Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Five Terribe Cultclassic Eghties Sword, Sorcery, & Science Fantasy Films That We Love

If your into Sword & Sorcery flicks there's a certain how shall we say this level that the gets crossed right after 1985's Red Sonja film.

In the desperate quest to find films that the players haven't heard of there was a line that used to get crossed by old school dungeon masters who came into the video store I worked in back in the 90's in Boston. Those poor desperate souls who went searching to the far shores of Europe & Italy for there sword & sorcery fare. The Italians God bless their hearts made some of the most cheese ball films in the Sixties, Seventies, & Eighties. They did it with gusto but beware these are relics of a lost age that should not be sought out by the weak of heart. There's always been that cross point between science fantasy & post apocalyptic films.
There are flicks that should be classified as weapons of mass destruction of celluloid. First up is Yor: The Hunter From The Future which is based on a decent comic book property from Argentina back in 74 by by writer Eugenio Zappietro and artist Juan Zanotto. 

The original Seventy Four graphic novel series shouldn't even be mentioned in the same breath as the 83 film. Sorry but even though Yor has a cult following, its still a wholly separate entity from the '74 comic series. Still the film is by itself in a class all of its own but personally seek out the graphic novels which are far more worth your time.

This next one is has been on the fringes a long time, I'm talking about Hundra  a 1983 Italian-Spanish fantasy film directed by Matt Cimber and starring Laurene Landon. This is one of those Amazon pictures with an incredibly weird history. It's a rollicking good sword & sorcery flick with Amazons front and center. Its got a Ennio Morricone soundtrack worth the price of admission.   

On the flip side of this equation is the post apocalyptic films of , Enzo G. Castellari. Especially his1982 film, 1990: The Bronx Warriors is an Italian film with all of the makings of an old school campaign. Its sort of like Escape From New York on an Italian budget. But its an old favorite of mine & the number of times its been in the VHS player is shameful in my house. Enzo Castellari has been churning out post apocalyptic & grind house exploitation films longer then I've been on Earth. His stuff was always on tap for a more adult Gamma World first & second edition campaign.

The 1990 The Bronx Warriors was followed up with 'Escape From The Bronx'; "A rag-tag group of people must fight extermination squads amid their ruined city.". That's pretty much the entire plot of the film but its really bad/good Eighties fun from '83. These films were recently released by Blue Underground again & number of cult classic video companies a few years ago.In fact there's a great website with a ton of stuff for the fans of these films. 
These might not be great films but they sure were fun. 

Recently I got into an old Eighties title called Wizards of the Lost Kingdom which comes from Eighty five and while it has a horrid IMDB rating was one of those films that seemed be on an endless loop on Cinemax way back when.
Simon, son of the wizard, must flee when the empire is overthrown by the evil Shurka. Schooled in the arts of magic, he must find the Ring of Magic and the Sword of Power and defeated the wizard who killed his father. He is joined in his quest by  the swordmaster Kor, his faithful creature Gulfax, and the Forest Wizard Hurla."

This might be that lower tier of films that I would use for a Crimson Dragon Slayer 1.1 game campaign. The tongue is firmly planted in cheek with this film. The acting is horrendous, the plot terrible, the special effects are not that special but the whole product would make an excellent campaign.
Each of  these films marks a period in both old school gaming & film making that made people groan but gave us hours of amusement as well as entertainment.

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