That is not a sword.. no really it isn’t
The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982): 8 out of 10: How have I never heard of The Sword and the Sorcerer? This is both frightening and exciting. I certainly remember lots of films from 1982. Outside of the obvious hits such as The Thing and Blade Runner and appropriate to this genre Conan the Barbarian, you also have great B-movies such as Basket Case and Q and The Slumber Party Massacre. I really don’t know how this one has stayed off my radar for 35 years.
Anyway, in that Conan tradition, the boy sees mother killed by big bad and comes back for revenge with a very silly sword with three blades like some sort of disposable shaving razor.
You have evil wizards that are more than they seem. A big bad named Titus Cromwell has taken over for the rightful king. Men that will help rescue a woman in return for sexual favors. (Our hero, actually). Frank Fontana from Murphy Brown as the sidekick. Attractive woman in various states of undress.
The Sword and the Sorcerer features some very strange tonal changes, sometimes in the same scene (The upbeat soundtrack during massacres certainly doesn’t help). And a plot that, at least on the first viewing, admittedly confused me to the point that I am still under the impression that the lead hero and his love interest are brother and sister.
While this movie is certainly no Conan (what is) it is also no Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II. The movie is a sometimes delightful combination of competent and goofy that may get much better with multiple viewings. (Spoiler alert it did).
The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982) Rifftrax Version: 10 out of 10: Rifftrax regulars Golden Corral, Nick Nolte, Tara Reid and David Carradine make appearances in the commentary but the majority of the jokes are spot on commentary to the action on screen.
The upbeat soundtrack that I noted in my main review is a prime target (It sounds like the Smurfs are out picking berries RiffTrax notes). The tonal changes also get more than one callout in particular all the small dick jokes by the characters during an attempted rape scene seem to get our riffers ire.
A couple of things they noted that I didn’t mention is the large amount of “smoke” (dry ice) in many scenes, and our hero’s tendency to conveniently find pails of fuel oil lying around for setting his enemies on fire.
An already very watchable movie is decidedly improved with the boy’s commentary. I don’t admire their artistry all that much this time (This is no Terror at Tenkiller. My cat could riff this movie) but they still do a very solid job and go above and beyond on many occasions with obscure references and spot on observations.
Well, we have some RiffTrax highlights for the video. The full RiffTrax version is on Amazon Prime currently as well as RiffTrax.com. The movie itself is currently on YouTube.
Kathleen Beller features in a lot of screenshots (Understandably so she is a star in the film and she looks like Kathleen Beller). I recently saw her in Movie Movie as well. Someday I will have to watch that Harold Robbins adaptation The Betsy. Apparently we get to see a lot more of Kathleen Beller in a soapy R rated version of Tucker: The Man and His Dream.
Outside of Ms. Beller we a have a lot of really good screenshots for a film from the early eighties that wasn’t a very good copy and was filmed in caves and dungeons with a constant fog.
Films from the eighties knew that the fantasy dark ages was the time of the bikini.