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The Sword And The Sorcerer 4K UHD Review

“The Sword And The Sorcerer” gets the 4K treatment.

Directed by Albert Pyun (who is perhaps best known for “Cyborg”) and co-written by Pyun alongside writers Tom Karnowski and John Stuckmeyer, 1982’s “The Sword And The Sorcerer” is a fantasy action-adventure. The tale begins with King Titus Cromwell resurrecting a powerful sorcerer named Xusia with the hopes of at last conquering the Kingdom of Ehdan (led by King Richard). Cromwell eventually gets his wish, but he kills Xusia in the process as he fears a betrayal. Richard’s family is wiped out, but hs son Talon manages to escape. The story jumps ahead in time 11 years where Talon has become a warrior rogue. Xusia, as it turns out, is also alive and seeks revenge against Cromwell. Talon is hired by Princess Alana to retrieve her kidnapped brother Prince Mikah. Shortly thereafter, Alana is also kidnapped by Cromwell’s goons. Can Talon save the day?

“The Sword And The Sorcerer” has become a cult classic over the years and it’s not hard to see why. It’s a fairly entertaining R-Rated fantasy adventure filled with magic, violence, nudity, sword fights, witches, a big snake and some seriously dark moments (the opening with the creepy face tomb and the freaky looking Xusia come to mind). Sure, there are more complex and sophisticated adult fantasy films from that time period (“Conan The Barbarian,” “Excalibur” and “Dragonslayer” come to mind) but for sheer entertainment value, ‘Sorcerer’ hits all the right notes.

Where ‘Sword’ falters a bit is with the script. The story set-up is way more complicated than it needs to be. It felt like they had too many ideas for a single movie. The writers also definitely struggle to get the plot in motion and introduce the characters. Speaking of the characters, well, there’s not a lot of characterization to be had here. Much of the characters are pretty one-dimensional. Talon (played by Lee Horsley) is far and away the most developed character and it’s clear Albert Pyun wanted to build a franchise around him. Sure, he’s very much inspired by Han Solo, but he still has personality. Princess Alana (played by the underrated Kathleen Beller) is likable, but more could and should have been done with her character. Richard Lynch makes the villainous Titus Cromwell come to life and certainly gives the character more life than is on the page. Richard Moll (of “Night Court” fame) is creepy as Xusia, but it would have been nice to learn more about that mysterious undead sorcerer.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 2160p. How does it look? The print has been given a 4K scan from the original negative. It might not the showiest transfer but it’s a significant upgrade from past home video releases.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA and 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? There’s a title card that precedes the film about the audio quality which has some faults. The 2.0 track is muted and staticy but some might prefer it. The 5.1 is more cleaned up and layered in my humble opinion, but it does lack the surround sound quality.

Extras:
* TV spot and 2 theatrical trailers
* An informative new commentary with John Charles and director Albert Pyun.
* A”Trailers From Hell” segment on the film by Marshall Harvey.
* 5 separate new interviews with actress Kathleen Beller, co-writer and co-producer John Stuckmeyer, editor Marshall Harvey, F/X artist Allan Apone, and the legendary F/X artists The Chiodo Brothers. These are all extensive interviews that really shed light on each of the interviewees experiences and careers.
* A tribute to the late stuntman Jack Tyree.
* Still gallery
* “Tales Of The Ancient Empire With Albert Pyun”- A new 33 minute in-depth interview with Pyun who talks about indie filmmaking, his journey to Hollywood, how “The Sword And The Sorcerer” came about, production stories about the film, the sequel, and more.

March 12, 2022 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , ,

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