Duel of the Boobies
Princess Evie (Monique Gabrielle) meets Deathstalker (John Terlesky) when she’s being abused by the king’s guards. She gets him to help her on a quest to wrest control of her kingdom back from Jarek the Sorcerer (John Lazar) and his clone of Evie (also Monique Gabrielle). They have some comedic adventures, etc.
Nevermind my low rating. This is a really good movie.
While the first ‘Deathstalker’ movie played it with a straight face (making it a much easier movie to poke fun at), this second installment in the series is tongue-in-cheek all the way. It did make me laugh as hard (or perhaps even harder at times) as with the first one, though maybe the enjoyment I got out of ‘Deathstalker II’ might be a bit less… how shall I put it… satisfying? Because after all, we’re supposed to laugh with this one, and when it comes to the humor, it is as dumb as it gets. But still, nothing too wrong with that, I suppose. And to make things crystal clear from the get-go, the fun already starts in a most verbal way, just before the opening credits, when evil sword-wench Sultana (Toni Naples) shouts “I will have my revenge! And Deathstalker too!”, and then whoosh, the “Deathstalker two” title-logo comes on. Brilliant.
Part of the fun still comes from unintentional events, like scenes starting and ending abruptly, a chase-scene on horses were people just seem to be riding the same part of the road endlessly, stock footage from the first ‘Deathstalker’ (which has a different look, easy to spot) inserted into this sequel for pointless reasons, etc. Another reason for incomprehensible chuckles comes from the movie’s subtitle. It reads ‘Duel Of The Titans’, supported by crackling flames… What titans? Who? Where are they? And like if the opening-credits weren’t enough to make us reflect on this movie in a grinning or dumbly drooling fashion, then wait until the end-credits start to roll. They show us a handful of bloopers, at times even supported by silly voice-overs. Those bloopers are likely to kill off any braincells one might still have after viewing ‘Deathstalker II: Duel Of The Titans’! (Which titans?)
The performances of the whole cast, this time, are indeed deliberately campy. Most actors handle a contemporary language completely unsuitable for a swords & sorcery film. Especially our hero (John Terlesky) seems to be exquisitely enjoying himself doing so. Blond Barbie-doll Monique Gabrielle (in a double-role, no less) was as painful as she was funny, watching her deliver her lines trying very hard to strike the right comical note (or vicious note, for that matter) when called for. And has John Lazar (of Russ Meyer‘s ‘Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls’ fame) ever acted so laughably idiotic before in his entire career? Fitting for these slapstick characters, is the fact that they all seem to run around on sets made out of cardboard or styrofoam. In other words: the sets are real works of art.
Of course, ‘Deathstalker II’ offers enough female eye-candy. Knockers and buttocks are displayed quite randomly in this one (thank you, Jim Wynorski). Sometimes they use stock footage from the first movie for this purpose, but thankfully there’s new boobage to behold also. Especially the sex-scene between Deathstalker and evil princess Evie is as gratuitous as can be. The one naked girl dancing in that completely retarded bar-fight (at the beginning) was quite funny too. Her dancing skills were limited to ‘wiggle waggle, bounce & shake’ and ‘duck’ when a hurled brew-holder comes flying over her head. Now that we’re talking retarded scenes anyway, the movie reaches an absolute lowest point in the middle during an embarrassing wrestling scene that goes on for way too long. It’s Deathstalker vs Utterly Fat Growling Barbaric She-Thing (Queen Kong). I think that says enough.
But you have to at least give Jim Wynorski some credit: He really watched and understood the first ‘Deathstalker’ movie. He took several elements of the first film (characteristics of the ‘hero’, the nudity,…) and enlarged, emphasized and mainly spoofed them (out of the many examples of this, Warthog-Brute returning for a silly cameo is one of them). So at least, he aims to please and for the bigger part also succeeds. Even that inappropriate western-vibe is, at times, again present on the movie’s soundtrack. And will you check out that one, eardrum-piercing sound-sample, used numerous times throughout the movie. It goes “shreeeeeeeuw!!!”… What was up with that? Other highlights include scenes distinctively showing Wynorski‘s inexplicable ways of film-making. One scene has Stalker and Reena on a horse, trying to escape some villains repeatedly shooting exploding arrows at them. The villains just shoot without aiming and the scene is packed with seemingly pointless explosions. It’s like Wynorski just said to the pyro-technicians “When I yell action, you guys go nuts, okay? I don’t care how you do it, just make sure you blow the hell out of everything!”. And so they did.
Another favorite scene of mine (and another pointless one it is), is the one with the zombies at the green cemetery. I don’t know why or how this cemetery is all green, but it is. Just look at it: Green graves all over the place. Magnificent. I guess it’s all just proof that ‘Deathstalker II’ is one in a row of many successes by a genius film-maker. So, watch more Wynorski films is the main message here. Thanks for listening, and I’m off to prepare myself mentally for entering the third installment, undoubtedly yet another epic tale of mind-boggling barbaric fantasy, called ‘Deathstalker And The Warriors From Hell’. Unfortunately, it was not directed by Jim Wynorski.
Perfesser Deviant’s review:
A cheerfully bad pastiche? Yes Mr. Wynorski, sounds fine.
Some silly – but good – music, some bad – but enjoyable – acting, and some topless – oh mama! – women. This has everything that a fan of cheap swords and sorcery fan could beg for. Watch the end credits for the many outtakes.
Swords: this film has a lot of fighting. Deathstalker takes on the king’s guards early on in a fight that’s part swashbuckling and part sillier still. They wander into an amazon Lilith fair where the Amazon Queen (Maria Socas) makes ‘Stalker fight the very large Champion (Queen Kong) – she’s a former wrestler – to the death, though he doesn’t kill her. Later, they encounter some zombies that look less convincing than many that appear in zero-budget zombie films. Still later Deathstalker has to fight female warrior Sultana (Toni Naples) – isn’t a sultana a kind of raisin? – and so forth. The fighting is okay, but nothing special.
Sorcery: there’s a bit. There’s the whole wizard cloning the princess thing, the resurrection of the slain Sultana as well as some scrying and sword-stabbing via pools of water. The film does go into the ecology and physiology of cloned princesses – Richard Attenborough did not participate – which is quite fascinating. You see, cloned princesses begin to fade from existence if they don’t rip the faces off of people and transmute the torn faces into a spongy gold substance which they mount over their beds. This serves the dual purpose of feeding their evil empty vacuous existences and padding their headboards so they don’t get a concussion while being log-slammed.
Sleaze: it’s a Jim Wynorski movie, duh! Most of the women show off their tits at one point or another and there are clips taken from the first ‘Deathstalker’ film to add more sleaze. Roger Corman liked the orgy scene in ‘Deathstalker’ so much that he re-used it several times over, which must have pleased those two women who mud wrestled topless. All of the women appear in leather or rubber or barbed-wire bras just to make sure that the male viewership don’t forget they have boobs. Not bloody likely.
Bad jokes: it’s a Jim Wynorski movie, double duh! Wynorski has been a fan of peppering his films with allusions / homages / blatant rip-offs of other, better films since he started. At the beginning, the princess gets Deathstalker to help her by telling him he’ll gain so much fame that he’ll be, “Right up there with Conan!” Later, while he’s being tortured by the evil raisin, they have an exchange right out of ‘Goldfinger’. It even includes a pointed self-reference to being a film at the end. Yes, Wynorski was making Tarantino-like films before Tarantino, but instead of inflicting a foot-fetish on us, he shows us boobs. Much better. He (Jim Wynorski) also appears as a dying soldier.
Trailer on YouTube.