I can’t wipe the smile off my face.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: Episode 703: Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell: 9 out of 10: This movie provides such an embarrassment of riches one almost thinks the boys underperform in this one. Kudos for letting their clear hatred and disdain for renaissance fairs come through in the riffing and host segments. I would like to see RiffTrax revisit this one with the uncut movie, as I think there is still so much left on the table.
Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell (1988): 8 out of 10: John Allen Nelson fills the shoes of the titular Deathstalker in this third outing as he looks to find the second half of a magical stone that promises great riches.
The Good: There is a phrase tone that gets bandied about often and it is hard to quantify. Some movies just have the right tone that makes them enjoyable beyond any reasonable expectation (Thor Ragnarok would be an example of a movie that delivers on a happy adventure level. Flesh and Blood is a great example of one that delivers on a much darker level). Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell has so many elements that are so wrong they simply gel together into something so right. A perfect feel-good movie to turn off ye olde brain and enjoy a Saturday evening with friends.
The Bad: Pretty much everything. The swords are more wooden than the actors. The sets are from a high school production of Camelot. Parts of the film looks like it was filmed in a renaissance festival run by Irish travelers. John Allen Nelson looks and acts like he should be playing Steve Guttenberg’s college roommate in an eighties comedy about a magic invisible bikini.
The Ugly: Main villain Thom Christopher brings the bad to a whole new level. When we first meet him he is in full medieval plate armor with bat wings attached to the helmet (no really) but before long he is in his castle doing his one-man show (Faye Dunaway is Joan Crawford in Thom Christopher’s epic dialogue “Wire Hangers”.) He has one fight scene in an outfit that would be more appropriate on Meryl Streep as a mother with late-stage breast cancer circa 1986. The scene is more modern dance or perhaps a harem seduction than an actual sword battle.
In Conclusion: There is a movie called “Ulli Lommel’s Black Dahlia” which has dozens of well deserved one-star reviews on IMDb. Into that mix is my 7 out of 10 review with the following quote.”When a pigtailed catholic schoolgirl and two masked guys dance around with severed limbs to a Sinatra tune, you simply can’t wipe the smile off my face.”
This movie puts a smile on my face. The potato lady. The batwing helmet. The fact the titular Warriors from Hell would rather just go to the pub. Sorry, I can’t wipe the smile off my face.