Some of my fondest memories as a young kid in the late 70's/early 80's was catching films late at night when my parents were asleep. We were one of the lucky ones in the neighborhood to not only have HBO but that glorious home of sex and violence Cinemax (no one I knew called it Skinemax back then, although their Friday Nights After Dark showcase became a staple for me as soon as I hit puberty). Out of the hundreds of movies I watched on television as a kid, there are two distinct images I've carried throughout my life that are as vibrant and alive as the day I first saw them. The first was peeking out of my bedroom door to the den and seeing the scene in AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON where David McNaughton wakes up in a hospital bed and turns into that weird demon thing. It took me years before I got the courage to watch the movie in its entirety (remember, I was only about 12 or 13 years old).
The other? Talon and his 3-bladed shooting sword from THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER. Did you know that Richard Moll from Night Court was in this? Lee Horsley from Matt Houston? Matt-fuckin'-Houston? Did anyone even watch that shit? What about Frank from Murphy Brown? AS A SWORD-WIELDING MERCENARY!!!! I shit you not, he looked exactly the same as he did in Murphy Brown.
Anyway, this is a basic CONAN-style movie, complete with damsels in distress, demons, cool swords, lost of fights, and lots of naked ladies. It actually wasn't too bad for the time - there's a scene in the beginning where the main baddie conjures up a demon to help him conquer the neighboring castle and the sarcophagus, which seems to be made of stone faces, suddenly turns into screaming fleshy faces. It was neat. The 3-bladed shooting sword was not nearly as cool as I remember it being, and on the whole the film had a lot more humor than I would have expected. Lee Horsely as the hero Talon plays his character for laughs much of the time - during a battle with numerous thugs he notices the woman who promised herself to him if he completes his mission - naked and being oiled up by servant girls (the woman, not Talon). The expression on his face is the same I expect you or I would have (unless you're not like me, which is entirely likely), and then he is promptly knocked out a window.
Re-watching THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER so many years later was a fun lark - not as thrilling or gripping as I remember it as a kid, but not nearly as bad as I was expecting either. Now if only I can find SNOW BUNNIES - there's one film I would love to watch again from my youth. Thank you Skinemax!