Sword and sorcery epics are one of the more popular and mainstream genres of cult cinema. From Robert E. Howard to J.R.R. Tolkien, the barbarians and warriors of fantasy literature have been brought to life on film, carving out their own distinct niche in pop culture.

None of the movies featured here include heroes on the level of the mighty Conan, no hobbits, not even an orc. But we do have a scattering of slayers and the occasional cult, a handful of pretty nasty bad guys and the lovely damsel in distress or two. Some of them topless.

Warriors and weapons (and women) for the win!

There is just too much to love in this movie, including memorable characters and a unique set design, fantastic creatures and an iconic weapon. It is Liam Neeson’s third part in a feature film (though he doesn’t make it onto the credits on the movie poster). Ken Marshall and Lysette Anthony have that honor. Krull was directed by Tom Yates, who had a number of award nominations on his resume. Krull is often characterized as a family friendly–even gentle–fantasy movie. Yes, Krull is derivative. The special effects are not all that special. The dialogue runs from clunky to operatic. Yet Krull somehow stands the test of time and holds a special place in the hearts of many fantasy film fans.


A case could be made that both Marc Singer and Tanya Roberts were A-list talents when this film was made. Who am I to argue? Plus, points for the lovely Ms. Roberts’ brief but beautiful topless moment in a lake. The Beastmaster also enjoyed a long, long life on cable television. In fact, its well deserved reputation as a cable mainstay helps to cement far exceeds any theatrical success, helping to cement The Beastmaster‘s ‘B’ movie status. Not even Rip Torn (or his silly prosthetic nose) can change that. If anything, his over-the-top scenery munching further confirms our verdict that The Beastmaster is  is a true ‘B’ level sword and sorcery classic. And a genre defining little masterpiece in its own right.

There are places on earth much farther away from Hollywood than Argentina, but you wouldn’t know it from The Warrior and the Sorceress. David Carradine phones in a stoic performance as our Warrior, while the stunning Maria Socas has her talents completely and constantly on display as our Sorceress. There is a lot of mayhem to be had, and very little magic, in this Roger Corman produced swordfest. It’s a sword and sorcery variation on the classic Yojimbo theme, and a movie made only for Carradine or Corman lovers and very few others (like fans of four-breasted women).

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