) type of movies (I also like run-on sentences). There were so many laugh-out loud scenes, I'm sure the rest of my family was finally convinced I've totally lost it. Love Lee Horsley (drooled over "Matt Houston") and gotta LOVE seeing "Frank" aka "Darius" (Joe Regalbuto) actually get a girl... Love the sword-play (and word play "'Now that's a small threat... a very small threat.'") The sexual innuendo is wonderful - you can't watch this movie without a sense of humour!! And I absolutely LOVE this 'Leave your comment' forum and all the wonderful comments! Thanks for the treat!
|The Sword and the Sorcerer
Reply #12. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by George
I saw this on a double bill with "Conan The Barbarian" at a theater and, to this day, love these flicks! Talon's sword is totally cool, but where does he obtain replacement blades? Did Gillette have a factory in the area? Yes, K. Beller is HOT! Who wouldn't want to sample her bounty? It's always cool to see Richard Lynch in a B movie. Anyone ever see "God Told Me To"(1976)? Strange, low budget, sci-fi/horror/violence-and-mayhem flick from New World Pictures is worth a look. Mr. Lynch plays a glowing, hippie-like villian! How cool is that? Sadly, Lynch also appeared in that crappy Chuck Norris movie "Invasion USA"(1985).Great bad guy in crappy movie-how original. Albert Pyun also directed the teenage vigilante flick "Dangerously Close" (1986/Cannon Pictures) and that timeless JC VanDamme sci-fi/actioner "Cyborg" (1989/Cannon Pictures). Watch these if you dare!
|The Sword and the Sorcerer
Reply #13. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by TimTE01
This movie is just awesome. From that sword to Bull from Night Court as an evil sorcerer, it's classic. Bonus points for having the bald guy from Murphy Brown cut someone's face in half.
But, above all else, it's notable for promising a sequel that, sadly, never got made. If they had made that and the third Dr. Phibes movie, we'd have peace in the Middle East.
(It really won't, but just play along. We need all the leverage we can get.)
|The Sword and the Sorcerer
Reply #14. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by jmsynth
I found this film pretty boring, but I'm no fan of the whole SaS genre, so, to be honest, I'd still rather see this than Conan or the LOTR films!
|The Sword and the Sorcerer
Reply #15. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by jmsynth
Oh yeah, I'd Just like to add this film made $39mil in the US and was the 18th most successful film in it's year. The 18th most successful film of last year (Fun With Dick and Jane) made $110mil! ($200mil worldwide.) Think about that.
|Re: The Sword and the Sorcerer
Reply #16. Posted on January 18, 2007, 01:12:42 AM by Wally
I saw this with some friends back in 83 when I was 11 and found it very disturbing. I actually held my hands up to cover my eyes during some scenes. I saw it a few years back and found it rather lame.
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