Runtime: 81 minutes
Director: John C. Broderick
Starring: David Carradine, Luke Askew, Maria Socas
MPAA Rating: R
Final Score: 6.5/10
Travel to a distant world of exciting battles, exotic women, mystical secrets and evil wizards in The Warrior and the Sorceress. Kain was once an exalted warrior-priest but now wanders the planet Ura as a mercenary sword-for-hire. In the small village of Yam-A-Tar, he finds two vicious clans struggling for power, and he becomes embroiled in the treachery and battles, the mighty wizardry and rampant debauchery.
The idea of the movie is not bad: two warring factions are fighting over the well in town when a wanderer comes in and messes everything up, freeing the villagers. But when the two factions are about 100 yards apart it becomes ridiculous. Having such a small town and the small armies on either side creates a sense of child’s play to the film. They explore the fact that both armies need each other to keep control of the villagers, but that quickly turns into the town only having one ruler and ruins that thought.
While you may not like how he lives his life, Kain is a survivor. What little we learn of him reveals that he has given up on his order. He just wants to get paid and move on. Naja is a sorceress of the Homerac order that Kain left and wants Kain to help free the village and return to the order. She holds onto her values and refuses to create the magical sword that Zeg, one of the warlords, wants her to make. Together they are surrounded by colorful characters. Nobody has a backstory, so we just have what we see on screen. The plot doesn’t change any of the characters, they are introduced as themselves and they stay that way.
With only one named female character, it’s surprising that the movie did not have a romance. The sorceress is held prisoner for what she can do and not for being a woman, there are enough of those wandering around. And when Kain rescues her, it’s out of a sense of duty, he doesn’t immediately become infatuated with her. They are connected to each other through their order and it doesn’t move past that.
Almost every line in the movie is cheesy. There is not subtlety in the movie. One of the warlords has a problem with repeating his plans out loud. When people speak it’s almost as if they’re in front of an audience.
In scenes with a small number of people, the fights look okay. It is when large numbers fight that it just becomes a mess. In the few large-scale battles, it’s just a mindless mass that leaves random bodies when the two sides split. But when it is just 3 or 4 people fighting, it gets better. There are moments that look fake and it’s obvious that they aren’t fighting, but most of the fighting flows nicely. Weapons look real and characters take on multiple opponents at once.
Nothing stands out of the film as terrible. There are a few moments when the music could have been left lower, but not enough to worry about.
There are few set changes throughout the movie. We see the main square of the village, and inside and underneath the two castles. Each of the sets are done well.
Both factions of the village have very different styles. We have a more desert nomad look and the more fantasy medieval look. They both feel functional and real. The villagers and the slaves also had their own outfits that separated them from each other. All the costumes look authentic.
There are two different creatures in the movie that are puppets or props. Both look fine, but you can tell they are fake. The slavers looked great. Sure, it’s only their head and hands that needed make-up, but the artist did a fine job. Their design is simple enough, but still lets us know that they are not human. With the word sorceress in the title, there is very little magic. It is not until the end of the movie that magic is used. And when it is, it does not require special effects.
Having the slavers be a different species, and the two creatures that appear in the film helps give a fantasy tone. People using swords instead of guns is the fine line between fantasy and western. It works for the character though. We don’t get the epic sense of the world under siege. What we get is a hero coming into town to rid it of thugs.