The early Eighties were a phenomenal time to be completely unable to cope with the emotional and physical changes occurring within our lean, taut, budding young bodies. Cable TV was a boon to pubescent, pustule-producing boys across America, introducing us to swordplay, paganism, devil worship and musclebound shapeshifting telekenetic Amazons in suede loincloths.
At a time when the mysterious peach fuzz growing in strange places was causing undue stress in our otherwise carefree lives, pay cable provided a welcome respite with copious offerings of Beastmaster, Conan the Barbarian, Dragonslayer, Sword of the Valiant, Ladyhawke, Ironmaster, Krull, The Warrior and the Sorceress, Legend and even Excalibur.
No film could sate our thirst for naked aggression and naked women better than The Sword and the Sorcerer.
The Sword and the Sorcerer stars pre-Matt Houston Lee Horsley as lowly peasant boy Talon destined to assume his rightful crown as king. By resurrecting a zombified magician, Talon dethrones the cruel, despotic sorcerer who usurped the kingdom from Talon’s lineage. In the process, Talon unites medieval England and promises a sequel in the closing credits that, sadly, never came to fruition.
Talon is able to best the armies of the evil sorcerer with his wits and, naturally, a triple-bladed sword fashioned by legend. Talon’s weapon is Excalibur-and-then-some, possessing the ingenious mechanism to fire two of the blades as projectiles. As evidenced by one scene that wore out the frame-by-frame advance button on my VCR remote, these projectile-blades literally fling impaled baddies seven feet off the ground at a 45-degree angle. If there is a better purpose for the clarity a DVD can provide, I don’t know what it is.
The Sword and The Sorcerer also stars George Maharis of Route 66 fame, Simon MacCorkindale of Quatermass fame, Richard Lynch of Starsky and Hutch fame, and Richard Moll of Night Court. By fame, of course, I mean they are more famous than somebody who was never on a TV show. What should not be overlooked, especially for history buffs, is the preponderance of well-endowed women with a proclivity for baring their breasts all over feudal serfdom. Most importantly, a character in The Sword and the Sorcerer bears the moniker “Elizabeth, Cromwell’s Whore,” which perhaps says everything that needs to be said about this fine film.