1983, Movies

Deathstalker (1983, James Sbardellati)

This is a dumb, cheesy ’80s fantasy movie that has way, way more nudity than you normally expect from such a film. (Roger Corman was involved, so…) It’s a little higher budget than some of these, so it’s actually pretty fun.

Jenn said it should be subtitled Boobs and Beheadings and she’s not wrong. There is an absolute ton of unnecessary nudity in this movie and a bunch of people get their heads cut off. If you do a shot every time you see a man try to commit rape or a man gets his head cut off, you’re going to be really drunk. The Boston Globe reviewer counted six rapes and then stopped counting so that gives you some idea of how rapey the movie is. But even when men aren’t trying to rape the women, there’s nudity. (The lone woman warrior literally walks around with her boobs out for, um, reasons.)

The budget is higher than some of these movies, with reasonably credible makeup (for a low budget ’80s fantasy film) and actual sets that appear to have cost money. (I mention that because I’ve seen more than one fantasy or sci fi film from the past where they basically didn’t build set and just used whatever they could find.)

The highlight of the reasonably mediocre production values is the score, which is wild. The score is really busy but the composer also alludes to various different genres. At one point we get spaghetti western, at another point I swear we almost got Zeuhl. It’s just a really ridiculous, fun score that is very apt for the ridiculous movie.

Nothing about this is good. It’s a bunch of clichés from the plot to the hilarious hair and clothing of the lead actor (and everyone else, but especially him). But it’s competent enough that you can laugh at it, and enjoy its silliness, rather than wondering aloud to yourself about why you decided to watch it.


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