By: Henry J. Fromage (Five Beers) –
I really can’t even tell you how I ran across this one, although I’m sure it came up in a periodic bored internet search for “so bad it’s good” movies. The prospect of a cheap 80s sword and sorcery flick that’s entirely aware of how bad the genre is, and plays along with it, was certainly intriguing. Since the first Deathstalker was apparently just your garden variety shitty, I figured I’d skip right to the good stuff.
The plot is your usual fantasy epic business, as cheeky rebel and all-around badass Deathstalker meets a fortune teller who also happens to be a princess deposed by an evil sorcerer, who created a soul-consuming clone to take her place. They begin a quest to reclaim the throne, wrestle some Amazons, and generally engage in as many hijinks as they can with leftover sets and props from the Roger Corman studios.
I have to raise a glass who realizes how ridiculous it is, and just goes with it. There’s action, nudity, bad one-liners, fairly legit swordfights, and an inexplicably long sequence in which our hero, who resembles a low-rent Bruce Campbell who also uses Donald Trump’s hairstylist, fights female wrestler Queen Kong.
Deathstalker’s most harrowing challenge yet
It’s not hard to figure why a Penthouse model would be cast as the female lead, but Monique Gabrielle even smacks into the extremely low bar for that profession. The other actors are far from professional, but you catch even them raising eyebrows at her delivery, and her physical comedy skills have an uncanny resemblance to a b-level trained monkey.
© Doug Kessler 2005
Which, admittedly, is adorable
When I said they used leftover Corman sets from other movies, I wasn’t kidding. Outside of the wrestling/boxing ring, you’ve got to enjoy the abandoned graveyard zombie movie setup, which they pretty much use as is. Another scene involves the protagonists riding a horse through what appears to be a minefield, although if I just had explosives lying around I’d sure as hell use them, too.
Similar cheapness is displayed in other areas, from the swords that look like the presents deadbeat parents buy on Christmas Eve from the Dollar Store to some of the saddest cut-rate Costa Rican boob jobs you’ve ever seen.
Thanks Dad, this is worse than nothing
I thought I might avoid this, but this beer goes to the dialogue. Lines like “Ordinarily I wouldn’t mind a woman getting a good beating, if she deserved it” show the tongue-in-cheek humor I was expecting, but there’s just no excuse for “What was that? The wind. It needs to get oiled!” Unfortunately, there’s a bit more of the latter than the former.
It’s easy to assume that it’s a bad thing for a movie to get this many beers. Not always- because if you watch this with plenty of drinks and friends you should have a damn good time.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: for every cliché that’s supposed to pass for a punch line
Take a Drink: every time Deathstalker smiles cockily at death
Take a Drink: every time Monique Gabrielle opens her mouth
Drink a Shot: whenever a midget makes a bizarre face