The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982) — Creatively bankrupt

“My sword is poised!”

Shalen’s rating: Good, corny fun.

Shalen’s review: This isn’t my first review of an eighties sword-and-sorcery flick, but this is definitely the first one where its creators were so bankrupt of creative talent that they just went right ahead and named the movie after the genre. Sadly, unlike the Scary Movie and Not Another Teen Movie franchises of recent date, this one appears to lack any irony whatsoever.*

It’s about a wandering mercenary, Prince Talon, who has a big surprise coming in the heritage department and of course carries a special sword — in this case a very awkward-looking prop with three blades. It does lead to a very hilarious moment when the pretty princess** is trying to hire him, and he says “My sword is poised!” and starts to stand up, and the table in front of him starts rocking. Yes, it’s a cheap laugh, but if you’re looking for any other kind you should be watching some other sort of movie.

Talon’s quest is to help the princess unseat evil tyrant Cromwell, who wants to restore England to Protestant rule and make it illegal for people to dance or play cards. No, actually it’s worse than that; he wants to use a lizardy demon-creature’s magic to force people to, er, actually I don’t know that he does much that’s very nefarious to the population at large. But he was mean to the pretty princess, so he’s obviously evil. The demon creature is actually the sorcerer mentioned in the title. It looks to me sort of like a lower-budget version of the Argonians from Oblivion, but then I spend far too much time involved with that game.

In any case, one of the funnier things about this movie is that you see very little of either sword or sorcerer. The sword is mostly sheathed while Talon struts around shagging Amazons and making pithy remarks. The sorcerer bookends the plot at beginning and end and is in the movie for perhaps five or six minutes total. In between we have typical barbarian he-man hijinks of the fighting-extras-with-slow-punches variety.

This is a fun movie to give the Crow and Servo treatment to, and it’s fun if you’re into eighties sword and sorcery. Otherwise you’ll probably want to give it a miss. I personally found it very amusing.

If you disagree, feel free to come find me. My sword is poised.

*You may notice I haven’t allowed for the possibility that the genre was named after this movie. After you’ve seen it, you won’t, either.
**Of COURSE there’s a pretty princess.

Didja Notice?

  • That must be quite a big sword.
  • Better title: The Talk and the Simpering.
  • Mostly-naked warrior women, staple of a genre that includes a lot of fighting with edged weapons. Wait… That can’t be right…
  • Know you that the using of the apostrophe is forbidden to all those who wear the loincloth and strut about carrying the Sword of the Prop of Tin.
  • I’ll bet he can’t see a thing through those contacts.
  • Crucifixion: making your hero seem more serious than he is.
  • Dead parents. Every hero has some.

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