Phubbs -> Deathstalker (1983 - 1991) (9/8/2012 4:56:09 PM)
Hot on the heels of the Arnie vehicle 'Conan' came this Argentine-American production which quite blatantly jumps on that very same bandwagon.
In all fairness this isn't as bad as you might think. Despite being an obvious excuse to see females topless, a Playboy model as a brutal topless female barbarian, mud wrestling females, enslaved females, thongs galore and the obligatory barbarian sex scenes...there is some natty action to be had.
Cheesy plot you say? errrr yeah just a bit, no need to fill you in, just think of any swords n sorcery films. The main hero is played by Rick Hill and his blonde wig, very nice it is too, but he does look pretty sturdy I'll give him that. Bernard Erhard plays the rather generic evil bald sorcerer with goatee, but his approach is nice and hammy, clearly relishing the role. Dunno what that tattoo on his head is all about.
So not much happens really, the final fight to the death warrior competition is probably the best sequence with reasonable fighting going on. The rest is forgettable apart from the sequence in the castle with all the topless girls, but hearing Hill reel of his dialog is quite good fun.
The films title and poster are far more interesting than the final product. The poster actually has nothing to do with the film in any way really, its just there to lure you in I think. Low budget and camp, if it wasn't for the small amounts of blood and large amounts of tits on show it could almost be an Adam West vehicle.
Deathstalker II: Duel of the Titans (1987)
Look at the poster for this film, its damn cool with a really hot barbarian female, aggressive and looks like some old Amiga computer game box art. Remember the old classic computer game 'Barbarian'? I wonder if they got their box art ideas from these films and the poster art?. Now I look even the font on the text is similar for both, curious.
Now watch the film and you notice some slight differences with what you may have been expecting. Not that you really should be expecting much with this franchise. The cheap cheap low budget sequel to the first film really does earn the label of B-movie in every aspect.
The first film was reasonable but this is dire. The main lead looks the part but acts like a buffoon in lame attempts of badly executed humour. The continuity is gone as 'Deathstalker' is now a different younger actor, not that continuity was probably high on the directors list...or your expectation list either.
As before there are plenty of topless females running around, this is fine hehe, its just a shame they are all running the flimsiest sets you have ever seen. The comedy is in watching the bad acting against the homemade sets, just like good old Ed Wood.
Of course you can't really knock such a film as it was never meant to be a serious major production, although there is care involved clearly. Its nowhere near as good as the first and that was average at best, they actually use many old clips from the first film to flesh out this one. Bad move when you see the characters from the first film, ones that were killed even, errr did anyone check that?.
Deathstalker III: The Warriors from Hell (1988)
Third film and a third different actor as 'Deathstalker'. Probably the least interesting guy in the role so far, he's good looking sure but has a kind of Dennis Quaid look about him which equals a different kind of character.
This guy is a blonde version of the guy in 'Deathstalker II', cheeky and not overly muscular, in short neither are as cool as Rick Hill. Humour is the main ingredient as usual, well that and women's tits, its pretty much business as usual yet again.
The same locations, same costumes and same basic plot of 'Deathstalker' trying to beat an evil leader whilst saving the typically blonde girl. There is a plot about magical stones and trying to bring them back together but the outcomes are still the same. Amazingly the director hasn't used any stock footage for this outing which is nice and probably the only plus point. The adventure here is a bit dull really, action is sparse but production values seem a little better.
Again the films poster is pretty cool but in no way reflects the actual film. The films title is also obscure and doesn't really mean much but I guess it sounds good. First film still reigns supreme for me but people now know what to expect. Not to be taken seriously and gloriously a B-movie of epic proportions, playing on that fact now, by this point the cult status is looming.
Deathstalker IV: Match of Titans (1991)
Rick Hill is back! in this adventure he is up against an evil Queen with plans to rid the land of all the mightiest warriors.
Whilst the competition is in full flow the evil naughty Queen is killing off the warriors one by one (getting them drunk first) so there are none left to rival her. Of course she has forgotten how utterly cool and invincible 'Deathstalker' is and his overly tanned new buddy.
This is probably the second best of the tetralogy after the original film in my opinion. The plot and action is still as you would expect and nothing special but the humour is much better this time. Hill is clearly enjoying himself this time round, he's more buffed and his wig looks better hehe his new warrior friend also adds to the laughs. The guy is almost like an early Dwayne Johnson type sidekick.
Its all still highly cheap and cheesy but by now it would be wrong to change that. Every cliche in the low budget barbarian book is used all over again, blonde women are good, brunettes are bad, lots of tits and ass on show, soft core sex scenes at times and all wizards/wise men have long 'Merlin' type beards. Loved the stone slaves used by the Queen, some dazzling makeup and acting on show there I tells ya.
Still can't work out why they use the exact same archive footage from the previous films. The exact same reels are used! plus it still shows the previous characters that have been killed off!. At least use footage that doesn't show previous characters or footage not used before geez!. Anyway its all hokey as hell but you can forgive that, cult status has been gained somehow and Rick Hill is the man.