Sorceress (1982)

Ok, 1982 happens. Conan the Barbarian comes out, and to everyone’s amazement, it’s a hit. Folks immediately move to cash in, and bam, the Sword and Sorcery fantasy subgenre moves into the exploitation sphere that had been inhabited by the likes of Italian Sword and Sandal movies two decades before.

Sorceress sounds like something a teenager would pick for a movie title, which is exactly what it is. Roger Corman apparently went to a high school and asked a bunch of students what would be a cool name for a fantasy film, and this is what he came up with. If you still aren’t sure what kind of quality to expect, this movie stars twins that were Playboy Playmates, director Jack Hill refused to put his name on the picture, and the music was all borrowed from Battle Beyond the Stars. Yeah, Corman ripped off himself. He’s cool like that.

Ok, here we go with the plot. An evil wizard wants to sacrifice his first born to his evil god, only to discover he’s had twins. They escape with the help of a dude who looks like he just went as Buddhist Moses to a costume party, and the next thing we know, they’re naked and talking about how weird a satyr’s erection is. I really wish I was kidding about that, but I’m not, it’s a serious conversation in the movie. After that their adopted family gets killed, so they join up with the horny satyr and a dude who looks exactly like what you think dwarves look like, meet a cheating gambling barbarian hunk, and end up arrested by the evil sorcerer’s evil princess girlfriend and her loyal army of birdmen wannabes. They determine which twin was born first, but the heroes escape. A bunch of monkey people take the right twin and the barbarian for a sacrifice, but dwarf dude and the other twin try to rescue them after an awkward sex scene where the other twin orgasms to imply the first twin is getting it on. Dwarf and other twin fight the undead, while a giant winged lion dude shows up in the air. The evil sorcerer summons his evil god, which happens to be a weird floating head thing. The flying lion kills the floating head, the twins kill the evil sorcerer, and the barbarian implies he’s gonna have a threesome with them. Everybody laughs, except for a bunch of sacrificial virgins who happen to be in a nearby room getting raped by the undead at the moment. Yeah, the film kinda forgets about them.

I know what you’re thinking. “But is it any good?” No, not at all, for a variety of reasons, only one of which is implied undead rape. The first problem is that there was no budget, and though Corman owned his own special effects house at the time, he didn’t want to bother using it, so everything looks hokey as all get out. Second, everyone was dubbed over by people back in the home office. Yes, everyone is speaking English, but all of their lines were dubbed and changed, so half the time it’s obvious that a main character just said something totally different. The worst is the evil wizard, who apparently was redubbed for every line he had, all of which are now the hokiest bad line reading of a fantasy film you can think of. Third, yes, I was serious about the horny satyr. He gets horny later in the movie at the weird orgasm scene too and starts dry humping the air. Then he shows up riding a bull with a bunch of random farmers to fight folks, and I don’t want to know what that bull had to go through.

Look, the script was written in a week, and I don’t know how much of it even survived the dubbing. Jack Hill thought he’d have much better special effects than he got, he wasn’t allowed to cast Sid Haig in the film which he had basically created the script for since they were friends, and he was told he’d be filming in a totally different country, but he ended up in Mexico, where a warehouse explosion caused part of the film to be destroyed. He did praise the Mexican crew though, so props to them. They’re the real winners here. Unfortunately, Hill came off as the worst loser and refused to even put his name on the movie once he discovered what was done to it. I don’t blame him either.

If you’re wondering who Sid Haig was supposed to play, I believe it was the horny satyr. So I guess maybe we’re lucky we didn’t have to watch him in a fur pantsuit thrusting angrily while a Playboy Playmate rubs herself over her clothes.

Also, during the scene with the undead, one of them definitely runs up behind one of the twins and gropes her. I actually hung my head in shame at that point.

Also, this trailer is not safe for work.

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