I am embarking on a quest of insurmountable difficulty. It is an epic tale of one man trying to overcome the great hostility of a harsh landscape, overcoming impossible odds to review one movie series. What movie series could be so damnable that it is nearly impossible to make it through all four movies? That would be Roger Corman’s soft core Sand & Sandles epic journey of DeathStalker.
This is week one of our journey through the adventures of DeathStalker with the titular roll being the title of this 1983 movie. Starring Richard Hill and Lana Clarkson this movie is written by Howard Cohen and directed by James Sbardellati (John Watson). More after the leap.
DeathStalker is all about justice, killing and boobs…lots and lots of boobs. DeathStalker is sent on an epic quest for three items, a chalice, a sword and an amulet in the fashion of Atari’s SwordQuest. Recovering the first of the three items, the sword, Death Stalker is off to fight Munkar.
Munkar is a kick ass wizard with a tattoo on his head that can’t decide where it is located. Munkar is hosting a tournament to determine his heir through trial by combat to the death. Munkar’s plan is to slay the winner so there are no warriors who can challenge him. DeathStalker encounters two allies, Oghris (a capable warrior) and Kaira (thong and cloak only female warrior), on his way to the tournament.
Shit happens, rape happens, killing happens, and more rape…yeah there is a lot of rape…a lot, it makes Game of Thrones look like an innocent bystander, there is an unapproved sex-change with an aborted DeathStalker rape (thank God) and lots of nudity.
So Munkar attempts to kill DeathStalker outside of the tournament and fails miserably. In the end Deathstalker defeats Munkar, reunites all three items and then rejects the wizards throne and power; preferring instead the open road.
What to like
- This is B-movie schlock 101, right down to bad acting and needless boobs. Lots of over the top scenes and silliness that make these movies enjoyable.
- It may be a color by numbers type setup, but it works in ways that were reserved solely for big budget titles like Conan.
- There is a scene where this annoying little fighter is taking on a big guy with a sledge hammer; it’s part of a montage of fights that are all pretty well realized. Well, the results are worth watching.
- The production value, while decidedly low budget, are surprisingly effective. The pig guy who eats the pig head is actually pretty convincing, as is the trunk monster and some of the prosthetic work.
What not to like
- Rapey McRapes a lot. The amount of consensual softcore porn in this movie is very limited, even with our hero. This isn’t just a once or twice occurrence, there is an entire ballroom scene where Munkar invites all of the warriors to rape his harem, and they effing go along with it.
- Two words: Boob Overload. We didn’t think it was possible, but there is just too much nudity.
- Softcore is an understatement. It is impossible to describe this movie in terms that are not usually reserved for Cinimax late night movies. This is not a movie for the family.
DeathStalker is one of those movies that you cannot have on in public, or even admit that you watched and mildly enjoyed. There is way too much rape and sex in general to be socially acceptable. If you fast forward through the softcore sex scenes you might be able to get a solid 4 out of 5, but with those scenes in place (and they happen as frequently as they would in a hardcore porno) the movie can barely manage a 2 out of 5. It gains points for pretty much being a solid 40 minute sword and sandal movie, but it has an unnecessary 40 minutes of sex scenes.
Next week we hope to review DeathStalker II, which goes so far as to break the fourth wall multiple times within the cold open.