The Eighties. VHS Hell. Somebody made the big buck with exploiting certain structures of genre cinema and within a year the b-industry was at hand providing two shelves of rip-offs for your local mom-and-pop rental limbo.
Not only the usual suspects of quickie celluloid theft – Italy and Asia – worked that way. Also the smelly smelly underbelly of Hollywood grinded full throttle when it came to feeding the Realm of Videotica.
1984. Conan The Barbarian by right wing muscle wiener John Milius had just swept the theaters twice with it’s fascist only the strong and Austrian survive message. About 30 flicks – one trashier than the other – followed. Most from Italia, all great. Basta.
David Carradine (actually something like the 70s + 80s Messiah of filmic crap-a-rola) just like his dad acting where the money is, travelled to Argentina that year. Probably he made 8 films or something. The one I just watched is The Warrior And The Sorceress done under the tutelage of smut entrepreneurs Alex Sessa and Hector Olivera experienced in producing mainly barbarian movies and Women In Prison howlers line Amazons or Barbarian Queen.
Doctor Carradine, known to no idea movie-going cattle of todays day and age only as the Bill to be killed, stars as a lone sword master in a post-nuke and/or medieval world (the filmmakers somehow could not decide) out to play off two rivaling clan chiefs against each other to get money and their water reserves.
Well, what sounds like the umpteenth take on Kurosawa’s Yojimbo/Leone’s Fistful Of Dollars just in a different setting is actually the umpteenth take on Kurosawa’s Yojimbo/Leone’s Fistful Of Dollars just in a different setting.
It’s fun though. Carradine looks his usual stoned and not interested in the film and has to endure many an unconvincingly choreographed sword fight. The sorceress – imprisoned by a lizard faced Luke Askew (maybe still known to some from Easy Rider) to forge a magic sword for goals not mentioned – shows her boobs most of the time. Other women get drowned and beaten while Dave-O and his hosts eat chicken and fruit. Them crazy South American lady lovers…
Among the monsters battled are a room full of plush tentacles and a fat Buddha looking heel with a talking (kinda) lizard that looks like something an intern of Jim Henson’s would have been fired for even during the pre-Muppets days.
Having watched the film in my mother lingo of German as Der Krieger und die Hexe the dubbing once more had me jumping. Especially the fat guy who has a squealing voice I remember from my childhood calling Bud Spencer “Brother Snailshit” in the mighty movie and political allegory (possibly? Yes, yes !!!) Banana Joe.
When films bring back that kind of feel good memories they win in my book.