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Monday, September 27, 2010

Reel Bad Cinema: The Warrior & the Sorceress (1984) review


David Carradine (Kain), Luke Askew (Zeg), Maria Socas (Naja), Anthony De Longis (Kief), William Marin (Bal Caz) and a bunch of other people.

Directed by John Broderick

The Short Version: Unbelievably stupid bandwagon movie is both one of the worst sword & sorcery pictures and one of the funniest despite there being no sorcery at all. Maria Socas's bewitching body and the sight of a four breasted alien dancer with a tentacle hidden in her vagina is about as sorcerous as this sour sword slinger gets.

WARNING! This review contains images of nudity and utter ridiculousness***

Carradine, in character, demands more money to finish the picture

Kaz Oshay from DEATHSPORT changes his name to the much more philosophical sounding Kain from KUNG FU, but prefers you call him the much more evil sounding 'The Dark One'. He somehow ends up on the barren, and oddly named planet of Ura. Wandering into a cardboard town called Yamatar, he finds two warring factions battling over well water; one of which is a fat man who takes advice from one of Kermit the Frog's distant cousins. Kain, a great fan of Kurosawa and Leone, in addition to being a low budget Jedi, decides to play both sides against one another while seeking the sacred sword of urine...I mean Ura.

Incredibly bad sword and sorcery hokum was, sadly, the last film to be released by New World Pictures before Corman sold it and started New Horizons. If one were to gauge the future success of Corman's new company on the (de)merits of this picture, there's a lot of dark clouds looming over that New Horizon. Anyway, one of the absolute funniest barbarian movies isn't quite one of the worst, but it's not for a lack of trying.

Maria Socas searches for a sacred sword powerful enough to penetrate.....

This rib tickler that began life as KAIN OF DARK PLANET is frequently a chore, but you have a constantly naked Maria Socas to hold your attention. Her character is apparently allergic to clothes as they conveniently manage to stay off of her the duration of the picture. Apparently Corman was inspired by Lana Clarkson's bosomy and liberated female Conan from DEATHSTALKER (1983), a true trash act New World nugget. Since this takes place on another planet, it begs the question "Is this one of those 'IT WAS A DARK TIME!' type flicks, or a futuristic, post apocalyptic desert setter?" I assume the makers were inspired by KRULL (1983) with its marriage of the medieval to the futuristic.

While that mega budgeted film failed to capture audience imagination, THE WARRIOR & THE SORCERESS was brazenly touted as costing over 4 million dollars. Either Carradine made out like a bandit, or someone made a wish and tossed it in the well because none of it shows on the screen. $400.00 seems more feasible. It looks like there was a few bucks left over from the catering budget on another Corman movie and it was used to make this one; much in the way the greatly entertaining HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD (1976) was made.

Carradine feels the Farce flowing through him as Kain, 'The Dark One'

New World's prodigal son, David (DEATH RACE 2000, BOXCAR BERTHA, CANNONBALL) Carradine, plays Kain, or, as he's referred throughout the movie, 'The Dark One'. He's a swordsman with a slow hand who comes to a paper mache town in search of work. His slow sword is for hire you see. Actually, he appears to be playing the same character he played in the far more enjoyable knee slapper, DEATHSPORT (1978), only he has swapped out his glass swirly sword for a cheap bendy one.

Anyhow, he gets involved in a war between two factions who are feuding over well water of all things. Turns out it's the Uranians most valuable commodity. Maria (DEATHSTALKER 2) Socas isn't much of a sorceress, but her bodacious body is the best special effect in the picture. Aside from Carradine, everyone seems to be a bit embarrassed by the whole thing. This poverty row production is a hodgepodge of various better movies and even a rip off of other rip offs that piles on a heaping helping of unintentional laughs.

Not only does this atrocious movie successfully ape YOJIMBO and FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, but it also takes some cues from THE ROAD WARRIOR (1981) also. With its patchwork plot, you'll also find left over sets from DEATHSTALKER, music cues recycled from HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP (1980) and the sci fi clone of SEVEN SAMURAI (1954), BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS (1980); the first of many times James Horner's music from the latter would be inserted into an entirely different Corman movie. What little original music there is sounds like it was lifted from an Italian western. Also, the fight choreography is bland for the most part. Occasionally showing signs of slight creativity, it's mostly the same dull maneuver over and over again. Anthony De Longis did both the stunts and the sword fights.

Originally this was written with Chuck Norris in mind for the lead. Could you imagine how Norris's career might have changed had he starred here? Considering his steady diet of Cannon fodder, a lead role in a no budget barbarian flick wouldn't be too far off the beaten path. Incidentally, Norris did headline a movie that featured Carradine as the main villain. LONE WOLF MCQUADE (1983)--now that's a good movie! Definitely an American action film that deserves a special edition on DVD and what a dynamite score by Francesco De Masi!

This mean mother looks like one of the incarnations of the FORBIDDEN WORLD mutant only with some added red zits and additional rubber tentacles

I've wandered again, but Maria Socas's naked frame brings it all back to me. Also, this movie has what has to be the worlds first four breasted alien dancer; allegedly, a former member of the Mos Eisley Cantina Band. I forgot to mention there's another incredibly fake looking multi tentacled reptilian monster in this. What makes this lousy lizard so laughable is that the effects artists seemingly paid far more attention to the life-like Ta-Ta Quartet than the man eating monster. Thanks for the mammaries, guys.

With four breasts, does this mean you have to slip twice as many singles down her string?

Still, Corman's slumming sword n' sorcery saga isn't as bad as some of the moldy macaroni the Italians came up with around this time, but director Broderick strives hard to match them in loincloth ludicrousness. This 77 minute blunder is getting ready for a re-release courtesy of Shout! Factory and this new disc threatens to be an even longer version. Apparently, they feel it isn't a viable enough flick to release on its own, so it's paired with the slightly better BARBARIAN QUEEN (1985) starring the late and great Lana Clarkson, whose DEATHSTALKER character was so popular, she got her own movie series. I'd recommend watching any of the other movies mentioned here before this barbarian barf, but if you're a movie masochist, the pain suffered from WARRIOR & THE SORCERESS (1984) might be pleasurable after all.

This review is representative of the New Concorde DVD.

Roger Corman's Cult Classics (Double Feature) The Warrior And The Sorceress/Barbarian Queen


dfordoom said...

The Region 2 DVd is extremely cheap, but I haven't seen Deathstalker yet. Maybe I should look for that one instead?

venoms5 said...

DEATHSTALKER is great trashy fun, D. WARRIOR & SORCERESS is good if you get a kick out of terrible movies. I think the DEATHSTALKER movies may be coming from Shout! Factory, too. Not sure, though. The first one was really successful.

Fang Shih-yu said...

Nobody show this movie to Kim Kardashian; It'll give her ideas!

There's enough boobs in her family already! ;o)

I don't think that Texas Ranger Walker could've saved this, let alone Chuck Norris!

RIP, David Carradine.

venoms5 said...

Carradine seems to have enjoyed himself here no doubt he got paid more than anyone else. It's a great movie for bad film buffs.

Carl Manes said...

Will be rushing out to grab this one after its release! Rushing = avoiding, and out to grab = at all costs. Then the sentence basically has to be re-written after that. But whatever. Pass =D

The Film Connoisseur said...

Sounds like the kind of movie I like to watch on Saturday Mornings, good for a laugh or two, by the way, if you like funny (and bad) sword and sorcery, I recommend you check out HAWK THE SLAYER, I got a chance to see it the other day, hee-la-rious!

It stars Jack Palance in one of his worst roles ever! He is the villain of the piece...but boy is this one laugh inducing! Highly recommend it if you havent seen it already!

These types of movies seem to be only made as an excuse to get chicks naked! Ha, that four breasted girl should dance in the same club as the three breasted chick in TOTAL RECALL!

This one kind of reminds me of Fulci's CONQUEST as well, ever seen that one?

venoms5 said...

@ Carl: When it gets re-released on DVD from Shout!, it will have BARBARIAN QUEEN paired with it. Still, if you like crap, you'll get full on this one and it's hilarious crap, too.

@ Fran: I had HAWK in my hands several times and always put it back on the shelf back in the day. CONQUEST I like. It's one of the better barbarian movies from Italy, imo.

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