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In the fall of 1982 (which is the correct release date) I went with a friend to see this film simply because the poster looked so cheesy. For some odd reason this was the second half of a double bill with WITHOUT A TRACE, a serious film about child kidnapping! Including my friend and I there were about eight people in the theater when SORCERESS began to roll, and I dare say that the eight of us got at least $100 worth of laughs for our $3.50. This is one of the most inept films from the short-lived barbarian flick cycle, and that's really saying something! It appears that they lost the dialogue track and had to re-dub, giving the movie the look of a foreign film. I won't go into the plot since the previous review really nails it, but you simply haven't lived until you see the "epic" battle between gods Calgara (a giant Mexican woman's head with oatmeal on half of her face) and Vitaan (a seriously fake foam-rubber winged lion/man.goat?). As bad as this is, it is never boring, and is so crazily entertaining that I honestly rate it among my ten all-time favorite movies. VIVA SORCERESS!!!
I initially purchased this movie, along with two others, in a used
bookstore's `Our Owner Is Dead Sale,' for the hefty price of one dollar. One
must beg the question, of whether perhaps I got ripped
Sorceress is bad. Astronomically bad. Not the kind of bad that we're used to. No, not mediocre Hollywood bad. It's so bad, it's almost a religious experience.
The plot boils down to this: King/wizard Traigon promises his goddess, Kalgara (a big floating head that hisses and spits green lasers) to sacrifice his first-born child, for no apparent reason. However, he is quite bemused when his wife bears twins, making it difficult to discern which is the first-born. Deciding to resolve the question of their hierarchy later, he is about to seize the two infants, when he is killed by a Moses resembling, kung-fu fighter named Chronos or Chrona or some such. Chronos drops the twins off with some peasants and leaves. Years later, the FEMALE twins, named Mira and Mara, have been raised to believe themselves boys. A falsehood that is neither seen through by themselves OR the other characters in the movie, presumably because they wear hats. Anyhow, Traigon comes back from the dead (again, for no apparent reason) and orders his minions to find the `two who are one' (the twins.) An order which they fulfil almost instantaneously. After murdering the twins' adoptive family, the minions are made short work of by the plucky Mira and Mara, who are armed with big sticks. They also glow blue (once again, for no apparent reason.) After the evil minions are defeated, Baldar the big red Viking emerges from his hiding place behind the bushes to compliment the two young `men' on their fighting prowess. Then Chronos shows up and immolates himself in a bonfire (say it with me now `for no apparent reason'.) Anyhow, the remaining characters go on a quest of some sort, and are joined by Erlich the half-naked, befroed imbecile and the horribly perverse Pando the goat-boy (perhaps the most hateable character of all time.) Memorable scenes include: Mira and Mara emerging naked from the lake, to discover Pando the goat-boy grinning and "bah"ing at them in an entirely unwholesome way. (`What's that?' asks Mira or Mara `Which he carries there. Hanging between his legs. Is it a horn?' `A weapon perhaps?' adds Mara or Mira. `But how would he use such a weapon?' Then they beat the crap out of Pando and he runs crying.) Erlich's witty repertoire with the big, hairy, gravel-voiced gambler. (`Well, barbarian,' scoffs the semi-shaven wookie, in a dubbed on voice resembling a broken radiator, `don't dogs have ears? Don't they speak?' `We have ears,' replies Erlich, grinning like a lobotomy patient and holding two fingers on the sides of his head, `And we speak. Arf! Arf!') Mira and Mara's discovery of their actual gender. (`You're girls,' gasps Erlich as he sees the naked twins. `What do you mean?' asks Mira or Mara, confusedly. `I mean, you're not boys,' explains Erlich. `We're not?' wonders Mara or Mira. `Not boys? Are you sure?') Krakinon, the soldier who needs to cut down on the coffee, screaming with his eyes bugging out. (You really have to see it. It's a riot.) A butt-naked Erlich, sliding down a greased poll, where a sharpened stick waits for him in a VERY bad position below. (I cannot describe the horror of this scene in mere words.) Mira or Mara feeling the effects of Erlich and Mara or Mira's `love boogey' miles away and reacting to it, causing Pando to become `excited.' (`Now I KNOW its Erlich,' comments Baldar as he stares at the moaning Mira or Mara, leaving us with the question of just HOW he knows. Suddenly, Pando rushes towards her and is stopped by Baldar. `She's under my protection,' warns Baldar. Frustrated, Pando begins to jump up and down and `bah' as he as he AAAAH! MUST GET THE MENTAL PICTURE OUT OF MY HEAD! NOOOOO!) A "battle between the gods' that consists of a poorly constructed winged lion and a floating head growling and hissing at each other, until one blows up. Two words: horny undead. And Pando leading an army of goats and goat herders into Traigon's palace, where they just kinda mill around for, you guessed it, no apparent reason.
There are so many more memorable scenes, but I don't think I have the stomach to convey them to you. However, I will add that the movie ends on a pro-polygamist note, as Erlich rationalizes, `Hey, these two ARE one.'
I heartily recommend this film to masochists, as well as perverts who might find Pando's `antics' arousing.
Did I mention that this film declines to feature any kind of `sorceress' whatsoever?
Hmmmm, picture this if you will; a pair of sexy twin sisters who have a
delightful tendency to bare their (perfectly formed) breasts at any
given opportunity, barbarians, boobies, cruel torture routines,
boobies, monsters, boobies and magic..... Yep, everything any self
respecting, red blooded male could ever want for in a film in fact,
feature in this highly enjoyable sword & sorcery outing brought to us
by director Jack Hill.
The film never makes the mistake of taking itself at all seriously and is chock full of tongue in cheek moments and double entendres in addition to the requisite action goodies.
Highlights of special note include some particularly well rendered and creepy looking zombies, a cringe inducing scene where a main character narrowly avoids suffering a wickedly sharp spike up his back side(!) and a super hammy main villain.
Tremendously fun if you approach it in the correct frame of mind (and probably even better when one is drunk). Oh, did I happen to mention the beautiful boobies on display in this?
This film is so enjoyable. It's one of those movies you could only get when there were privately owned video rental shops, probably bought at a discount rate from some video wholesaler that gives people the opportunity to purchase large grab bags of cheap films instead of one or two expensive ones. When I found this one back in the late eighties, I was on a bad fantasy film kick, and this one beats 'em all. It's better even than any installment in the almighty "Deathstalker" series! If you can find it, have fun with this one. I'm sure the film makers did. I'm still trying to figure out if it's not one of the greatest movies ever made.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Busty'n'lusty medieval twins Mira (Leigh Harris) and Mara (Lynette Harris) vow to seek revenge on the evil sorcerer Traigon (a constantly snarling Roberto Ballestros) for both murdering their mother and attempting to kill them when they were little girls. Assisting the lovely ladies are horny barbarian Erlick (hunky Bob Nelson) and portly warrior Baldar (chubby wonder Bruno Key). Said mission is naturally easier said than done because Traigon has many tricks up his sleeve and is obsessed with sacrificing one of the beautiful'n'bountiful babes so he can become powerful enough to rule the world. Director Jack Hill, working from a blithely dopey script co-written by Jim Wynorski, loads this laughably tacky sword and sorcery fantasy romp with all the necessary ingredients to make it a so-dumb-it's-fun high camp howler: a constant fast pace, gut-bustingly bad dialogue (favorite line: "Death is only death, swine!"), hokey (far from) special effects, terrible acting from a lame no-name cast, an outrageously overwrought conclusion, a few nifty monsters (I especially dug the satyr which nays like a goat and the winged lion), and, of course, a decent smattering of gratuitous distaff nudity courtesy of the absolutely delectable Harris sisters. As an added bonus, we even get a thrilling score from future Oscar-winning A-list composer James ("Titanic") Horner and a last reel appearance by an army of zombie swordsmen. Sure, this flick is goofy junk, but it's still quite entertainingly silly schlock just the same.
Sleazy sword-and-sorcery fantasy as only Roger Corman can produce it,
"Sorceress" is good fun provided that you're not too demanding. It
delivers a generous amount of amusement and fun, especially when it
comes to the ridiculous dialogue, and its delivery. For the most part,
it doesn't do that much to stand out from the pack of other, similar
films during this time. But that all changes when it gets to the
climax, a full-on assault of cheese and spectacle, complete with light
shows and otherworldly creatures.
A large part of the charm, of course, lies in the casting of luscious twin sisters Leigh and Lynette Harris, playing warrior women Mira and Mara. It seems that one of them needs to be sacrificed by power-hungry villain Traigon (snarling and hammy Roberto Ballesteros). They take the fight to him, aided by such characters as the hunky young Erlick (Roberto Nelson) and the proud Valdar (Bruno Rey), a guy who wouldn't look out of place in a Lord of the Rings feature.
That's really all you need to know, so you can discover the silly pleasures of this lowbrow feature for yourself. John Carl Buechler handles the creature duties, creating a likable "goat man" sort of character as well as a variety of ape-like beasts. The music is liberally borrowed from the earlier New World productions "Battle Beyond the Stars" and "Humanoids from the Deep". The action scenes are basically decent. The Harris sisters aren't exactly very good actresses, but this viewer can't imagine many fans of this type of thing caring all that much.
The sad postscript is that this turned out to be the final directorial credit for exploitation master Jack Hill ("The Big Doll House", "Coffy", etc.), who had a falling out with Corman over the matter of the editing. In the end, Hill retained a producing credit under his name but the direction was credited to a pseudonymous "Brian Stuart" (the names of Cormans' sons).
If you like fantasy features to be on the cheesy, sleazy, low budget side, watching this will be a no-brainer.
Seven out of 10.
Fans of the sword and sorcery genre might want to take a look at this laughably inept masterpiece about a pair of buxom twins fighting their evil father. This film has it all: bad acting, terrible dialogue, awful special effects, and of course, gratuitous nudity. As another reviewer mentioned, the dialogue appears to have been dubbed, even though the actors were clearly speaking English to begin with. This just serves to make the film even more amusing. Equally amusing is how initially nobody can tell that the twins are really girls, even though this should have been obvious to anybody with at least one eye. All in all, a fun film for fans of the genre. I give it a 7 out of 10.
Very bad movie indeed, this one, born in the wake of Milius triumph, trying hard to follow its steps, but failing miserably on all levels (bar one, perhaps, as the Harris twins are far from miserable - they are gorgeous indeed!). Perhaps hoping to get some points back with humour where it cannot compete in budget, the movie is a classic sword and sorcery tale, one of the first in the steps of Conan, but, bad, bad, bad... I could have rent the VHS, instead of buying it... Better luck next time, I think
The evil sorcerer Traigon dies in the attempt to perform a sacrifice to
his evil goddess. Not easily discouraged, he swears to return in 20
years and try again. His twin daughters have meanwhile grown into 2
skilled fighting ladies. Mira and Mara fight against Traigon with the
aid of a barbarian red-beard, a little faun with a flute and a gambler
'Sorceress' is a hilarious piece of 80s trash with a rare sense of humor. For example, when the sorcerer summons an army of zombies, they don't fight for him, but instead steal the temple virgins and run. "You know, they were buried for a thousand years", the barbarian explains. Among a wave of 'Conan' imitations I missed this one back in the day, but fortunately now got hold of the Blu-ray with interviews, from Roger Corman explaining the casting of 2 Playboy playmates ("they looked good in the nude scenes") to the special effects guy remembering how he spent even less money on masks than Corman expected, to the writer who was asked to "write a script by Monday". Low budget film-making, an adventure for itself.
There's so many bottom-barrel, schlock and obscurely minor sword and sorcery efforts that were being pump out after the success that was 'Conan the Barbarian (1982)'. This bargain basement production only caught my eye because of exploitation filmmaker Jack Hill ('The Big Bird Cage', The Big Doll House', 'Coffy' and 'Switchblade Sisters') being credited as producer. As for everything else, what else do you expect from something you just can't help but marvel at how bad and scrappy it is. Well bad films can still entertain, and 'Sorceress' fulfils that promise even if it's in an unintentional manner. Amateurish, crude and juvenile sums it up. But this kitsch quality amuses even with such stiff performances and a terribly dodgy script. That's the fun, as you got to make it up in some shape to cover up your restrictions. Just look at the out-of-this-world special effects. Primitive, but authentically animated ah what a light-show of colours (the glowing eyes were pure magic) and walking corpses. Actually the latter isn't badly done. However some of the murky night sequences had you rubbing your eyes. But your vision soon comes back with the constant topless shots and a hilarious organism sequence courtesy of the fetchingly gorgeous twins Leigh Harris and Lynette Harris. Their acting left a lot to desire, but you can see why they were picked. The story (by Jim Wynorski) moves along, but doesn't really grip or leave a mark. As for the action, it's quite a stop and go affair with director Jack Hill's sloppy, but spirited execution. You'll find yourself snickering at it than anything else.
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