Sunday Night Movie: The Sword and The Sorcerer

So last night I was in the mood for something fantastic. By that I do not mean something of such tremendous quality that decades later people ares till amazed with the filmmaking, but rather in the mood for a film that dealt with a fantastic premise.

Thanks to my new nifty database program, I was able to sort the movies by time, I was looking for something under one hours fifty minutes, and then I just scanned the titles until I saw something that struck my fancy.

So The Sword And The Sorcerer is a fantasy film that came out in 1982 about the same time that Conan: The Barbarian was released into theaters. While Conan was a big budget film, 20 million dollars, which grossed nearly 40 million dollars domestically, The Sword And The Sorcerer was a much more modest production. Reportedly The Sword and The Sorcerer was made for the price of a single set on Conan: The Barbarian, and yet it still gross 39 million dollars domestically as well. Clearly the better return on investment went with the little film that could.

I saw this film in its initial release, cause I am an old man, and I had already been a D&D players for a couple of years by this point. (Okay, I was an AD&D player and you played the three little paperbound books. I respect your geek cred.) Between the two films I always thought that The sword and The Sorcerer was the better film if you were looking for a D&D (yeah, yeah AD&D, shut up already) experience on film. Conan had much better fights, and bigger stars, and far better dialog in general. (Though, “That’s a small threat…That’s a very small threat.” Is a line that will live on well past its years.) However the use of magic throughout the storyline, the raising of the dead, the fantastic nature of the story all make this movie much more gamer-like than the serious production that was Conan.

The story is so simple it could have been a game. Evil King Cromwell® lusts after the rich and powerful Kingdom of Ehdan. Having been beaten back four times in straight attempts to conquer it, Cromwell has now turned to black magic.  He raises Xusia (my spellecker know Xusia?? How strange.) from the dead a demonic Sorcerer to give his armies the force multiplier they need to win.

Ehdan, lead by Good King Richard® has been at peace for twenty years. (Apparently Cromwell’s attempts at conquest were so poor they didn’t even count against the peaceful years contest.) Cromwell goes through Ehdan like the Nazis™ through Poland. King, Queen, eldest and youngest sons are killed. The sole survivors of the royal family are an unnamed daughter. (I suspect she’s Elizabeth but we never get confirmation.) and The middle child, Talon.

Talon, having been given the Kings Magic three bladed sword. (Yeah, that’s a good design.) Escapes Cromwell’s assassins. (Don’t return without that boy. — I figure there’s an assassin out there who never got to come home.) Talon returns on the eve of Cromwell’s plan to conquer the rest of the world, The rebels plan to overthrow Cromwell, and Xusia’s plan to overthrow them both.

There’s tons of fighting, continuity errors, and lapses in plots with card board characters and pretty such game situations. However, that said, This is a movie I always enjoy watching. (And not just for the gratuitous amount of feminine flesh in it.) this is a gaming movie with the characters very much like gaming characters. It’s fun, it’s silly, and in its won weird way it works.

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2 thoughts on “Sunday Night Movie: The Sword and The Sorcerer

  1. Oh, this is one of my VERY guilty pleasures (and its not just for the gratuitious amount of bared male flesh in it, either!) I like the stupid three bladed sword (that must have the mystic power to re-grow the blades, since we never see them retrieved. Ever.) I LOVE the “small threat” dialog!! I love the sexual interplay and innuendo!! (“But my sword is poised!!! <table rises up, apparantly balanced on a certain body part.) Also, it has much more action than "Conan", which has a long, drawn-out childhood sequence at the beginning that really slows the pace of that film. (I think it is needed – but I wish there was a way to make it less prosaic.) I also want to look just like the Good Queen in this movie – who is one of the most beautiful older women ever on film (She was 50 at the time, if I have the right actress – born in 1932.) The "unnamed daughter" is referred to in the credits as "Young Elizabeth" which makes the case for that character being Talon's lost sister – and could also explain the characters bravery in the film. Also of note: THE Richard Moll as Xusia and the incomparable Anthony De Longis, later know for his fight choreography and his work in Highlander. Amazing collection of talent for such a low budget film!! (And all kinds of fun, even if you can't take it seriously.)

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