The Warrior and the Sorceress (1984)


Introduction

The Warrior and the Sorceress is a 1984 Argentine-American fantasy action film directed by John C. Broderick and starring David Carradine, María Socas and Luke Askew. It was written by Broderick (story and screenplay) and William Stout (story).

Outline

In a distant galaxy lies the desert planet of Ura, which has two suns. There, two rival warlords, Zeg and Bal Caz, constantly fight against each other in a battle over the village’s only wellspring. The mercenary warrior Kain emerges and announces that his skills are for hire to the highest bidder. Naja, a beautiful sorceress that has been taken captive by Zeg, changes Kain’s original purpose of taking the well for himself to saving Naja and the village people. Kain starts to tangle the situation, taking advantage of the ongoing feud while seeking to debilitate the rival warlords and defeat them.

Cast

  • David Carradine … Kain the Warrior.
  • María Socas … Naja the Sorceress.
  • Luke Askew … Zeg the Tyrant.
  • Anthony De Longis … Kief, Zeg’s Captain (as Anthony DeLongis).
  • Harry Townes … Bludge the Prelate.
  • Guillermo Marín … Bal Caz (as William Marin).
  • Armando Capo … Burgo the Slaver (as Arthur Clark).
  • Daniel March … Blather, Bal Caz’s Fool.
  • John Overby … Gabble, Bal Caz’s Fool.
  • Richard Paley … Scar-face.
  • Marcos Woinski … Burgo’s Captain (as Mark Welles).
  • Cecilia Narova … Exotic Dancer (as Cecilia North).
  • Dylan Willias … Zeg’s Guard.
  • José Casanova … Zeg’s Guard (as Joe Cass).
  • Miguel Zavaleta … Zeg’s Guard (as Michael Zane).
  • Herman Cass … Zeg’s Guard.
  • Arturo Noal … Zeg’s Guard (as Arthur Neal).
  • Hernán Gené … Zeg’s Guard (as Herman Gere).
  • Gus Parker … Zeg’s Guard.
  • Ned Ivers … Slave.
  • Liliana Cameroni … Zeg’s Drowned Slave (as Lillian Cameron).
  • Eva Adanaylo … Woman at Well (as Eve Adams).
  • Noëlle Balfour … (uncredited).

Production

The film was originally known as Kain of the Desert Planet. Corman developed it for Millennium Pictures, the company he formed after he sold New World Pictures. Millennium was subsequently renamed “New Horizons”.

The exterior shots were made in Ischigualasto Provincial Park in San Juan, also known as Valle de la Luna (“Valley of the Moon”, due to its otherworldly appearance). Most of the film was shot inside Estudios Baires Film S.A. and Campo de Mayo, in Buenos Aires Province.

During an argument with his girlfriend before production started, David Carradine punched a wall and fractured his right hand. As a result Carradine, who was right-handed, was trained by Anthony De Longis (who was the action and stunts coordinator, and also played the villain Kief) to learn swordfighting with his left hand. To conceal the cast on his hand, Carradine used a pointed black glove on his right arm while filming. In Carradine’s memoirs, the actor states he broke his hand three days into filming, but he doesn’t say how.

The outfit that Carradine uses for his character of Kain is the same he wore for the 1991 B movie/post-apocalyptic action film Dune Warriors. In a rather obvious coincidence, Luke Askew again played the antagonist/villain role in the latter film.

Carradine says the director “was obsessed by the body of the actress who played the priestess [María Socas] so he costumed her in a topless outfit. Everywhere you looked there was this barebreasted woman.”

Carradine liked the movie because of its sword play and the fighting style he helped design but says “don’t expect a great movie” because the director quit during editing after a fight with Corman (which erupted because he had gone two weeks over schedule), meaning the editing was finished by two teams in two different countries. “It’s a little uneven”, said Carradine of the film.

Similarities with Yojimbo

According to David Carradine’s book Spirit of Shaolin, it was clear before production started that the film was going to be a version of Akira Kurosawa’s 1961 Samurai film Yojimbo, and Carradine talked about it with executive producer Roger Corman:

The Warrior and the Sorceress) was essentially a remake of Yojimbo, the samurai movie by the great Japanese director, Akira Kurosawa. I called up Roger and told him I loved the script; but what about the Yojimbo factor. Roger said, “Yes, it is rather like Yojimbo.” I said, “It’s not like Yojimbo. It is Yojimbo.” Roger said, “Let me tell you a story. When Fistful of Dollars opened in Tokyo, Kurosawa’s friends called him up and said ‘You must see this picture.’ Kurosawa said, ‘Yes, I understand it is rather like Yojimbo.’ ‘No, it’s not like Yojimbo, it is Yojimbo. You have to sue these people.’ ‘I can’t sue them’, he responded. ‘Why not?’ ‘Because’ -Kurosawa confessed-, ‘Yojimbo is Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest.'” I went for it.

The story however appears to be apocryphal, as Kurosawa and Toho Studios did in fact successfully sue Sergio Leone.

Trivia

  • The Warrior and the Sorceress is a version of the classic Kurosawa film Yojimbo.
  • The film is noted chiefly for containing extensive nudity and violence and for being one of the more extreme examples of the sword-and-sorcery genre.
  • It is also considered by some to be a cult classic.
  • The Warrior and the Sorceress was the second entry in a series of ten films that Roger Corman produced in Argentina during the 1980s, the first one being Deathstalker.
  • Footage of the film later turned up in Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II.
  • In the film The Scorpion King (2002), the main antagonist Memnon says “The assassin and the sorceress. How romantic!”, which was written as a nod to this film.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • John C. Broderick … (as John Broderick).
  • Producer(s):
    • John C. Broderick … producer (as John Broderick).
    • Roger Corman … executive producer (uncredited).
    • Frank K. Isaac … producer (as Frank Isaac).
    • Héctor Olivera … co-producer.
    • Alejandro Sessa … co-producer (as Alex Sessa).
  • Writer(s):
    • John C. Broderick … (screenplay) (as John Broderick).
    • John C. Broderick … (story) (as John Broderick).
    • William Stout … (story).
    • Ryûzô Kikushima … (screenplay “Yojimbo”).
    • Hideo Oguni … (screenplay “Yojimbo”).
  • Music:
    • Luis María Serra … (as Louis Saunders).
  • Cinematography:
    • Leonardo Rodríguez Solís.
  • Editor(s):
    • Silvia Ripoll … (as Silvia Roberts).
  • Production:
    • Aries Cinematográfica Argentina.
    • New Horizons.
    • New Horizons Picture.
  • Distributor(s):
    • New Horizons (1984) (USA) (theatrical).
    • Cederland Film Company (1984) (Lebanon) (theatrical).
    • Vestron Video (1988) (USA) (VHS).
    • New Concorde Home Entertainment (2002) (USA) (DVD).
    • Filmes Lusomundo (1993) (Portugal) (theatrical).
    • Concorde-New Horizons (2001) (USA) (DVD) (VHS).
    • Home Box Office (HBO) (1985) (USA) (TV) (pay television).
    • IVC (1985) (Greece) (VHS).
    • Prism Direct/Leisure (2003) (UK) (DVD).
    • Prism Leisure Corporation (2003) (UK) (DVD).
    • Shout! Factory (2010) (USA) (DVD).
    • UCM.ONE (2019) (Germany) (DVD).
    • VTI Home Vídeo (1986) (Brazil) (VHS).
    • Vestron Video International (1985) (Australia) (VHS).
    • Vestron Video International (1986) (Belgium) (VHS).
    • Vestron Video International (1986) (West Germany) (VHS).
    • Vestron Video International (1985) (UK) (VHS).
    • Vestron Video International (1986) (Netherlands) (VHS).
    • Vestron Video International (1986) (Norway) (VHS).
    • Vestron Video (1985) (USA) (VHS).
  • Release Date: 12 May 1984 (Cannes Film Festival, France).
  • Rating: 18.
  • Running Time: 74 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Video Link(s)

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