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The Archer: Fugitive from the Empire (1981)

The hero is given his mentor's bow (the Heartbow) which chooses its new owner when passed on. It fires arrows that blow up like grenades, but can only be wielded by the one chosen to wield ... See full summary »





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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lane Caudell ...
Toran of Malveel
Victor Campos ...
Gar the Draikian
George Innes ...
Captain Ria
Richard Dix ...
Ivan J. Rado ...
Mandras The Horse Chief
Tony Swartz ...


The hero is given his mentor's bow (the Heartbow) which chooses its new owner when passed on. It fires arrows that blow up like grenades, but can only be wielded by the one chosen to wield her. The hero is a member of a nomadic tribe wiped out by the Draikian Empire's forces. He attempts to find the wizard Lazar-Sa who might be able to help him. He is joined by a thief looking for adventure and cash, and the daughter of a goddess, Estra, looking to revenger herself on Lazar-Sa for crimes against her mother. Written by Rob Douglas <rdougals@stsci.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

12 April 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fugitive from the Empire  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The first major film to have a 100% synthesized score. See more »


Brakus: How was I?
Vors: You'll soon be king over them all. A sure bet... Your Majesty.
Brakus: Is that so bad Vors?
Vors: And what of Lazar-sa? What would the teacher say about your talk about loot and conquest?
Brakus: You know what he'd say, he said it all twelve years ago, then he went away. He just didn't understand us.
Vors: Maybe he understood us too well.
See more »

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User Reviews

Innovative, but ultimately average sword and sorcery fare
21 June 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This was apparently the pilot for a proposed TV series that, for better or worse, failed to materialise.

Indeed it has that curiously distinctive eighties TV series feel to it, which in itself isn't necessarily such a bad thing, although some of the visual effects are sadly now very dated looking, such as whenever the hero (who you'll have to do a double take to make sure isn't in fact Rob Lowe!) scores a hit with his 'Heart Bow'.

It has to be said that the actual film is rather pedestrian in its execution (which is probably partly why it never continued as a series) The characterisations are generally bland at best and the acting never approaches rising above average.

The real problem here however, is that nothing particularly exciting actually occurs. This is decidedly illogical for the idea of a pilot, in which the aim should surely be to initially grab the viewers attention with lots of action and eye candy and hope that they'll be hooked enough to yearn for more.

Nonetheless, this movie must be commended for what was at the time, such a unique and innovative premise for a television series (bear in mind this actually predates Conan the Barbarian and the plethora of sword and sorcery films that followed it)

Ironically, it was perhaps in part due to this last point that the series failed to get off the ground.....perhaps it was TOO ahead of it's time for it's own good.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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How about bringing this to DVD someone? bradley-matchett
Has been released on dvd in Germany, with English audio zizix

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