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Sword and the Sorcerer, The (1982)

Long, long, long ago – “at a time when the earth was young” – an awesome arch-villain named Titus Cromwell (Richard Lynch) embarked on a campaign of pillage, rape and killing in his fight for supreme power. He had soon made every kingdom of the medieval world his own, all save the richest one – Eh-Dan. Try as he might, he could not overcome the valiant forces of King Richard (Christopher Cary).

So Cromwell turned to sorcery and utilised the powers of a witch to summon up the dreaded thousand-year-dead Xusia (Richard Moll), the most powerful sorcerer in Hell. In a grisly scene of reawakening, Xusa proves his skills by tearing out the witch’s heart with an unseen power emanating from his glowing fingernails. Cromwell is impressed.

And so with the help of absolute evil, our despicable villain and his forces lay waste King Richard’s land, killing the king’s soldiers in their thousands, spreading fire, earthquakes and plague before them.

Finally, Cromwell encounters Richard himself, has him ruthlessly slain, and a few minutes later decapitates the queen as well – witnessed by the royal couple’s trembling son, Prince Talon (James Jarnigan), who, despite beating a hasty retreat, has his hand smashed by the steel tip of a crossbow arrow.

Years later, when Cromwell has firmly established himself on Eh-Dan soil, a small uprising manifests itself, spearheaded by Prince Mikah (Simon MacCorkindale), rightful heir to the throne, and his beautiful sister, Princess Alana (Kathleen Beller).

With the help of his evil henchman Machelli (George Maharis), Cromwell has Mikah captured and imprisoned in his castle’s torture chamber under the gruesome supervision of Verdugo (Robert Tessier in a particularly disagreeable mood).

Thanks to the Herculean assistance of a handsome stranger with a steel gauntlet (Lee Horsley), Alana manages to escape the degenerate attention of Cromwell’s guards and agrees to submit herself to the stranger’s lust for one night if he will free her brother.

There are no prizes for guessing the true identity of the stranger and his interest in giving Cromwell his comeuppance.

Thus a blood-yielding, action-packed climax unfolds as heads roll, half-naked handmaidens scatter, and the handsome stranger – wielding an awesome triple-bladed sword – does battle with a hundred or so of Cromwell’s guards and, finally, with Cromwell and Xusia themselves.

The Sword and the Sorcerer may not actually be a spoof, but it has its tongue lodged firmly in its cheek. It’s a camp, highly-entertaining excursion into the sword-and-sorcery genre, taking off such serious-minded spectacles as Hawk the Slayer (1980), Clash of the Titans (1981), Dragonslayer (1981), Excalibur (1981) and Conan the Barbarian (1982).

Prince Talon
Lee Horsley
Princess Alana
Kathleen Beller
Prince Mikah
Simon MacCorkindale
George Maharis
Titus Cromwell
Richard Lynch
Richard Moll
Anthony De Longis
Robert Tessier
Nina van Pallandt
Anna Bjorn
Jeff Corey
Joseph Ruskin
Joe Regalbuto
Russ Marin
Earl Maynard
George Murdock
Ban Urlu
Emily Yancy
King Richard
Christopher Cary
King Leonidas
Peter Breck
King Sancho
Alan Caillou
King Ludwig
Michael Evans
King Charles
Jay Robinson
The Cardinal
Simmy Bow
Reb Brown
Erik Cord
Steve Davis
Young Mikah
Anthony Farrar
Greg Finley
George Fisher
Tammi Furness
Hubie Kerns Jr.
Leonard P. Geer
Young Prince Talon
James Jarnigan

Albert Pyun