The Sword and the Sorcerer

The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982)
Anchor Bay Entertainment
Cast: Lee Horsley, Kathleen Beller, Simon MacCorkindale, Richard Lynch
Extras: Trailer, TV Spot

Talon (Lee Horsley) is the legitimate heir to the throne of his father’s kingdom, but he flees the country to save his life when the evil Cromwell (Richard Lynch) is seizing the reign with the help of the sorcerer Xusia (Richard Moll). For year, Talon roams the country as an adventurer helping those in need of his sword until one day, his own kingdom requires his help to rid itself from Chromwell once and for all.

What starts out as a serious fantasy film, quickly turns into an action comedy in the vein of ’Hercules’ and ’Xena,’ which eventually is the film’s biggest shortcoming. It seems undecided whether it wants to be serious or funny and the result is an inconsistent mix of fantasy and comedy.

Anchor Bay Entertainment is presenting ’The Sword and the Sorcerer’ in its original 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio in an anamorphic transfer. The picture is generally free of nicks and blemishes, but the movie’s fairly low production values come through in noticeable grain almost throughout. The transfer nonetheless has a good level of detail and color reproduction is good throughout with vibrant colors and deep, solid blacks. Colors never bleed and are sharply delineated, giving the picture a very stable look. Flesh tones are naturally rendered, although shadows have a tendency to lose some level of detail on occasion. The compression is without noticeable artifacts.

’The Sword and the Sorcerer’ comes with a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital audio track that is surprisingly active at times. Although for the most part its implementation is very subtle with only ambient noises and some music elements filtering in through the rear, in a handful of scenes, the surrounds are used aggressively to good effect. Frequency response of the track is good and unexaggerated with a natural sounding bottom end.

’The Sword and the Sorcerer’ is an entertaining romp without major flaws – or highlights for that matter. It is very clear where ’Hercules’ has pulled its inspiration from after watching this film and the tone of the film makes you expect Bruce Campbell to come around a corner at any given second. Give it a try if you’re into sword and sorcery flicks.