By Violet J Nordstrom
Concise. Precise. Incisive.
None of the above applies to THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER. And, unless you keep a score-car, you might lose track of the players.
Xusia is the Sorcerer. Cromwell is the greedy, tin-plated tyrant who coverts the whole of the civilized world. Machelli is Cromwell’s chief counselor and insincere ego-booster. King Richard is the ruler of Ehdan, the original owner of the sword, and Talon is his son.
The plot isn’t hard to follow, you just have to pay attention.
Thanks to Mr. MacCorkindale’s sepulchrally intoned narration, the mood is nicely gloomy at the beginning. But things quickly sink into triple yuchh when Cromwell bids the witch (Ban-Urlu) to begin the spiel that will wake up Xusia. Misguided loyalty and flattery don’t get her or anyone else very far in the movie.
Okay. It’s not great cinema, and it’s obvious that the producers, writer and director couldn’t get their act together. But it’s fun.
A lot of the lines are funny, and despite the confusion of the story, the characters are reasonably well drawn. At least you can tell the good buys from the bad guys.
Lee Horsley (Talon) is tall, handsome and properly heroic. (I hated his hair)
Kathleen Beller (Alana) is pretty and innocent – and she knows how to keep things that way.
Simon MacCorkindale (Mikah) poor baby, gets to play the straight man in the merrily chaotic melange. He’s not at tall as Lee, nut is equally as heroic and even more handsome
Richard Lynch (Cromwell) and George Maharis (Machelli) get a lot of mileage out of being creepy and thoroughly disgusting.
Stirringly appropriate music alerts the audience as to what will happen next.
The scene between Cromwell and Mikah in the dungeon is well-done. The despair in Mikah’s voice is heart-rendering.
The climatic confrontation in the cave instills genuine horror, revulsion and fear. It’s shudder-time indeed when Machelli turns into Xusia. (Richard Moll)
Except for the blood and guts, of which there’s way too much, it’s a rousing, enjoyably tale. If you have an hour and a half to spare, it’s a nice way to have a good time
Entertainment value: 2.5
Acting ability: 3
All other aspects are open for discussion