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The Devil’s Sword (1984), a bonkers Indonesian martial arts fantasy B-movie.

April 2, 2016

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MY CALL: The Devil’s Sword is no obvious knock off–it’s somewhat original in its own insane little microcosm. But it should be considered with caution when making a serious (or completely unserious) choice in whether or not to watch it. MORE MOVIES LIKE The Devil’s Sword: Do you like this 80s fantasy badness?  How about Flash Gordon (1980), Sorceress (1982), Kull the Conqueror (1997), Krull (1983), Conquest (1983), Deathstalker (1983), The Warrior and the Sorceress (1984) 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. 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.

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Little in this world is more other-worldly than foreign sword and sorcery films. Don’t believe me? Watch Conquest (1983), Lucio Fulci’s Italian lunacy. But for now let’s focus on southeast Asia…

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A meteor crashes to Earth near some sort of elderly Zen monk dude, who then uses its ore to forge a sword–called the “Devil’s Sword” for probably no other reason than a poor translation to English. Because why not, right?

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Biggest sheath EVER!

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We are then introduced to the Invisible Queen who, after the butt-naked sacrifice of a young Indonesian warrior, becomes renamed the Crocodile Queen for the remainder of the movie and summons a harem of men for a public make-out session to appease her carnal desires (which apparently require no nudity). At this point you’re already thinking “this makes no sense.” Trust me, I know. There was no better way to explain the story so far.

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See, “now” she’s no longer invisible…ergo, “Crocodile Queen.”

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But she’s more like a Crocodile Slut.

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And she has “fire sex”…fully clothed…with no mouth kissing.

At first the plot seems to be about combating this Crocodile Queen’s lust for male sacrifices, but then we steer in the direction of insurrection among her assassins who are all willing to kill whomever they must (including each other) to claim the “other” Devil’s Sword and rule all of the warriors of the world. So we saw an old guy forge one…but now all the sudden we are to understand there are two? Sure. WTF do I have to lose.

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The action in this fantasy/martial arts movie is insane and abundant–and abundantly insane. It’s a combination of classic kung fu theater and horrible knockoff Hong Kong cinema.

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We have long fight clips with choppy choreography–some of it lame and simple, some of it technically cool, but none of it matching the modern technically sound work of Tony Jaa (Ong Bak, Furious 7), Scott Adkins (El Gringo, Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning) or Iko Uwais (The Raid: Redemption, Merantau). It smacks a dash of Riki-Oh: The Story of Riki (1991)…not to the same slapstick level, but with several severed heads rifling through the air and Dragonball-kicking a boulder and then “riding” it to your destination does give it quite a cartoon feel.

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Is that a Flying Nimbus!?!?!

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One of these movie posters gives a much more honest representation of the movie than the other.  Take a gander at the images below and you tell me which one is more accurate.

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Worst Cyclops ever.

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Complementing the lunacy are scenes of summoning crocodile men from the earth who teleport-hop all over the place, surgical amputations, a lame cannibal pit, warriors burrowing in the sand like Tremors (1990), water crocodile warriors, an undead boatman, a dungeons and dragons lair complete with booby traps and secret doors, the worst ever Cyclops monster and laser beams. Yes, I said laser beams! Complete lunacy!

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Director Ratno Timoer would later go on to do Revenge of the Ninja (1984), not to be confused with the “other” famous B-movie Revenge of the Ninja (1983). In other words, you probably haven’t heard of the cheap knock off he directed. And while Devil’s Sword is no obvious knock off–it’s somewhat original in its own insane little microcosm– it’s to be treated as one when making a serious (or completely unserious) choice in whether or not to watch it.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. April 2, 2016 8:41 am

    Okay, I have to see this thing. Wow!

    • John Leavengood permalink
      April 2, 2016 10:32 am

      It’s a pretty special kind of bonkers bad. lol

  2. Victor De Leon permalink
    April 2, 2016 9:15 am

    Oh damn. I MUST check this out.

    • John Leavengood permalink
      April 2, 2016 10:33 am

      Amazon had been suggesting it to me for years. I finally succumbed and bought it I think I’m pleased with my decision.

  3. April 2, 2016 11:50 pm

    It sounds so horrible . . . I must watch it . . . .

    • John Leavengood permalink
      April 3, 2016 12:54 pm

      Yes. This is the right kind of horrible! Lasers, Crocodile warriors, martial arts, an undead boatman, clothes-on sex in fire, Cyclops monsters made out of papier-mâché… LOL

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