Thursday, March 26, 2020

By the Gods!

David Carradine in THE WARRIOR AND THE SORCERESS (1984)

One of many 'Sword & Sorcery' movies released in the 1980s after the success of CONAN THE BARBARIAN (1982). It sorta went under the radar back then (it opened in only 238 theaters in the US). It was a popular rental in video shops though.

The boring story, borrowing heavily from Sergio Leone's A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS (1964), which borrowed from Kurosawa's YOJIMBO (1961): a mysterious stranger, Kain (Carradine), comes between two waring gangs which are terrorizing a town. Kain manipulates the two groups into killing each other: First, BaL Car (Guillermo Marin) and then Tyrant Zeg (Luke Askew). Kain is also known as the Dark One.

Unlike movies of the time, this one doesn't have any barely dressed muscle-bound hero crushing skulls, a major selling point for these kind of movies. Almost the entire cast is 'aesthetically' challenged.

The movie feels like the crew set-up everything, such as the cheap looking sets, costumes, etc. And then David showed up, filmed his scenes and left. It's not a very vigorous tale. It's definitely not as trashy or exploitive as the DEATHSTALKER series, or most Sword & Sorcery movie made at the time. This also means it's not as entertaining. As bad as many of the Sword & Sorcery movies were back then, many were actually fun to watch. That doesn't mean it's not trashy or exploitive. Just less. The somnambulant pace keeps it from being as memorable as other movies of the time.

Are the most important part of the movie, the action scenes, good? They're okay but nothing memorable.

What can you say about a movie in which a dancing girl with 4 breasts is its most memorable scene? The movie does have nudity: every women appears nude throughout, and there is some brief male nudity during an unimpressive orgy of sorts. The abundance of female nudity solidly keeps this movie in the R-rated category.

The music is a complete rip-off of many other scores, including Jerry Goldsmith's STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE (1979)!

It was shot in Argentina.

I have the VHS and HD versions of this.

A sleepy 4 out of 10 (the dance sequence is a 10 out of 10 though).

The predictable climax between Kain and Kief (Anthony De Longis), captain to Zeg. The sets look like, well, cheap looking sets. De Longis is the only beefcake in the movie.

The movie's stand-out scene: dancer (Cecilia Narova) entertains the grungy cast of characters. What's a PEPLUM movie without a dance sequence, 4 breasts or not? Side note: this scene was re-used in MARQUIS DE SADE (1996). (I edited photo).

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