1982 / Director. Albert Pyun. Movie #1
Continuing my ongoing Albert Pyun retrospective, I have recently revisited his first and most successful film, The Sword and the Sorcerer. It tells the story of a mercenary warrior, Talon, who discovers his royal heritage while helping a princess defeat an evil sorcerer tyrant. It's a simple S&S story, made well and shot nicely. It's an impressive debut from Pyun and he clearly understands the cliches and syrupy nature of the genre and so with a tongue planted firmly in his cheek, he made a fantasy movie that feels classic. Watching it I was reminded of some of the older Hurcules films and Jason and the Argonauts. At the time of its release it was surrounded by an avalanche of likeminded films such as Beastmaster, Conan the Barbarian, Excalibur, Dragonslayer, Krull and a heap more. Sword & Sorcery was an unquenchable flavour at the time and had Albert's film not been churned up in the fold, I have no doubt it would have fared even better. Thankfully audiences are smart and time has been kind to The Sword and the Sorcerer. It has appreciated over the years and its use of practical effect and fantastic make up has given it a longevity. Despite a few brief moments of graphic violence and women's jubblies, I would suggest it's a great film for tweenage boys. I think it stands up well. The film ends with a title card, which reads "Watch for Talon's next adventure Tales of the Ancient Empire coming soon". Cut to 28 years later.