1985, Movies

Wizards of the Lost Kingdom (1985, Héctor Olivera, Alan Holleb)

This is a terrible fantasy film with slight more of a budget than you might expect and some credible costuming for a terrible film. It’s basically a fully ’80s fantasy film, with way less of a budget, and where a ton of the cast are dubbed because I guess they were speaking Spanish?

So this movie has a hysterically low 2.8/10 on IMDB which would lead you to think it’s one of the worst movies ever made. I guarantee you it’s not and if you think it is I have some recommendations for you. It is a terrible film, but it has some things that truly awful films usually don’t have – some credible performances (among plenty of not so credible ones), some decent costumes (for a terrible film), actual movie sets, and location shooting. Those things alone elevate out of the “Worst of All Time” category, at least for me. It does feel like there was at least a bit of a budget or money really did go far in Argentina in the mid 1980s.

The story is a classic one, with a child exiled because his powerful father is killed, though in this case he’s not the prince and his father wasn’t the king. (So, you know, it’s not quite Hamlet.) But there is a ton of backstory in the first couple minutes and you wonder why. Was this adapted from a novel or something? We don’t need the backstory. Anyway…

So a good chunk of the cast are Argentinian and must have been speaking Spanish because it’s clear their voices are dubbed, as if it was a Spaghetti Western or something. But they are at least “acting” in a way that is recognizable.

The funniest part of the film is perhaps Kor, the hero, who basically never fights – maybe it was in his contract – and just sort of gets out of the way as much as possible.

The effects are terrible – both the puppets and the “special effects” and it’s very clear they couldn’t get many locations as there is some repetition of sites and the main sets seem quite small. (But, I mean, at least they’re there!)

It’s a pretty ridiculous film but one I think I could have enjoyed as a bad movie even if I didn’t see it through Mystery Science Theatre 3000. And that’s saying something because many of them strike me as unwatchable.


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