The Warrior and the Sorceress (1984)

I'm pretty sure at least two of those are fake.

By definition, any movie with David Carradine in a lead role is a cult movie. Go on. Look it up. They won’t all be classics, of course. But cult? Definitely. Carradine tops the A-list of all B-list actors. Put him in a sword and sorcery concoction like The Warrior and the Sorceress, mix well with exclusively topless women, and season it with a dash of Yojimbo. It would be hard to avoid cooking up a cult classic.

Granted, it’s a little known cult classic. And the very concept of David Carradine in the armor from the movie poster gives me a bad case of the giggles.

The rest of the cast are mostly unknown faces, if not entirely unfamiliar ones. Anthony De Longis, looking shockingly fit and astonishingly young, plays Carradine’s chief rival, a warrior captain name Kief. Luke Askew and Guillermo Marín are rival faction leaders with just one functional water well between them. And they don’t believe in sharing … or subtlety. All that’s left is a village populated by half-naked women, armored men and mutants, and peasants in masks and sack-cloth. Warriors fight, peasants die, slavers invade, and so on and so on.

Carradine’s performance is wooden while De Longis plays it way over the top. But both are weirdly appropriate for their parts.

That girl has more courage than a warrior.

It helps that the titular sorceress and female lead, Maria Socas, spends the entire movie topless. This distracts from any issues we might have with the acting; she is exotic and quite beautiful and, well, we’re just shallow like that. But if you have issues with both gratuitous nudity and poor acting, you are in for a rough ride.

As long as we’re talking about gratuitous nudity–we were talking about that, weren’t we?–let’s talk about breasts. In case you are thinking that just two breasts on your naked dancing girls are not enough, this movie doubles down. We get a truly exotic dancer blessed with all kinds of anatomical extras. While I don’t want to spoil the surprise, just let me say that her extra pair of breasts tell only half the story.

Please don’t judge this movie on this trailer alone! This ridiculous trailer is really underwhelming, poorly cut, and sounds just awful. I mean the sound effects … seriously, truly awful. The quad-breasted dancer in the trailer? She’s not even the same dancer. Half the shit in this trailer isn’t in the movie.

There are no lessons in death, my lord. Only victory and defeat.

Eventually, Carradine, as the unnamed* warrior known simply as “The Dark One”, has to put it all to rights with the help of our sorceress and the requisite magic sword. Well, maybe the sword isn’t really so much magic as just really, really sharp. Events culminate when the rival warlords get overthrown and our two ultimate warriors lock swords. The final fight is fairly well choreographed if poorly edited, with lots of blood and blows that never actually land. No actual warriors were harmed in the making of this movie.

The film is produced by New Horizons (aka Roger Corman) and Aries Cinematográfica Argentina. The movie was made during Corman’s Argentina period in the early eighties. The exterior shots were filmed in San Juan while the rest was created on a soundstage in Buenos Aires.  This story is set in “an age undreamed of” which might be the distant past, the apocalyptic future, or on an entirely different world; it is pretty much irrelevant. Except for a couple of scenes, the entire movie takes place within one “village”. The sets are what they are. Wood and styrofoam mostly, would be my guess, with a lot of brown and gray spray paint.

David Carridine (left) is the Warrior
Maria Socas (far right) is the sorceress

Roger Corman is credited as an Executive Producer on this film and it was directed by John C. Broderick. The story itself is an obvious rip-off of Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo. But nobody appears to have been sued over it.

*Note: The credits actually call Carradine’s character “Kain” but nowhere is that name spoken in the movie itself. Plus, it is both odd and annoying that he is given a name identical to his most recognized television role.

The Good

In the "Good" category, we would normally include production values, top-tier actors, name directors, great effects, scenery, sets, music, etc. There is absolutely none of that here. Nothing.

The Bad

For the "Bad" category, we include low production values, cheap sets, odd costumes/props, 'B' level actors (or worse), third-rate effects, etc. Add in moderately bad acting and rough editing, plus odd music and sound. All of which are here. All of it.

The Ugly

The "Ugly" category is for all the stuff that defines the cult genre, like nudity, gore, and anything over-the-top or just weird. This film doesn't really deliver any sex, but it has plenty of nudity and other weirdness. Plus that Corman touch and the amazing Mr. David Carridine.

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