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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hoping to cash in on the 80s Conan frenzy (3.5 stars), Sept. 20 2011
Yves-Michel "B movie bum" (Montreal Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sword & Sorcery Collection (DVD)
Sword and sorcery films are a personal favorite of mine. You can make a good movie as long as you have a believable hero, a good cause to fight for, some lightly dressed gorgeous ladies (but not nude !!!) to show and some well rehearsed fight scenes. More than a 100 of those sword and sandals films were made, in the 50s and 60s, using this simple recipee. This quadruple program follows the same tracks as their ancestors with one exception.... the movies are loaded with 80s style nudity and some brief sexual violence scenes (as they were done a decade before these movies were shot). The whole ensemble left me lukewarm. Maybe because I went through puberty over 30 years ago. Keep in mind that those movies were made to capitalize on the success of Arnold's Conan.

"Sword and the sorcerer" is starring David Carradine in a setting that is dear to him. This samourai movie is as slow paced as the serie "Kung Fu". The fighting is scarce and the aging Carradine is offering us an emphatic, yet charming hero. The producer is using his bigger resources to the max. It is, by far, the best of the foursome. It could have used more action, but it turned out alright.

"Barbarian Queen" could have been great, if it would not have used so many clichés from the 80s (I am a kid from this period). The main actresses should have been better trained a handling the double-hand sword. The fight scenes are painful to watch. The producer could have paid more attention to details. I dou't think that true amazons were wearing Cover Girl eye-liner and the lastest shade of lip gloss. The whole cast looks like they just shot a mid-80s heavy metal video. Fabulous looking girls that are out of sync with the theme of the movie. Some great nature photography is to be seen and the story is adequate. The male cast is unusually good, even if relegated to a bunch of minor roles. It could have been very good, but it is too much of a poseur-fest.

"Deathstalker I" is a Conan style movie. The star of the movie has the right physique and the right fighting moves. His acting is so-so, but Cimmerian action is not Shakespearian either. The traditional Sword and Sandals elements mix is almost too strickly imposed on us. Quite entertaining, despite being very generic. It actually launched the career of Lana Clarkson (Barbarian queen).

"Deathstalker II" is so bad, that it is truly bad. At times, you will be wondering, if you are watching a parody of this sub-genre. The 80s trash talk collides with the medieval atmosphere they are trying to create. The sets are minimal and the sword fighting is hilarious to watch. The main actor looks like a bad spinoff of David Cassidy. His sidekick was a Penthouse pet in 1982. That is the high point of this horrible flick.

Oh yeah, the skin !!!!!! The box set is filled with nudity. The ladies splendid bodies are shown in perfect fashion and timing (Harem scenes or the mandatory dancing scenes) on some occasions. But for the most part, true to the 80s teenage boy films, the flesh shot are there just to show heavenly arousing Femme Fatale. A feast for sore eyes.... The scene where a topless Lana Clarkson (Barbarian queen) is tied to a torture wheel, has reached cult status. They did a similar setup in BQ 2. The few rape episodes are there to make Evil people look even more evil. The woman worshipper that I am, could have done without them.

Even if these movies are far from being Sword and sandals classics, the boxset is worth the price that you are asked to pay. Beware !!!! you have to be a true S & S. films fan or a lover of the 80s fashion. 2, 3 or 4 stars depending on the movie.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful one to have, Aug. 27 2012
Kevin Barton (Whitby, ON Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sword & Sorcery Collection (DVD)
I mostly enjoy the first Deathstalker, but I did not want to bother with the sequel. Barbarian Queen is what I love about this movie because it makes me think of Lucy Lawless from Xena Warrior Princess. These movies I can watch, but I would not bother with Deathstalker 2.
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Sword & Sorcery Collection
Sword & Sorcery Collection by John C. Broderick (DVD - 2011)
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