Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Warrior an the Sorceress (1984)


This is a bad movie - no nice way to put it. It is low budget excuse to show women without clothing, have hulking men swing fake swords around and every cast member spout horrible dialogue with the skill of a plank of wood. It’s a perfect sample of no-budget 80's fantasy and produced by Roger Corman no less. So you know I’m going to have to watch it. I’m just a masochist that way.


The Warrior (David Carradine), is never named in the film, but is billed as Kain. Seriously? Of Kung-fu fame? He carries a huge sword, scowls a lot and doesn’t say much of anything. Basically if you’ve seen Toshiro Mifune in Yojimbo then you have a pretty accurate idea of his performance. Anyway, he shows up in a village where two rival gangs are battling it out over control of the well.

On the one side is Zeg (Luk Askew) with his militant forces and captured, titular Sorceress (Maria Socas). He keeps his men in line with discipline and rage. On the other the bloated Bal Caz (William Marin) and his band of freaks and puppet monsters. This group is much more chaotic and fun loving. They remind me of Jabba the Hutt and his crew from Return of the Jedi, but with fewer puppets. Kain plays both sides against each other to save the town, save the sorceress and get a magic sword.

Good Points:
  • Carradine does a pretty good imitation of Toshiro Mifune
  • Some of the puppet creatures are funny
  • Some of the fight scenes are handled well
Bad Points:
  • Is a remake of Yojimbo or Fist Full of Dollars with no surprises
  • The acting is really wooden for most of the film
  • Missing that sense of fun that makes these films work

Most of these 80s barbarian age flicks work for me on some level. But the Warrior and the Sorceress falls flat. Part of it is because of the lifeless performances by just about everyone. There just isn’t any energy here. The other issue is that this movie is almost a shot for shot remake of Yojimbo. Seriously, Director John C. Broderick even uses some the same camera angles and blocking. Sure, the samurai flick didn’t have a puppet dragon advisor or a four breasted slave dancer, but Kurosawa wasn’t thinking outside the box enough. The whole time I’m realizing I could be watching a samurai film classic, instead of this low budget and halfhearted remake. I quote Tom Servo from Mystery Science Theater 3000 on this one: Never remind an audience of a great movie in the middle of your crappy one.

Scores (out of 5)
Visuals: 3
Sound: 3
Acting:  2
Script:  2
Music: 3
Direction: 2
Entertainment: 2
Total:  2

If you combined their outfits, you'd have one
complete look!
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  1. I met David Carradine once at a Chiller Theater convention. He was funny in an offbeat way; at one point he walked up to an obscure make-up artist whom he obviously didn’t know (and who was being totally ignored by attendees) and expansively shook his hand, announcing loudly, “Hey man! I’m a great fan of your work!” The fellow was a good sport and laughed. I can see him taking a role like this and just shrugging off any irony to it, but I think I’ll choose not to see the result.

    1. Yeah of all the actors in the film he certainly was the one who was at least trying to make something out of it (even if it was by aping Mifune's performance in "Yojimbo"). I do wonder if that was a conscious choice by Carradine or something the director insisted on. But yeah, if you miss out on this one, you aren't missing much.