Sunday, August 15, 2010

Deathstalker II (1987)

I’ve been a good boy and have been watching part 4 and part 3 earlier, but it wasn’t until now it felt safe to continue the saga backwards with Deathstalker II. The first movie must have been some hit, because four years later our hero is back in the form of John Terlesky and with a lot of more intentional campiness, violence and jokes.

This time he runs into a princess in exile, Reena the Seer (played by Monique Gabrielle). She don’t tell him that she’s a princess and lures him away to help her kill the evil magician and Reena’s evil clone, so she can bring happiness and joy to her people again. Deathstalker smells money and joins her, but Jarek the evil magician (John Lazar) wants to stop them and uses all his power to create danger!

Something like that. I don’t remember all the details, because the story is not that important here. It’s the adventure, action, comedy and nudity that’s the main focus under Jim Wynorski’s competent directing. The movie is full of jokes – some in-jokes, some stuff that could almost belong to a parody. The dialogue is campy and ironic, without getting annoying – and even Monique Gabrielle, who is a terrible actress, is a lot of fun in her twin roles.

John Terlesky is maybe not the best actor either, but has enough charm and wit to carry the Deathstalker-character with good one-liners and a lot of physical action. Both him and the character sometimes reminds me of Bruce Campbell in Army of Darkness. John Lazar, who starred in way to few movies over the years, is fun and over-the-top as Jarek (a common Polish name by the way) and has a lot of chemistry with colleague, the evil sorceress Sultana (Toni Naples).

Everything is thrown into the mix here: zombies (which rises from beneath the ground like good old classic living dead – and the gravestones are worse than in Plan 9 from Outer Space, here we even see how they look from behind!), mud-wrestling, real wrestling – with a fun cameo by female wrestler Queen Kong, lots of explosions - and hell, even some minor gore! In the end credits we see goofs and mistakes from the shooting, so the whole movie is made with a lot of fun and a wink in the eye.

A damn nice and fun matinee adventure for us grown-ups!

(ah, and the DVD I have is the Australian one. Crappy quality, but uncut)

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