John C. Broderick, 1984
Starring: David Carradine, María Socas, Anthony De Longis, Harry Townes
A swordsman named Kain finds his way to a small village in the middle of a desert on the planet Ura. Two rivals, Zeg and Bal Caz, are fighting to rule the town and control the limited water supply. Kain manipulates both of them, promising to lend each man his sword against the other in exchange for increasing amounts of money. Zeg has imprisoned a sorceress, because he wants her to create a magical sword for him, so that he can gain complete control of the town. Kain, recognizing her power, sets her free and decides to destroy both Zeg and Bal Caz to free the enslaved villagers.
A sword and sorcery film starring David Carradine and with the same exact plot as Kurosawa’s Yojimbo probably sounds amazing, but it’s not really. This is yet another U.S.-Argentinian co-production from Roger Corman, which means you should expect a vague plot, very low budget effects, poor acting and worse dialogue. Like Deathstalker, it has its moments, but fails to live up to the fun or insanity of either Deathstalker or Deathstalker II. David Carradine is a welcome addition to the genre in general, but plays an even more reticent version of his character from Kung Fu and is unable to save the film. Don’t get me wrong, I love David Carradine and will watch him in anything, I just think The Warrior and the Sorceress is only for die-hard Carradine fans.
The film is really crippled by a lack of compelling central villain. Luke Askew (Easy Rider, Cool Hand Luke) is sadly not at all good as Zeg, the main villain, though he takes a lot of amazing pauses during his dialogue. María Socas barely has a developed role as the sorceress, but she sure spends a lot of time naked. There might even be more nudity in The Warrior and the Sorceress than there is in Deathstalker, which is really saying something. Plus there’s an exotic dancer with four breasts, one more than Total Recall.
Director John Broderick was a supervising editor for The Exorcist, but The Warrior and the Sorceress is one of his few directorial credits. He does a serviceable job here, though I have to congratulate him on the excellent use of lighting, which is almost Mario Bava-like, and helps to distract from the very cheap sets. He also keeps the film moving at a good pace, alternating between fight and rescue scenes. After awhile you get a little tired of the sorceress constantly being rescued, even if she is only wearing a g-string. There is a relatively high level of violence and we even get a few monsters, namely a weird, but well-designed spider with tentacles type being.
Even though it isn’t one of my favorites, there are some fun moments in The Warrior and the Sorcerer and enough cheese to to please lovers of trash cinema. There are a couple of DVD releases available, including the double feature with The Barbarian Queen, but I recommend Roger Corman’s Sword and Sorcery Collection. This includes Deathstalker, Deathstalker II, The Warrior and the Sorceress, The Barbarian Queen and a smattering of extras. If you want to get into Argentinian sword and sorcery films, this is definitely the way to do it. Good luck.