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The Warrior and the Sorceress (1984), one of the better “bad” 80s Sword & Sorcery movies

March 24, 2014

See the four-breasted woman in the poster?  LOL!  Yeah, so that happens in this movie.

MY CALL:  From tentacle monsters to four-breasted exotic dancers, this is definitely one of the better “bad” Sword and Sorcery movies of the 80s.  MORE MOVIES LIKE The Warrior and the Sorceress:  Like all the fantasy but don’t care for all the “bad”?  Let’s try Legend (1985), Beastmaster (1982), Conan the Barbarian (1982), Conan the Destroyer (1984) or Willow (1988) on for size.  Like the “bad”?  How about Flash Gordon (1980), Kull the Conqueror (1997), Krull (1983), Conquest (1983), Deathstalker (1983) and Deathstalker II: Duel of the Titans (1987).  All of these movies are better than Barbarian Queen (1985) in every possible way except for amply breast-filled minutes of screen time.

Representing the “warrior” of this movie title, the mysterious swordsman Kane (David Carradine; Kill Bill, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues) wanders into a small town, feels a bit parched, and frees the local well from hostile mercenary control, returning the water to the thirsty townsfolk.  Naturally, they’re so happy that they celebrate with nude well-top pole-dancing.  Yeah, it’s gonna’ be that kind of Sword and Sorcery flick.

The town is run by two criminal rulers: Zeg the Tyrant (Luke Askew; Frailty), the more calculating politico, and Bal Caz, an obese fool who accepts counsel from his monstrous pet lizard–reminding me of Jabba the Hut and Salacious Crumb.  Kane behaves more as a manipulative rogue than a warrior, pitting Zeg and Bal Caz against one another for his own personal gain.

Setting the Sword & Sorcery mood, this world has two suns and scarce water (much like Dungeons & Dragons Dark Sun campaign setting), there is some mythically sharp magical Sword of Ura (Dungeons & Dragons’ Sword of Sharpness), and topless mystics and servants abound.  The “sorceress” Naja (Maria Socas; Deathstalker II: Duel of the Titans, Wizards of the Lost Kingdom) is kept as Zeg’s slave and her only magical qualities are revealed by her wardrobe, or lack thereof.  She pretty much just walks around topless all the time.  I don’t think we ever don’t see her topless unless she’s altogether off-screen.  Not only is she perpetually topless, but for some reason no one ever seems to notice…you know…because that’s totally normal.  This would have been more appropriately titled The Warrior and the Topless Sorceress.

Carradine was 48 when this was released, but boy did he look worse for wear.  He could have passed for his mid-50s easily.  How about the muscled version of Carradine on the movie poster?  Reminds me of the muscled, and equally unwarranted Clark Griswold from the National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983).

It turns out that as our hero, Carradine is about the least-muscled person in this whole movie, and I’m including the topless sorceress.  Do some push-ups or something, man!  Despite the skills we know Carradine possesses, the fights in this movie are laughably bad.

This was the single best moment of action–a severed limb.  Had I blinked I’d have totally missed it.

The acting is pretty lame across the board, but the best performance was given by Bal Caz’ bipedal well-dressed pet lizard thing, which also served as the most interesting character in the movie.  Was this reptile pulling the strings the whole time?  Were Bal Caz and the lizard romantically involved?  There was so much to explore there.  At only 81 minutes, they certainly had room to expand on this little sideplot.

Don’t they look happy together?

What separates this movie from Deathstalker (1983) and the like is that the humble budget included a tentacle monster (much like a Roper or Otyugh from Dungeons & Dragons) to contribute to the fantasy element.

That, and of course a four-breasted exotic dancer.  Yes.  FOUR!  Total Recall (1990, 2012) had a three-breasted prostitute, Necropolis (1987) had a six-breasted necromancer, but before any of that we had a four-breasted exotic dancer paving the way for the polymastia-gifted ancillary female characters film!  God bless this movie!

As far as overall content and quality goes, this is a pretty good “bad” Sword and Sorcery movie.  It has all of the nudity of the shameless contributions to the genre, yet it makes the effort to deliver more story (however poorly written) and fantasy elements as well.

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