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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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Theatrically released in France. See more »


Thoran of Malveel: I must avenge my father, Mak.
Mak: Oman's wheel turned on your father. It WILL turn on Sandros, too. And crush him, you can depend on it!
See more »

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User Reviews

Snake men rock, release this to DVD!
20 February 2004 | by (Palmdale, Ca) – See all my reviews

I saw this movie many years ago in the 80's on TV and those snake men stuck with me. Their laugh/hissing and other mannerisms really brought them and the movie to life. Then, in the early 90's, I rented it some place and still found it to be an interesting, strange movie that seems more faithful to the look and feel of medieval fantasy than a lot of other movies at the time, or since! I could not care less about magic and whatnot in these movies but the snake men rock, no question about it. I recently won a copy on ebay and watched it. It still holds up. Yes it's dated, but it has an interesting sort of artsy feel to it. They made the most out of their budget on this one (think of the movie Laserblast), and the acting ranges from passable and good enough to pretty cool. The snake men STILL look great, as do plenty of other things in the movie, and for an 80's medieval fantasy flick it has an interesting, semi-complex story line that's not as cheesy as some far worse attempts at the time. A very dreamy like quality flows through the movie, with interesting camera affects here and there, including a sort reverse negative look (yet in color) if that's what it could be called. Another one of the things that helped this movie is that the cinematography is well done throughout, with some above average striking images here and there. No this is not Conan, or Dragonslayer filming quality, and it does have a made for TV feel to it (it was in fact a TV movie pilot for a series that did not happen). Even the electronic synthesizer score seems to get better as the movie goes along. The overall style of The Archer still is just enjoyable to watch. Indeed, in some places I far prefer it to the pacing of some recent flicks. They really try to immerse people here. This is very much a quest/adventure flick that seems greatly influenced by the rise of Dungeons and Dragons at the time. With the recent DVD release of so many other 80's medieval fantasy flicks (even Hawk the Slayer), I see no reason not to release The Archer to DVD. It was far more of a serious and well done attempt (by Universal Studios in 1981) at the medieval fantasy genre then many other medieval fantasy flicks were back then. Needs to be released on DVD!!

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