We conclude our epic sword and sandal romp through the sewer of films with 1991’s Deathstalker IV: Match of Titans.
We get the return of Rick Hill as the titular character Deathstalker and Maria Ford as his sexy princess warrior companion in this 85 minute long rehash of the original movie. Written by Howard R Cohen, the movie was also directed and produced by Mr Cohen. It was released straight to VHS.
Deathstalker is lured to a competition being held by Queen Kana in his attempt to get his magical sword back that he accidently traded with a warrior on his way to the tournament. Kana is attempting to create an army of undead stone warriors to rule the world and is using the tournament to gather those forces. Deathstalker meets up with Dionara (played by Maria Ford) who is in reality the vanquished princess of the castle Kana now inhabits.
So if this sounds a lot like the previous 3 movies that is because the plot, and most of the fight scenes are recycled.
Deathstalker and Dionara meet up with a meathead named Vaniat, who is a dedicated fighter who trains incessantly and abstains from every of the normal sins that have plagued this series of films.
Turns out that Vaniat is the perfect foil for Kana, who is poisoning the wine the warrior refuses to drink. She seduces the fighters she wishes to; which Vaniat does not partake in; and turns them into stone…his acting is already that way.
There is lots of violence, lots of sex, a group of lesbian warriors who take on the roles of rapist de jur, and most of the first movie is replayed. In the end Deathstalker gets his sword, kills the queen, and beds his princess.
What to like
- Rick Hill is the Deathstalker you wanted to see. Gone is John Allen Nelson. Gone is John Terlesky. Back is the “mullet of maim” Rick Hill.
- Deathstalker is a much more cerebral barbarian in this movie. He is shown to have a depth of thought that was not present in his first outing, which actually works to the benefit of this movie’s plot.
- We can almost believe that Deathstalker and Dionara go on to rule her kingdom and breed a brood of blonde haired super humans who are capable of dealing out untold pain on those that oppose them.
- Number IV is so much better than III. Match of Titans is actually a watchable movie. The acting is bad, but it is over the top bad which brings back that subtle charm of self-awareness.
- Fight sequences are actually pretty well done, especially when compared to the last entry.
What not to like
- Match of Titans reuses so much footage from the previous installments it is more of a highlight reel than it is a new movie.
- We really really disliked Kana as a bad guy. Completely not believable. This actually goes for all of the villains. Give us George Costanza back.
- The stone army is very similar to the “undead army,” except their performances were less believable.
- How in the hell would a warrior like Deathstalker mistake his magical sword with a plain old normal sword? He is unbeatable while wielding his sword, yet he effing misplaces it. WTF!
Deathstalker IV is not the best of the Deathstalker movies, it is also not the worse of this franchise. While the first movie suffers from an insurmountable level of rape, this movie makes up for it by doing away with that aspect nearly completely; that said it is not as good as the first movie as a whole. It is better than the third movie, which does not qualify as something watchable, but not at all as charming as number two. Honestly Deathstalker IV gets a very low 3 out of 5.