Monsters & Mullets: The Warrior and the Sorceress (1984)

Warrior_and_the_Sorceress There's something appealing about the idea of transposing tropes associated with westerns into a fantasy setting.  Who doesn't love a nameless, morally-ambiguous goodish guy savin' the wimminfolk and the grateful townspeople with nothing but his wits and his trusty Colt .45/broadsword?  Steel Dawn may not have proven a particularly successful venture, but writer/director Lance Hool can't be faulted for trying to bring something new to the table.  There are only so many Conan knock-offs one can stomach, after all - and I say that as someone with a strong stomach for Conan knock-offs.

But spicing up your barbarian cheesecake with a little revisionist western nutmeg isn't quite the same thing as merrily ripping off a classic western and dumping it into genero-fantasyland.  Witness today's Monsters & Mullets feature, the 1984 David Carradine-starring The Warrior and the Sorceress.  If you feel like you've seen this movie somewhere before, you have.  Only last time, it starred Clint Eastwood.  And didn't suck.

NB to the above poster: there are no blonde women in this film.  The titular sorceress is a brunette.

Continue reading "Monsters & Mullets: The Warrior and the Sorceress (1984)" »


Monsters & Mullets: Steel Dawn (1987)

Steel Dawn Never heard of this Patrick Swayze-headlining, post-apocalyptic re-feudal-futurisitc samurai gladiatorial western?  Neither had we.  In what would prove to be a prophetic bit of cinematic recussitation, we dug Steel Dawn up out of the bargain bin at a cut rate DVD store.  Turns out, everything about Steel Dawn is bargain bin and/or cut rate.  Just about the only part of Steel Dawn that isn't cut rate or bargain bin is The Swayze himself, gamely swirling around in a whirlpool of bad extensions and Vaseline-smeared lenses. (Steel Dawn was released the same year as Dirty Dancing, which might go a long way towards explaining why you missed it the first time 'round.)

Steel Dawn does boast one thing that sets it apart from every other Patrick Swayze-headlining, samurai-futuro-gladiatorial-feudal-western out there: the worst kissing scene ever committed to celluloid.

Continue reading "Monsters & Mullets: Steel Dawn (1987)" »


Monsters & Mullets Bonus Feature: Hawk the Slayer the Drinking Game

Hawk the Slayer It is a truth universally acknowledged that the best way to view movies both be-monstered and be-mulleted is with a glass of some fine beverage firmly in hand, and that the constant progression of that glass from hand to mouth is likewise of the utmost necessity. 

It is, furthermore, of the greatest factuality that very few monsterous, mullety movies require regular oblation more than Hawk the Slayer.

And so it is with great pride that Pornokitsch presents to you this Monsters & Mullets bonus: the Hawk the Slayer Drinking Game.

Continue reading "Monsters & Mullets Bonus Feature: Hawk the Slayer the Drinking Game" »


Monsters & Mullets: Hawk the Slayer (1980)

Hawk True story: there has been a single, inevitable, universal response to "I'm going to watch and review every '80s high fantasy movie I can find!"  "All right," people say, "but when are you going to watch Hawk the Slayer?"

So it was that Hawk the Slayer  achieved an almost mythical status in my mind.  It became the ur-film; the uber film; the one film to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

Naturally, it was the film with which Pornokitsch chose to ring in the new year.  Yes, we invited several friends over, invented a drinking game, and watched Hawk the Slayer between the terminal minutes of 2010 and the stacatto bursts of blinking Christmas lights and distant fireworks that ushered in 2011. (And for about 45 minutes on either side.)

And did Hawk the Slayer hold up?  Yes, my friends.  Hawk the Slayer held up very well.  Very well indeed.

Continue reading "Monsters & Mullets: Hawk the Slayer (1980)" »


Monsters & Mullets: Willow (1988)

Fellowship

A reluctant hero of small stature is tasked with depositing a tiny, dangerous object into safe hands.  Leaving his bucolic farmland life behind to journey into dangerous realms, he is joined by two bumbling layabouts, a wizard, a reluctant hero, an earthy bearded mercenary and a long-haired archer, all the while pursued by the forces of darkness.

I am, of course, referring to the 1988 high fantasy classic Willow

Continue reading "Monsters & Mullets: Willow (1988)" »


Monsters & Mullets: Fire and Ice (1983)

Fire and Ice Monsters & Mullets is Pornokitsch's ongoing project to review each and every 80s fantasy film we can get our grubby little mitts on, and rate them according to various incredibly empirical metrics including, of course, the number of monsters and mullets each movie features.

Fire and Ice, the 1983 animated high-fantasy collaboration between Ralph Bakshi and Frank Frazetta, has a lot going for it.  Like, a lot.  The screenplay is by Gerry Conway and Roy Thomas, who'd worked on Conan for Marvel.  The character design comes courtesey of Frazetta, the love-him or leave-him but inescapable fantasy illustrator, and the animation is typical batshit crazy Bakshi rotoscoping (cool, if you like batshit-crazy Bakshi rotoscoping).  Why, even the backgrounds have a surprising genealogy - they're by James Gurney and Thomas Kinkade himself, the Painter of Light (tm). 

What a pedigree!  But, oh lordy, how terrible is the end result? 

Terrible indeed.

Continue reading "Monsters & Mullets: Fire and Ice (1983)" »


Monsters & Mullets: Excalibur (1981)

Excalibur_movie_poster Monsters & Mullets is Pornokitsch's ongoing project to review each and every 80s fantasy film we can get our grubby little mitts on, and rate them according to various incredibly empirical metrics including, of course, the number of monsters and mullets each movie features.

The problem with any post-1975 cinematic treatment of the Arthurian legends is the long shadow that Monty Python and the Holy Grail casts.  Holy Grail isn't just funny, and it isn't just eminently quotable; it's also a carefully executed piss-take of the self-serious, ponderous medieval epic -type films that have infected cinema since Cecil B. Demille launched Geraldine Ferrar as Joan of Arc across screens in 1917. 

In such films, the viewer is expected to understand, the combined weight of armor, arms and dirt dragging down the characters is directly proportional to the movie's thematic heft; the more of the former, THE MORE IMPORTANT THE MOVIE, SO SIT UP AND PAY ATTENTION ALREADY.  (Symbolic corollary:  good guys are always dirty because they're too busy saving maidens and fluffy kittens to bathe, while baddies are always clean because their priorities are wrong and villainous.)

Continue reading "Monsters & Mullets: Excalibur (1981)" »


Monsters & Mullets: Krull (1983)

Krull Although fantasy films have been produced more or less steadily since the 1940s, the 1980s saw an unprecedented explosion of such movies, slashing and bashing their way out of our cinemas and video players and into our hearts.  Monsters & Mullets is Pornokitsch's ongoing project to review each and every 80s fantasy film we can get our grubby little mits on, and rate them according to various incredibly empirical metrics including, of course, the number of monsters and mullets each movie features.

There was a brief moment, a fleeting few seconds during the first ten minutes of the sci-fi/fantasy mashup/horror that is Krull where it seemed that the film might actually do something interesting, possibly even unique. I sat up straighter, brushed the cat off my lap, and started paying attention.  Alas, all that promise was destroyed within about 8 seconds.  (I'd go back and time it, but that would mean watching even a fraction of this movie again, and I'd rather eat my own tongue.)  Ultimately Krull exceeded all my expectations - but not the good kind of expectations - and earned itself a spot at the (very) low end of the Comprehensive Monsters & Mullets Awesomeness Spectrum.

Continue reading "Monsters & Mullets: Krull (1983)" »