Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Sword and the Sorcerer|
Actors: Lee Horsley, Kathleen Beller, Simon MacCorkindale, George Maharis, Richard Lynch
Director: Albert Pyun
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Lean, lanky Lee Horsley (TV's Matt Houston) is hardly the iconic image of a medieval warrior, but in this cheesy Conan the Barbarian knockoff he makes his swaggering, mercenary Talon a genial smart aleck of a barbarian ... more »
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Fun, low budget sword-and-sorcery if that's your taste
Ryan Harvey | Los Angeles, CA USA | 12/15/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In the ancient days of the early '80s, many Conan-imitation fantasies stalked the land. Most of them were cheap, dreary, and unwatchable. But the best of this low-budget bunch was the successful 1982 flick, "The Sword and the Sorcerer." Director Albert Pyun has gone onto to direct a slew of very cheesy movies, often featuring kickboxing, but this is his best film. People who love brawny sword-swingin' action will get a kick out of it. Yes, it's done cheaply, but there's some honest imagination in it, and the plot -- although filled with massive holes as deep as torture pits -- actually seems as if the writers took some time to think it up. The story still follows the basic clichés of this type of fantasy -- saving princesses, a vengeance-seeking hero, a resurrected evil wizard -- but it flows well and keeps you interested.
Of course,the film has tons of problems, and anyone who isn't seriously into the fantasy genre or early 80s movies will probably hate it. The sets are inexpensive and unimpressive, the photography cramps the action to stretch the budget, visual effects are minimal, and the acting is at best only adequate (but still better than most films of this kind). Lee Horsley plays the wise-cracking hero Talon, who wields a silly but rather cool three-bladed sword. Talon joins the resistance against evil King Cromwell (veteran b-movie villain Richard Lynch) in order to rescue a princess (Kathleen Beller). Behind it all lurks a monstrous sorcerer (Richard Moll under some well-done make-up) who has it in for Cromwell for betraying him and manipulates the resistance for his own ends. The story builds up to a surprisingly exciting finale that flexes some furious muscle and spills copious amounts of blood.
Unlike fantasy movies made today, "The Sword and the Sorcerer" is adult in tone: the violence gets quite bloody and extreme, and casual nudity is sprinkled throughout. The DVD from Anchor Bay is an adequate presentation. The picture is letterboxed and enhanced for widescreen TVs. There is some grain, but the well-lit scenes look quite clear. The sound comes in 2.0 surround and 5.1. The 5.1 mostly expands the music to the back speakers, but it sound good considering the age and budget of the film. The only extras are two trailers (almost exactly the same) and a TV spot. As usual with Anchor Bay, there are no subtitles whatsoever, not even in English.
For night with people who love sword-slashing fun and don't mind some silly budget-cutting, "The Sword and the Sorcerer" is a good bet.
Entertaining and action-packed fantasy flick.
M. E. Volmar | 01/13/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the best, and surprisingly underestimated, fantasy movies of the 80's. It goes along the lines of classics like Beastmaster, Conan, Dragonslayer, Krull and Legend. Its best features are the great dialogues and solidly written characters, the marvelous sets, a surprisingly coherent and original plot, and an excellent soundtrack. The acting on the movie is not so good, but the story is so entertaining and funny that you won't really mind.
Talon, the son of a murdered King, turns into a barbarian hero who tries to end the rule of an evil conqueror and his allied demon. To achieve his goal he must free the heirs of the kingdom and avenge his father. In his quest he will encounter all the elements common in most fantasy stories: sword battles, powerful demons and treacherous villains, beautiful and exotic damsels in distress and dark ancient rituals and magic spells.
After the credits roll by, you will probably be left expecting to see the second installment of this movie: Tales of the Ancient Empire, which unfortunately, was never made.
A word of warning: the image quality of the DVD is not great, nor does this movie have any Special Features, but it's very unlikely it will ever get a better edition.
A must for fantasy film buffs.
--Reviewed by M. E. Volmar"
Oh Richard Moll, you bad, bad boy.
Michael A. Zug | Brookville, Pa United States | 11/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To think I had been in cut-throat bidding wars for mildewy shop-warn copies of this masterpiece in online bidding rooms. Now it's on DVD! HA! This is my favorite Sword and Sorcery movie of all time. Not as well written or acted by half as say, Conan, but by God it has something. Demons and swords that shoot any number of blades...daring rescues...crucifixion...nudity. It has it all. I've been renting this movie since I was a kid, and now I own it. Oh sweet happiness. In all seriousness, the effects hold up, the dialogue is great, and any number of later tv stars pop up all over the place. I could not recommend this more if I made money on it's sale. Which I don't...unfortunately. Go but it at once and taste the adventure."
Herb M | San Antonio, TX United States | 02/02/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When you go to a local burger joint, you know the guy who makes the burgers is there in the back just cranking the things out. His cuisine is never going to reign supreme on "Iron Chef." But does that stop you from going there? No -- if you want a perfect combination of grease, cheese, and charred animal proteins, you can still enjoy the heck out of a good burger.That, in a nutshell, is The Sword and the Sorcerer. It's a brilliantly dumb movie that has no pretensions of being High Cinema, and as such it succeeds better than any other movie of heroic fantasy (especially Conan the Barbarian, which any reader of the books knows is watery-weak in plot and vacuum-sparse in its characterization).See it for the sometimes striking and sometimes laughable special effects. See it for its fantastic, bombastic soundtrack. See it for hammy acting and borderline clever double-entendres, tons of bit parts by B-list actors, a swirlingly complex plot that really doesn't matter, and a swaggering hero who out-Conan's the Schwarzenneger Conan and manages to do it despite some wincingly bad hair days.If you like cheesy movies, you should love this one."