SF & Fantasy Sunday: The Sword and the Sorcerer February 4, 2008Posted by Ian W in : Film Reviews, Action, Fantasy , trackback
‘Twas a time of sorcery and adventure, a time of strapping heroes with floppy hair and big swords, ‘twas…the early eighties! Fantasy movies of the sword and sorcery variety had their heyday then, with Conan and his wannabes hacking their way into theatres.
The Sword and the Sorcerer is Conan Lite, a barbarian on a budget. Its cheap production allowed it to reach cinemas ahead of the film that it was aping, if only by a few weeks. Whereas Milius’ Conan was an epic spectacle, The Sword and the Sorcerer was about making a little go a long way. In the director’s chair for the first time, Albert Pyun made probably the best film of his career, but with a career that includes Brain Smasher… A Love Story and Max Havoc: Curse of the Dragon that’s not really saying much.
The film makes up for what it lacks in class with copious amounts of bloody violence and female nudity. It also has some decent effects work (for the budget) with the demon Xusia an unpleasant looking villain.
Lee Horsley doesn’t have half Arnie’s muscles and plays the part of Talon more like Indiana Jones with a sword than Conan. Perennial bad guy Richard Lynch is the evil usurper Cromwell, while Richard Moll plays/voices Xusia (he only appears in the make-up in the opening scene). Kathleen Beller is the princess who needs rescuing, because this kind of film has to have one. No nudity from her sadly, she keeps her bits covered up (nice butt though).
This is fun flick if you’re in the mood for some mindless B movie nonsense. Unfortunately the sequel, Tales of the Ancient Empire, promised in the closing credits, never materialised, surprising as the film was a big hit, taking as much at the US box office as Conan and costing a hell of a lot less.