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The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982)

Written by Albert Pyun, Tom Karnowski and John V. Stuckmeyer and directed by Pyun, The Sword and the Sorcerer is a 1982 American sword and sorcery fantasy film which focuses on a mercenary with a three-bladed sword rediscovering his royal destiny.

Spoilers follow…

As the film opens we  meet King Cromwell (Richard Lynch) who alongside his men is landing on the shore of Tomb Island in search of Xusia of Delos (Richard Moll), a long-dead sorcerer who may be the key to overthrowing his rival King Richard, whose land of Ehdan is the richest in the world. Using one of Xusia’s worshipers to awaken him, Cromwell convinces Xusia to join his cause. With the sorcerer’s black magic at his disposal, Cromwell easily lays waste to Richard’s formidable army.

Eventually, Cromwell becomes eager to be rid of Xusia. Fearing that the sorcerer could very well turn against him, he attempts to kill Xusia by stabbing him in the chest and chasing him off a cliff. With only one army left to defend the city, King Richard prepares to lead the charge against Cromwell in a last-ditch effort to save Ehdan. He orders his family to evacuate to the river, and entrusts his youngest son Talon with his triple-bladed projectile sword, instructing the boy to avenge his death should it occur.

When Richard fails to return home afterwards, Talon goes to find him. While searching the corpse-littered battlefield, he comes across Mogullen (Russ Marin), his father’s closest adviser. Gravely wounded, the old soldier confirms that the battle is lost. At that moment, Talon spies his father in the distance, just seconds before his execution.

Enraged, Talon starts off to claim his revenge, but Mogullen holds him fast. Knowing that Cromwell will be heading to the river in search of the queen, he implores the boy to save the rest of his family. Talon desperately races to the river on horseback, but is too late to prevent his mother’s death at Cromwell’s hands. With Cromwell’s men in pursuit of him, Talon has no choice but to flee. After narrowly surviving an ambush, the boy manages to evade capture and disappear from the kingdom.

Eleven years later, Prince Talon (Lee Horsley), now a seasoned warrior, leads a small group of mercenaries back into his homeland, seeking to fulfill the promise he made long ago. Meanwhile, in his subterranean lair, the sinister Xusia—still very much alive—vows to repay Cromwell for his treachery.

In the city of Ehdan, a rebellion has begun under Prince Mikah (Simon MacCorkindale), son of King Richard’s closest advisor, who many believe to be the rightful heir to the throne. After confirming the final plans with Machelli (George Maharis), Cromwell’s war chancellor (who may not be the most trustable of people), Mikah relays the news to his sister Alana (Kathleen Beller), but Cromwell suddenly bursts into their hideout and a battle ensues. Although Mikah is captured, Alana flees through the city streets, but eventually finds herself cornered by Cromwell’s men. She is then rescued by Talon, who easily dispatches her assailants.

At a nearby tavern, Alana learns of her brother’s imprisonment and asks Talon to rescue him, along with a faction of rebels who have been recently trapped by Cromwell’s forces. Unable to bribe the lustful mercenary with gold, Alana reluctantly offers herself to him for one night. Satisfied, Talon departs on his mission, but Cromwell’s men arrive shortly thereafter and capture Alana as well.

Successful in freeing the rebels, Talon infiltrates the castle through the sewers and is able to rescue Mikah, but is subsequently detected and captured by Cromwell. After forcing Alana into marriage, Cromwell invites the four neighboring kings to their wedding feast, where he intends to assassinate them with Talon crucified in the dining hall. Before the plot can be carried out, however, Talon summons the strength to pull himself free of the crucifix, just seconds before the rebels, led by Mikah, storm into the dining hall and overpower Cromwell’s soldiers.

Cromwell attempts to flee the castle with Alana in tow, but Talon intercepts them. In the resulting skirmish, Machelli takes custody of Alana and brings her to the catacombs beneath the castle, where he reveals his true identity as Xusia. Although Cromwell tries to intercede, he is no match for the sorcerer, but Talon is able to resist Xusia’s power long enough to strike him down with his projectile sword. He then engages Cromwell in combat, finally vanquishing the evil king. Afterwards, Talon saves Alana from a giant boa constrictor snake, but Xusia suddenly rises again, prompting Talon to finish off the sorcerer with a blade concealed in his gauntlet.

In the end, Talon yields the crown of Ehdan to Mikah, and Alana honors her commitment to spend one night with her brother’s savior. As Talon and the mercenaries prepare to leave Ehdan, they are approached by Rodrigo (a member of Mikah’s rebellion) who asks to join them. Talon agrees, and the group sets off for another adventure.

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