Starring: Leigh Harris, Lynette Harris, Bob Nelson, David Millbern
Sorceress is Jack Hill’s terrible, yet strangely compelling contribution to the sword and sorcery genre. An evil sorcerer plans to sacrifice his first born child to the goddess Caligara, but his wife, who has unexpectedly given birth to twin girls, refuses. She runs away and gives them to a master warrior just before she dies. The warrior trains the two girls and they are raised as boys. Many years later, when they are about twenty, their father begins to hunt them down again in order to prepare for another sacrifice. They team up with a young barbarian, Erlik, and a grizzled Viking, Baldar, to try to destroy their father before he gets to them.
Starring Leigh and Lynette Harris, twins and Playboy models, Jack Hill was allegedly inspired by Alexandre Dumas’s The Corsican Brothers, a story about two twins who can feel each other’s pain. In the case of Sorceress, the twins can feel each other’s pleasure as well, resulting in a somewhat hilarious scene where one twin looses her virginity and the other, many miles away, is overcome with orgasms while camping in the woods. The twins are referred to “the two who are one” so often that you could make a drinking game out of it. And if you did, you would probably die of alcohol poisoning.
Shot in Mexico on a very low budget and with many difficulties during production, this has the typical failures of the genre - poor sets, lousy acting, bad humor, silly dialogue and an almost useless plot. But Sorceress also has some interesting and very bizarre elements that are more nonsensical than most other films of this genre. There is a horny satyr that accompanies the twins on their quest, the complete lack of any sorceress, a planned execution that involves a man sliding down a greased pole in order to be anally impaled, a group monkey attack, zombie warriors and a deus ex machina involving a winged lion that shoots lightening out of its eyes. There is also a fair amount of nudity and absolutely absurd sexual comedy.
Jack Hill wrote, produced and directed Sorceress, though under the pseudonym Brian Stuart. It was his final film and he allegedly pulled his name from the production after a number of disputes with producer Roger Corman. In case you are unfamiliar with Hill’s work, he is one of the greatest exploitation directors, responsible for some of the best exploitation films ever made - Spider Baby (1968), The Big Doll House (1971), Coffy (1973), Foxy Brown (1974), Switchblade Sisters (1975), etc. Hill also discovered cult actress Pam Grier and helped launch her career, as well as horror actor Sid Haig.
I can’t really recommend Sorceress, but I had a lot of fun watching it. The film endearingly throws caution and reason to the wind in order to add as many baffling elements as possible. Its sheer zaniness and naive charm sets it apart from other films in the genre and will make it worth watching for many fans of trashy cinema. Sorceress is sadly unavailable on DVD, though there are some VHS transfers floating around on the internet if you decide you absolutely need to see it. Not to be confused with the drama film of the same name from 1987.