Monday, 1 August 2016

Deathstalker (1983)

When Roger Corman got his start in the movie industry in the mid 50s, he worked on a simple theory: make a movie cheaply enough, and you can't help but turn a profit.  It worked pretty well for him.

Then the 70s and 80s rolled around, with their increasing permissiveness about content, and Corman twigged to something else: cheap movies with bosoms make even more money than cheap movies without.  It's a formula that goes a long way to explaining why Deathstalker grossed roughly thirty times its own budget; and to be frank, other than the fact that it could trade on the success of the previous year's Conan the Barbarian, there is pretty little else to explain it.

The ludicrously-named Deathstalker is a warrior in some nebulously defined fantasy realm.  He's also a man who says that "heroes and fools are the same thing", but who nonetheless seems to wade into pretty much every fight he comes across to bail out the victims.

During his travels, Stalker (as his friends call him) will encounter a magic sword, an evil sorcerer, terrible hair cuts, and an assassin who has been transformed into Playboy playmate Barbi Benton.  He's also encounter a whole lot of bosoms.  So many bosoms.

Frankly, you're not going to be watching this movie for either the script or the acting.  The former is just a bunch of fantasy tropes crudely stitched together by copious scenes of nudity, and the latter is what you get when you cast more for looks than talent (and where a lot of your minor cast are dubbed in via post-production because you made your film in Argentina).  The guy playing the villain isn't bad but other than that the most you can really hope for out of any of the cast is 'not entirely wooden'.

Of course, times have changed a lot since 1983, and nowadays if your goal is to see naked ladies, there are probably easier ways to do it than watching this film.  So unless you have a passion for schlocky 1980s fantasy films (like me!) you can definitely skip it.

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