Saturday, March 27, 2021

Sword & Sorcery & Cinema: The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982)

Another fairly notorious one.  I can recall gamers in my Jr. High talking about how to stat up the sword from this.  The start of this one is fun, love the wall of screaming faces.

Among others, this features Richard Lynch as Titus Cromwell the evil king (naturally) and Richard Moll as Xusia the evil sorcerer.  On the side of good, we get Lee Horsley as Prince Talon just before he became Matt Houston and Kathleen Beller, the future Mrs. Thomas Dolby*, as Princess Alana.

I only mention her as the "future Mrs. Thomas Dolby" because that was my first real knowledge of her, on the cover of his "Aliens Ate My Buick" album.  

So let's get to this!

The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982)

So Richard Lynch summons Richard Moll to help him fight King Richard (Christopher Cary).  Of course, no sooner had he got help from the sorcerer Xusia, Cromwell kills him. 

We also get our first look at the ridiculous three-bladed sword. It can cut, slice, and fire blades! 

Eleven years later Talon (now looking like Lee Horsley) comes back home to avenge his father and mother. 

There is a bit with Manimal I mean Prince Mikah played by Simon MacCorkindale and George Maharis, a long way from Route 66, as Machelli.  We also get another showing of S&S&C MVP Anthony De Longis appears as Rodrigo.  

I have never watched it all the way through.  I honestly could never get past the sword firing blades.  Watching it now I remember why.

The prince is rescued but they fight their way out. There seems to be a bit of Raiders of the Lost Ark envy here; Talon's escape could be taking place in Cario, Egypt. 

Talon fights Cromwell only to have Xusia come back.  I have to admit Xusia's return is kind of fun, it would have been better if they hadn't telegraphed it. Xusia and Talon fight over who gets to kill Cromwell.  Talon kills the sorcerer and then he and Cromwell fight.

Not a great movie but a cult film all the same. I know a lot of people love it, but I could not get into it in the 80s and didn't do much better now.

Gaming Content

Seems fitting seeing how they call out D&D on the poster and there is not a dragon to be found in this.

The Triple-Sword.  This sword is +3 to hit and damage.  On striking it does 3d6+3 points of damage. 
The sword can launch one of two of its outside blades doing 1d6+3 damage.  Its range is 30/60/120 feet.  Reattaching a blade requires one round in which the wielder cannot attack. 


Ronnie_ASA said...

Yes it is cheesy as hell but I do have a soft spot for it and its certainly better than Red Sonja (yes, I know, daming with faint praise). Like many D&D playing teens we all suddenly wanted multi-bladed weaponry and I personally thought it looked cool although now it does look naff.

All in all its a silly and very violent romp. Definitely not one that could be made now in the same way but I would love to see the basic concept fleshed out with a better storyline and remade.

Venger Satanis said...

It's awesome in that 80s, low budget B-movie kind of way.

Dick McGee said...

I've never actually seen this one, but boy, that looks like some exceptionally stinky cheese by the clip. Takes a special something to make Hawk the Slayer look good by comparison.

Was the idiot with the crossbow just lucky, or showing off, or were they trying to take Our Hero alive or something? Nailing a guy's hand to a tree is loads trickier than just aiming for center of mass and demonstrably less effective.

Ruprecht said...

If you can ignore the silly sword (which only really appears at the beginning and end) this really is a fun adventure with intrigue, humor, and a lot of quotable lines.

JB said...

Yeah. I kind of love this movie (embarrassingly). It probably would have been much improved withOUT the spring-bladed sword. But the villains are all very good in this film, unlike the far less cheesy Beastmaster (sorry Rip Torn).

Grymlorde said...

I found this film largely forgettable except for two scenes which are forever etched in my brain and naturally found their way into Grymwurld(TM) on multiple occassions.

The first is a scene reminiscent from the Conan story, The People of the Black Circle. The lich ("the sorcerer") shows his gratitude at being revived by telekinetically ripping the still beating heart out of the witch.

And towards the end of the film, it turns out that the lich has been masquerading as … the evil king? (It's been 40 years, I forget.) The big reveal is when the king sheds his skin like a snake, to reveal the lich!

Seeing those two scenes on the big screen were nothing short of phenominal. I was grossed out, horrified, and enthralled at the same time. I suppose I was shocked. I hadn't expected to see such gore in a Sword & Sorcery film. Especially in 1982.