Runtime: 85 minutes
Director: Howard R. Cohen
Starring: Rick Hill, Maria Ford, Michelle Moffett
MPAA Rating: R
Final Score: 5.5/10
Journey to a world of magic, where a mysterious woman seeks the mightiest of warriors to lead her dark army into battle. It began as a contest of strength – a brazen challenge to lure competitors from far away into the main arena of a Queen’s castle. Among the warriors stands the champion Deathstalker (Rick Hill) – who defeats all opponents. Mysteriously, combatants disappear from the castle one by one. Now, in a blood chilling Match of Titans, Deathstalker must defend his fellow warriors, his life, and his new found love (Maria Ford) against an invincible army of Stone Warriors and the Wicked Queen who rules them as master.
There isn’t anything new in the fourth installment of the Deathstalker series. Its plot is simple, and the dialogue is cheesy. Nothing about it is serious but it isn’t trying to be funny either. And even though it’s simple, the plot is mostly solid. There is a part of the movie that almost feels like a section is missing or they just didn’t feel like finishing the scene, but it doesn’t affect much. It tries to be a part of a series this time around, but the best it can muster up is a montage and references that tries to pull all the movies together. Whether it works is up to you.
Don’t expect to get attached to any of the characters. The three main characters have some chemistry between them and when they’re together it’s fun to watch, but they have no development throughout the rest of the movie, which leaves those moments stranded. Side characters are cliché archetypes that fill in the world and move the plot along but nothing more. Ideals and motivations are typical of 80’s fantasy, so don’t expect much from anyone. Romance is still mostly physical, although some mutual respect is grown between Deathstalker and Dionara. But that’s being generous.
They don’t hold back on the action. The fights are fun and over the top. So much so that it gets a little silly at times. It would be fine if it happened occasionally, but there is no other kind of action in the movie. Sword fights are what the movie is centered around, the entire plot involves a tournament to find the best fighters. With so much time dedicated it’s hard to miss all the moments that miss the mark. This doesn’t mean that it ruins the movie, it just doesn’t help the movie either.
When you have limited special effects in a movie, it’s much easier to point out the bad. There are not any great special effects in Match of the Titans. Some of it is okay, the fire effects are surprisingly acceptable, but most of it does just enough to not spoil the movie. The stone soldiers are clearly just people in makeup, and the rock fall that happens in a cave is just down right awful. The upside is that these things are not time-consuming aspects of the movie. Even the effects that are a major plot device have limited screen time.
Both costumes and sets are limited in variety. Most of the movie takes place in the castle with a few scenes outside of it. There’s nothing outstanding about the designs of any of the sets. They do their job. The same goes with the costumes. The designs are toned down and feel medieval, for the most part. Certain groups have some bad designs, specifically the “evil” group of women fighters. None of it looks terrible, though. Deathstalker even has pants.