Sunday, January 15, 2006

Wizards of the Demon Sword

Trailer till Wizards of the Demon Sword från rstvideos trailerarkiv.

Before we get to tonight's movie, Spaceflight Now has a mission status page up for tonight's Stardust capsule return. The latest post indicates the return capsule has separated successfully, so everything's basically on autopilot between now and the landing, which will be just over an hour from now if all goes well. This is not as exciting as a landing somewhere else, to be sure, but I freely admit I'm a total geek over this kind of stuff, so I'm keeping tabs on it anyway. Also, they did one of those "send your name into space" things, storing the names on a chip in the return capsule. So my name's on board the thing, and I'd hate to see anything bad happen to it.

As you may have guessed from the title, tonight's movie is Wizards of the Demon Sword, yet another cheesy 80's(-ish) sword-n-sorcery flick. This one has all the staples: A damsel in distress, a roguish adventurer, a wisecracking sidekick, a wise and eccentric mystical old hermit, an evil wizard with a "brooding" castle that looks to have cost at least $1.98 to build. They're fighting over a cheap-looking magical object of incredible power (this time a small dagger with a clear plastic blade), which involves a lot of so-so swordplay, the hero and damsel riding around a lot on horses, a harem scene, some gratuitous nudity, bits of stock footage very obviously stolen from other movies with bigger budgets. This time the stock footage provides all the film's crowd scenes and all of its monsters -- stop-motion dinosaurs, no less. At one point, the hero and the damsel are riding along, discussing what they want to eat. Cut to footage of a small dinosaur walking around, doing its thing. Damsel points and says something like "let's eat that!". Hero whips out a very small dagger and flings it out of the frame. There's what I guess is a dinosaur screech, and we cut to the pair chatting after a hearty meal of "lizard bird", as they keep calling it. This is great stuff, I tell you.

The best S&S movies avoid taking themselves too seriously. This one knows it's covering all the cliches, and keeps its tongue firmly in cheek. The sillyk, stilted dialogue is sometimes funny, although it gets old after a while. Everyone has fabulous 80's hair, permed to perfection. Everyone except the wise hermit, who sports one of the silliest fright wigs you'll ever see, and a fake beard to match. The hermit also hails from far south of the Mason-Dixon line, saying things like "Foolproof plans ain't easy to come by, son!". Did I mention this is great stuff? I mean, you'll probably enjoy it more if you have a beer, or two, or three, but you have to admit that's true of most movies. I'm not saying it's a good movie, certainly. Oh, no, it's a very, very bad movie, but it's bad in a good way. It's no Deathstalker II, to be sure, but if you see it and don't like it, I promise to give back every cent you paid me for this advice.

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