Fred Olen Ray, 1991
Starring: Lyle Waggoner, Russ Tamblyn, Blake Bahner, Heidi Paine
What an awful movie. I’m not really a Troma fan, so I sort of expected to dislike this, but I at least had a little faith in director Fred Olen Ray, the man responsible for such delightful trash as Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (1988). That, apparently, was his high point, whereas this is what you would get if you remade Deathstalker II and took all the whimsy and enjoyment out of it. Melina’s father, Ulric, keeper of the mystical Sword of Aktar, is kidnapped and she is hunted by the guards of the evil Lord Khoura. She is rescued by the famous (in his mind anyway) swordsman Thane. He agrees to help her on her quest to retrieve the blade - which contains power to summon a terrible demon - and save her father. On the way they meet whores, a seer, some dinosaurs and another master swordsman.
This movie is almost irredeemable. It is slow, utterly stupid and has some of the worst dialogue ever put on film. Short of quoting the movie, words cannot express how bad the combination of script and delivery are. And unlike the aforementioned Deathstalker II, it simply lacks the fun and charm that could have made it so-bad-it’s-good. I can’t think of a reason why anyone would have/want to watch Wizards of the Demon Sword. Come to think of it, isn’t a sword at all, it’s more like a dagger made out of plastic. There are also no wizards, only one would-be possessor of the “sword’s” magic, Lord Khoura, though he does deliver some great lines about how the titular blade allows the user to worship all evil, and things of that nature. Promising as that sounds, this is more the kind of film you want to turn into a drinking game than something you can actually sit down and enjoy.
The best thing I can say about it is that it’s incredibly light-hearted and might please a trashy movie lover in the right sort of mood. There’s some amusing banter between Thane and another master swordsmen he meets along the way and some other things are unintentionally very funny. Like the fact that Russ Tamblyn (Twin Peaks) is Ulric, the supposedly venerable guardian of the sword, as well as the absurd claymation dinosaurs that come out of nowhere... twice. There is another useless scene in a brothel that at least affords us a few moments of belly dancing, which is about all the sexiness in this movie. Fred Olen Ray, what were you thinking?
If you do watch it, keep your eyes peeled for a great scene where Thane punches Melina in the face after she tries to have sex with him. It’s justified, I promise. Also keep a look out for a cameo from Michael Berryman, who just can’t keep away from late ‘80s sword and sorcery movies. The acting is horrific. Lyle Waggoner (Lord Khoura) is really a sight to behold, but a sight you might only want to witness while intoxicated.
Should you decide to subject yourself to Wizards of the Demon Sword, it is out on DVD from Troma. There is the usual intro from Uncle Lloyd, who goes on an amusing rant, but otherwise doesn’t take up much of our time. You know what? It’s New Year’s Eve, one of my least favorite days of the year, but still an excuse to drink whiskey. Which will hopefully erase the majority of Wizards of the Demon Sword from my brain.