Deathstalker (1983)

Deathstalker is basically if you imagined the Conan the Barbarian movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger through the prism of the Gor universe, only with worse editing. It consists of two things: fights and rapes. Also there is some magic thrown in there and a decent ogre outfit, but I don’t want to distract from this movie basically being a horny thirteen-year-old basement-dwelling nerd edgelord’s wet dream. At least the fight choreography doesn’t totally suck.

In Deathstalker, an evil wizard with an awkward and ill-advised squid tattoo on his face has taken over a kingdom through his wily magic. The king that he deposed is none to thrilled about this, so he asks a dude named Deathstalker to visit a witch and get his kingdom back. Now Deathstalker is the only name the hero ever says, and I don’t know if it’s his first name or last name, but it’s reasonable I think to expect it’s like his last name, and his first name is something like Dave. He looks like a Dave.

So anyway, Dave goes on a quest to get a magic sword, makes friends with an older cursed guy, a warrior dude in an armored halter top, and a warrior lady who believes in only wearing capes and g-strings. Actually, that’s like the only underwear any women wear in this universe. I guess the g-string is the only underwear the denizens of the Deathstalker universe ever managed to invent. But yeah, Dave, old guy, crop top, and g-string hit up the evil wizard’s tournament, and a brawl breaks out, because if you stick a bunch of muscular drunk guys in loin cloths in a room with a bunch of nearly naked women, a mud pit, and an evil wizard, that’s exactly what happens. Dave proves he’s a good guy, so the wizard tries to kill him by transforming his lead guard into a woman to kill him. After what could have been an intensely awkward rape encounter (because in this movie universe, asking consent is apparently not possible), the lead guard gets killed by g-string, who also takes a hit and dies. Then the tournament happens.

Crop top proves to be too good, and he makes a deal with the evil wizard while hanging out in a torture chamber. Also, the evil wizard’s bad face tattoo swaps sides, revealing that it’s an even worse face tattoo than I thought. Seriously, he needs to get that thing lasered off or something. Anyway, crop top and Dave have a homoerotic fight which involves loincloths and breaking a bed. Dave kills his friend and then fights the ogre. After that, Dave goes after the objects of power that the wizard keeps. He pulls an Elven Mindsword trick straight out of Hawk the Slayer, gets the magic amulet, then beats up the wizard and takes his magic chalice. Dave then destroys the objects of power and feeds the wizard to his own slaves. In the end, the slaves draw and quarter the wizard while Dave pretty much goes full He-Man.

Yeah…so the best way I can think of to describe this is dude erotica (duderotica?), where you’re basically watching because you want to see naked women and nearly naked men fight and do stuff but don’t have access to porn. It was Roger Corman’s first foray into production in Argentina, which he continued to return to as a place for, ahem, “creativity” for nearly a decade. This particular movie features Playboy models as well as an early point in Lana Clarkson’s career, where she played the fashionless character g-string. By that I mean she wasn’t wearing anything which qualifies as fashion.

Look, Deathstalker is at best a cheap sword-and-sorcery knock off of Conan the Barbarian and The Beastmaster. It’s not a good film, and I’ve seen rape/revenge movies with less rape. Yes, it’s that much. There’s also four of these movies. If you’re wondering whether I plan to watch them…you should already know the answer is yes.

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