Saturday Afternoon Matinee ’82

I saw this opening weekend in a packed theater and it was everything I could have possibly wanted and more. Directed in high style by Albert Pyun with more action and imagination than any other medieval fantasy film of the decade (outside of EXACLIBUR), THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER was a major spring sleeper hit in the most fabled genre year of the decade. Between CONAN THE BARBARIAN and YOR, HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE, musclebound warriors were all the rage but Pyun managed to trump the biggest budgeted films by focusing on a breakneck narrative with startling images such as a demonic tomb built of moaning faces, a hero jumping through the red air into battle and of course, the amazing, ridiculous, three-blade projectile sword. It’s too bad star Lee Horseley (a Tom Selleck -esque TV competitor) didn’t go onto bigger things as he’s quite fun and properly swashbuckling here while Richard Lynch is an apropos evil and ominous opponent with nifty make-up design. Albert Pyun should have parlayed this into a studio career as well, though he later made one of my favorite lo-fi TERMINATOR clones of the 90’s, NEMESIS. Amazingly, THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER is still not available on domestic DVD. Aye, though we still have our memories of coke, popcorn and peanut butter cups in the cool, darkened cineplex of the mind…

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5 Responses to “Saturday Afternoon Matinee ’82”

  1. Yeah, this one is fun. And add me to the list of admirers for Albert Pyn’s NEMESIS.

    State of the fucking art, Alex!

    Thanks, christian.

  2. Frank B Says:

    Saw it at a real, honest-to-god drive-in. I don’t remember much, except that it was more fun than Milius’s pompous, sluggish CONAN.

    • christian Says:

      Best place to watch it. I haven’t seen the film since it came out, but I saw it like three times in the theater. A revisit is in the works.

      CONAN was a lost opportunity, treating it like PATTON when it needed PULP.

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