Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Sword and the Sorcerer, 1982

Taking a bit of a break through the Holidays, but I also had to work. Needless to say, it was rather dull so I entertained myself on my Boxing Day shift by watching The Sword and the Sorcerer, one of the now-classic fantasy films of the early eighties. Keeping in mind that "classic" doesn't necessarily mean 'good'. 
The film is pure cheese, but redeems itself primarily by not taking itself at all seriously. The hero, Talon is a complete rogue with a heart of gold and a truely remarkable head of hair. Played by Lee Horsley, Talon is the kind of angst-free, lighthearted hero that we don't see anymore, and maybe needs to make a comeback.   
Oh that hair!
He is the heir to a lost kingdom (of course) turned mercenary who agrees to fight the evil King Cromwell, not for the money, but for one night with the beautiful Princess Alana played by one of my personal favourites, Kathleen Beller.
Can you blame him?
Gamewise, there isn't much here except for the Sorcerer Xusi,played by the great, Richard Moll. Xusi would make a great model for a Big Bad; an ancient, evil Sorcerer King from some long forgotten race...
The funny part is that poor Xusi is completely extraneous to the plot. He is awakened from some sort of magical tomb by Cromwell at the beginning of the movie. In one of the better bits of fx, he lies sleeping in a blood-filled casket that appears to be made of living faces and likes to magically rip the heart out of people.

After using the sorcerer's magic to conquer a couple of kingdoms, Cromwell quickly decides that he doesn't need the potential competition and has Xusi stabbed and thrown off a cliff. This all takes place in about the first ten minutes of the film. Don't worry he gets better, but he doesn't appear again until the very end for the final showdown. That reveal, where he literally bursts out of his own skin is particularly good and gruesome.

That's the Sorcerer. The Sword part is even better. The hero Talon's legendary weapon is called the Tri-Sword which turns out, is exactly what it sounds like:
You can take my kingdom, but you will never touch my hair!
The two side blades can even be shot out of the sword like a crossbow quarrel, which is kinda awesome in a really cheesy way. Also, there is a long dagger hidden in the hilt. I think this thing would be a perfect fit for a certain style of Old School game.

Hair of the Hero
Certain wizards can style an adventurer's hair into a luxurious mane of manliness. This will provide a bonus to charisma and strength until the hair is cut.

This is a difficult weapon is difficult to master. Unless the welder is proficient, they will suffer a significant penalty to hit. Once proficient, the weapon does triple long sword damage! The side blades can be shot out to a range of 50' and will do short-sword damage when they strike their target. There is also a long dagger concealed in the hilt. Only one such sword is known to exist. It is magical and when struck against another magical sword, will produce cool light and sound effects. 

In  2010 they made a squeal (promised at the end of the 82 film) starring a pre-crazy Kevin Sorbo, which I'm going to have to track down just to see how it stacks up (not well by all accounts).
and finally, once again, Ms. Kathleen Beller:

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