Monday, March 14, 2011

The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982)

One of these statements is untrue.
Director: Albert Pyun
  • Lee Horsley (yes the same guy who played Matt Houston)  as Talon
  • Simon Mac Corkindale (Manimal!) as Prince Mikah 
  • Richard Lynch as Cromwell 
  • Richard Moll (Bull on Night Court) as Xusia
  • Kathleen Beller as Alana 
The Plot:
From the title you may be asking yourself if the movie is some sort of Arthur/Excalibur type story.  No, the reason they titled it that is this:
Didn't see that coming did you?

Yes, Talon has a sword, that FUCKING SHOOTS SWORDS.  Let's see another example of this:
Better than a shotgun.
Do you want to know what makes this even more awesome?  They never explain it at all.  They just act like this was common technology at the time. 

The evil Cromwell, is there anything that Richard Lynch hasn't been in?

The plot is your basic fantasy trope.  A man called Cromwell makes a deal with an evil sorcerer to help conquer Ehdan.
Richard Moll as Xusia, demon sorcerer.

Our hero Talon is the youngest son of good King Richard who rules Ehdan .  The evil Cromwell murders Richard and the queen. Young Talon escapes only to return 11 years later to seek vengeance.  Pretty standard so far. 

I'm here to reclaim my birthright, or eat meat and get laid, whatever.

Talon returns with a group of mercenaries, and they all immediately hit the local whorehouse and mutton hutt.
Why is Frank Fontana here?

Meanwhile Prince Mikah and his sister Alana, are plotting to over through Cromwell and put Mikah on the throne.  They repeatedly say that Mikah is the rightful heir to the throne (pay attention, this will get more disturbing later).  Mikah and Alana are attacked by the Cromwell's men and Mikah is captured. 
I saved you, now have sex with me.

Alana is cornered in an alley and about to be gang raped by Cromwell's men when Talon arrives and saves her.    Our gallant hero then agrees to help rescue her brother and depose the king, but only if Alana will "Get perfumed and pretty" and have sex with him.  So right away we get to see what a truly noble guy Talon is.  Nothing like saving a woman from rape and then extorting sex from her.  Now let's think about the even more disturbing part.  If Prince Mikah is a rightful heir to the throne and Alana is his sister, wouldn't that make them both related to Talon in some way?  Yeah, they really glossed over that one.  Also, shouldn't Talon speak up and say "Hey, I'm the son of the king that was killed".  I would think that would be worth mentioning to a group of rebels. Although maybe not if you were extorting sex from your relative. 

Oh, the days before CGI....

My Thoughts:
Only Ed Wood used stock footage more than Albert Pyun.  I think every exterior shot of the castle came from either an old Dracula or Camelot movie.  Although the one scene showed camels walking around a clearly Arabic city.   

The costumes were an odd mix of Arabic swordsman and English period costumes .  The sets were recycled too, it's odd that a country called  Ehdan would use the same flag as England.  

This movie is filled with plot holes and inconsistencies.   It uses slapstick humor, graphic violence and nudity sometimes in the same scene.
Nothing like a good crucifixion scene.
This movie apparently has a huge cult following, but I'm sure it's mainly people who saw it as a kid.  I was eleven when I first saw this, and my only clear memories of it were the sword he used and that there was lots of nudity.   This is one of those films that having seen as a small child you have a very slanted memory of.  

It's worth watching just for the sword cannon scenes, but don't expect much else to be original.