(Now THIS is what we call a misleading poster!)
Original Title: The Warrior and the Sorceress
Director: John C. Broderick
Writer: John C. Broderick, William Stout
Genre: Fantasy Adventure
imdb synopsis: The mighty warrior, Kain, crosses the barren wastelands of the planet Ura, where two arch enemies, Zeg and the evil degenerate Balcaz, fight incessantly for control of the village's only well. Kain sees his opportunity and announces that his sword is for hire...but his eyes stay clearly on the beautiful captive sorceress Naja, and his newly awakened purpose.
Ah, David Carradine. Here we have what I would say is a pretty forgettable fantasy tale starring our favorite kung fu superstar. Well, American kung fu star. Well, American television kung fu star. Eh, close enough.
I had to go and say I wanted to see some fantasy films. I couldn't leave well enough alone and stick with Conan and Lord of the Rings. I just had to push and push. Well, I made my bed and now I have to lie in it.
If Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo was somehow knocked up by A Fistful of Dollars and Return of the Jedi at the same time, the resulting panicked abortion a couple weeks later would be this film.
Not to say it is all bad. Well, it is, but some of it is so bad it is good......I guess?
The film opens with Carradine's character Kain wandering through the desert. Once he arrives at a city where two gangsters are at constant war over an evidently rare well, and meets an old prelate who lives there, we come to learn that he is a holy warrior that has lost his way.
After assessing the situation, Kain sets out to pit the two warring gangsters against one another, while making money for himself along the way. We have a pretty cool fight sequence as he dispatches Zeg the Tyrant's guards around the well while Bal Caz looks on.
It really gave me some hopes for the film - Carradine looked OK wielding his sword. We even get a severed arm!
But alas, the brakes are pressed now as the "psyhological" portion of the film begins. Kain figures out ways to work for both gangsters at the same time while making money money money. Keep an eye out for his asking for a specific amount of cash, and Zeg always happening to have a tied-up bag nearby with that exact amount in it.
It just feels really slow and poorly written here. I understand that Kain wants to make money off the two men, but his way of doing so just seems very roundabout. If he is so incredible, it seems like he could just off the men and take what he wanted. But that would make this one hour seventeen minute film even shorter. We are "treated" to some terrible acting all around through this part as well as little to no actual fighting and swordplay.
See Zeg and Bal Caz just stand there waving swords and doing nothing at all!
Finally we get to the beef of the story when Kain discovers the Sorceress Naja in Zeg's dungeon. She is being held captive so that she may finally create a holy sword for Zeg to defeat Bal Caz once and for all. She keeps giving him duds, however, but now promises to make the holy sword for Kain.
And while we are on the subject of Naja, we can move to the nudity in the film! Inexplicable there is quite a bit. Naja herself is topless for pretty much the entire film. Not a bad figure at all on our heroine. With that frizzy hair and look like something smells all the time, perhaps she thought she could raise her stock by showing off some bouncy boobage AT ALL TIMES. Shit, even when Kain gives her his cloak during an escape, she somehow gets rid of it and he is wearing it again. Guess she just likes being nekkid.
Perhaps it helps with the spell casting? Sparkly boobs!
Oh, she even runs naked. Nice.
We have the woman that Zeg watches drown for entertainment. Don't people need to drink that water? She takes the 70s/80s lack of grooming to an extreme as it appears she is hiding a furry cantaloupe in her crotch.
And how could I not mention the peculiar character that appears on the oh so lovely poster for the film? I'm not sure what her name was, but the scene was pretty much lifted straight from the musical number in Jabba's palace in Return of the Jedi. (Minus the good music and all that.)
Yes, I'm talking about the lovely quad-mammaried lady.
She starts out dancing for our hero.
OK... not too bad!
Ohhh wait you naughty girl... what are you up to?
There goes the dress!
I get it I guess. Since a pair of boobs are fun and sexy and all, TWO pairs of boobs, well that's just double the fun! Welllll, they really come across as udder-like here in my opinion. Kinda weird I guess, but looked more like a deformation than extra super fun sexy time.
It's pretty sad when some of your best special effects in the film are an extra set of tits on a dancer in the film for all of 30 seconds. Must have been a labor of love.
If it weren't for all the nudity, this film is almost kid-safe. The fights after the arm severing are not overly gory, and there is no sex to speak of.
As I said earlier, the acting is pretty atrocious overall. Carradine is his normal self I suppose. Thankfully he didn't attempt any weird medieval style accent or it could have been tragic.
The tyrants are laughable. Bal Caz is creepy and has a shitty looking lizard/midget hybrid that hangs out with him, and Zeg's dramatic pensive moments are at best awkward.
Zeg's first in charge Captain Keif, is hammy and over the top, although he is oily and shirtless every time you see him for those who find that entertaining. He sported an impressive six-pack, but he will never look as cool oiled up in a loincloth as Marc Singer in The Beastmaster!
Oh, and Naja's contribution essentially ends with her bare chest.
Carradine didn't seem to be 100% into this one. His delivery and fighting especially seemed lazy and disinterested. The kicks and punches in the fight scenes lacked any OOMPH whatsoever. It really felt like to me he was there for his paycheck and thought his name was enough for this production. Granted, I have not seen a ton of stuff, but I think Carradine wanted to be elsewhere.
Look at this kick to a foe's back. Come on Mr. Kung Fu, that is just half assed!
The sets also left much to be desired. It looked as though it was old 1960s Star Trek leftovers. I doubt much was filmed outdoors besides the intro to the film, as everything is surrounded by the styrofoam rocks and filled in with what appears to be sandbox sand. The monster(s) and makeup were kinda crappy too, but there is one that was pretty funny looking. I'll let you discover where he is on your own, but you may laugh when his tentacles rise up initially.
This film had its moments. Some fighting was OK, although there was not enough of it for what I want in a film of this genre. There's nudity which can be fun I suppose, but you can get that in better quanity and quality elsewhere. No cool magic to speak of.
I cannot recommend this unless you are a Carradine completist.
4 out of 10