"The Queen's Swordsman" is the penultimate hybrid of fairy tale and melodrama, a sweetly perverse tale of true love and family ties. Our Mexican costume pals Stinky The Skunk and The Ferocious Wolf live together in a cave in the forest, as life partners; Stinky likes to sew while Wolfie beats him up. They are taking care of a little human girl named Allandra, a wild child with a short-cropped haircut and a cute little leopard-skin dress. What are the beasts' relationship to the human child? She tells a villager: "The skunk's my uncle and the wolf's my pappa!" But the fey couple really love the little miss, and show their affection by singing to her: "Let's go find out why our little girl's pouting! Let's go find out why her anger is mounting! Don't you be mad at your father and uncle, it's bad for your liver, you know!" And later: "Now dry your eyes and I'll give you three wishes! It makes me sad when my daughter's capricious!" The K. Gordon Murray Songbook is strictly from hunger, but this weird and wonderful flick has the absolute worst. The singers don't even try to keep the rhythm after a while. It's more like beat poetry from an asylum than music. Anyway, Wolf and Skunk end up finding Allandra's rightful owners in a typically traumatic Murray ending. All in all, this is the best Mexican fairy tale (i.e. abominable and alluring at once). This gem was released during the 1964 holiday season on the bottom of a kooky double bill with the crummy "Santa Claus and his Helpers," an indecipherable patchwork featurette running less than 40 minutes. Yet the ads made "Santa..." out to be the main attraction, with this great feature a mere short subject!
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