The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982)

Genres - Fantasy  |   Sub-Genres - Sword-and-Sorcery, Fantasy Adventure  |   Run Time - 100 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Many exploitation films tried to cash in on the success of Conan The Barbarian but The Sword And The Sorcerer might be the best of the bunch: not only does it deliver the expected barrage of sex and violence, it also captures the spirit of the pulp fiction that spawned Robert E. Howard's Conan stories. The script has a breathless, cliffhanger-driven feel that maintains an agreeably consistent flow of budget-conscious spectacle and populates its tale with an engaging, colorful cast of characters. Future t.v. hero Lee Horsley makes an agreeably raffish hero as Talon while Richard Lynch is effectively creepy as the brooding villain and Kathleen Beller supplies plenty of eye candy as the film's fetching but tough damsel in distress. Familiar character actors Joe Regalbuto and George Maharis also deliver memorable turns as a heroic ally and a villainous assistant, respectively. Best of all, Albert Pyun's direction gives the story the energy it needs: he delivers a fun action setpiece, an eye-popping makeup effect or a fetching bit of pulchrtitude every few minutes and keeps the pace building right up to the exciting finale. He also works in the occasional impressive visual flourish: the best of these is the slow-motion montage of Talon launching himself into the battle during the finale. The appeal of the film is sealed by an excellent, surprisingly lush musical score by David Whitaker which conjures up fond memories of classic Errol Flynn swashbucklers. In short, The Sword And The Sorcerer is worthwhile viewing for b-movie fans in need of Conan-inspired fun.