We bid a “fond” farewell to the Deathstalker series with this, where Rick Hill, star of the first film from 1983, returns to the title role; and he’s not the only thing returning (psst – it’s the plot and quite a lot of the footage).
Back in the days of VHS rental, film companies seem to have done this sort of thing all the time – “this sort of thing” being making films comprised substantially of footage from previous films in the series. Long-term readers of ISCFC will remember many such films, but this also borrows pre-borrowed scenes – so, this is now the third film where we’ve seen that unfortunate chap dragged through the forest by people on horseback, and the same goes for the bar scene with the pig-fellow in it. Thanks to a virtually comatose voiceover, we’re given a brief blast of Deathstalker’s story, backed with what could be the worst music I’ve ever heard – like the test music on a cheap synthesizer, but broken.
If you’re guessing this film is about a Princess trying to get her palace or town or magic jewel or whatever back, and Deathstalker volunteering to help after rescuing her from some bad guys, then that’s the least I’d expect from you. This is not an original plot, even in terms of this tetralogy, is what I’m saying. It’s an even more specific rip-off of the first film, being based around a tournament where the secret plan is to kill all the best fighters off. Seriously, you guys!
There’s not a lot to set this film apart from the others in the series. There’s a fun scene where Deathstalker and Dionara get trapped in a cave by a baddie who causes a cave-in, saying “you’ll never get out of here!” After taking her recently dead sister’s clothes for no reason, in the next scene, with zero explanation, they’re out of the cave and just trotting along. At the tournament, there’s also a large gang of lesbian fighters, which at least makes a change from women just throwing themselves at the nearest available man (although there’s still plenty of that). There’s also the standard Deathstalker-level of boobs in this film, including the evil villainess and, in fact, just about every female character.
There’s a fun turn by Brett Baxter Clark as Vaniat, a fighter whose approach to the tournament is an athletic, not a “barbarian”, one. After some training on how to deal with women, he goes undercover with wicked Queen Kana (Michelle Moffet, whose career along with Clark’s didn’t really go anywhere, sadly), and pretty much saves the day while Deathstalker is doing the tournament-fighting. There appear to be simultaneous male and female tournaments, but luckily all the female fighters are skinny and beautiful. There’s a bunch of stone zombies too…
Anyway, that’s quite enough of that. It’s about as fun as parts 1 and 3 (in other words, not quite as much as it thinks) but air of no-one really giving a toss runs more strongly through this one. It’s edited by someone who’s clearly deranged, for one thing – the above cave example being the most obvious, but there’s tons of scenes that just end without any sort of resolution or buildup for the next scene or anything.
Imagine, a bunch of people called Dave and John and stuff like that, and you’re introduced to one of Dave’s friends, called Deathstalker (yes, I’m still annoyed by how stupid his name is).
Well, I can’t say I’m particularly sad it’s over. They’ve been fun, sort of, but hampered by crappy budget-saving measures and everyone except the main three or four cast members being a dubbed Eastern European. After such a great second film, the rest of them should have built on that, but didn’t, and the final film doesn’t so much have a resolution as everyone got bored of filming and decided to go home.
Rating: thumbs down