Running Time: 99 minutes
MPAA Rating: R
Format: Widescreen 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital Surround
Languages: English
Subtitles: None
Region: 1
MSRP: $19.98

Own It!
The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982)

Moviemakers tend to release movies in gouts, as it were; announce a high-profile production, and there will suddenly be several (sometimes shockingly) similar tales vying to get a piece of the perceived box office pie. In the early 80's, the production was Milius' Conan the Barbarian; among its bastard progeny was a movie called The Sword and The Sorcerer.

Our hero this time around is named Talon (Lee Horsley), who, like Conan, will be introduced by a helpful Narrator with a laundry list of manly occupations ("a buccaneer.. a slave, a rogue, a general!"). Talon wields the title Sword, one of the most absurd and improbable weapons in fantasy fiction: a triple-bladed broadsword that can fire its ancillary blades like a harpoon gun. The Sorcerer portion of our title is accomplished when evil King Cromwell (Richard Lynch) resurrects a millennium-dead wizard named Xusia (Richard Moll) to aid in his conquests.

Unlike many of its brethren, The Sword and The Sorcerer doesn't contain an awful lot of swordplay, but seems more involved with derring-do - a sequence where Talon finds himself pursued by the entire palace guard would not be out of place in a Jackie Chan flick - and the characters' plots and counter-plots yield a more complex storyline than is usually found in such movies.

All the more amazing when one considers that this is the debut film of Albert Pyun, a director whose name is whispered with derision (if not outright dread) in critical circles as a maker of paradoxically boring action films. While not great cinema - too many parts resemble a made-for-TV movie of the period - The Sword and The Sorcerer is a good rainy day Saturday flick, an unchallenging popcorn-muncher.

Forgive my enthusiasm, but Crom, this movie looks great! A flawless print and a beautiful transfer. The sound mix, while very clear, is not going to threaten your speakers, but it does serve David Whitaker's swashbuckling score quite well.

There are three trailers for the movie, and unlike most other discs I've reviewed, these trailers are in the same pristine condition as the feature itself. Two are theatrical trailers, one for R movies and one for PG... the difference can be summed up in two words: gore and nipples. The third is a brief TV spot. Enjoy.

Dr. Freex, 10/18/2001