Sometimes nostalgia should definitely be left in the past. The 1982 film, The Sword and The Sorcerer very much falls into that category. In the early 80s, thanks to the film, Conan the Barbarian, and the fantasy games and novels that were on the rise at the time, the sword and sorcery genre of films had a bit of a surge at the box office, and everyone was making them, because they thought they could be made on the cheap, and could be churned out quickly and make a bundle.
But for every Conan the Barbarian, or later, The Lord of the Rings, there is a half dozen (or more) films like The Sword and the Sorcerer, or Kull the Conqueror.
I remember The Sword and The Sorcerer from when I was a kid, when a bunch of us were having a sleepover, and this was the movie that had been rented for us. And we loved it, mainly because we were all about ten, and didn’t know a lot about film, or movie-making.
Watching it now, it’s disappointing and looks very much like a television movie. The cast doesn’t help. The film is led by Lee Horsley, who went onto a fairly successful film career, as well as a number of television actors like Simon MacCorkindale, Richard Lynch, and Richard Moll.
Borrowing liberally from myths, legends, and wherever the filmmakers could find it. The film follows a prince, Talon (Horsley) who has been orphaned, after his royal parents were assassinated by the evil Cromwell (Lynch) who is intent on seizing power and cementing his rule.
Raised in the wilds as an adventurer, and sword for hire, Talon returns to his kingdom, and finds himself wrapped up in a battle against Cromwell. He’s joined by MacCorkindale’s Micah, who believes he is the last true heir to the kingdom, and ‘romances’ in his barbarian way, Micah’s sister, Alana (Kathleen Beller).
But there’s a wild card, someone, or rather something, that has its own plans, the resurrected demon sorcerer, Xusia (Moll).
That’s a lot to have going on, and would be quite engaging if the story was solid enough. It’s not.
So to make sure the younger viewers (though they shouldn’t have been seeing it, as it was restricted – though watching it now, there’s almost nothing in it that would deserve that rating) Talon has a three-bladed sword, and two of them can be fired off! Wow.
It’s silly, and it doesn’t work, nor is it believable. The thing about Conan, and Lord of the Rings, is that there are cultures and races, and history in both those worlds, nothing in this film looks lived in, there’s no real sense of history to the world, and, like I said, it’s shot and looks like a television movie.
I should have left this one in the past.