This is one of the best, and surprisingly underestimated, fantasy movies of the 80's. It goes along the lines of classics like Beastmaster, Conan, Dragonslayer, Krull and Legend. Its best features are the great dialogues and solidly written characters, the marvelous sets, a surprisingly coherent and original plot, and an excellent soundtrack. The acting on the movie is not so good, but the story is so entertaining and funny that you won't really mind. Talon, the son of a murdered King, turns into a barbarian hero who tries to end the rule of an evil conqueror and his allied demon. To achieve his goal he must free the heirs of the kingdom and avenge his father. In his quest he will encounter all the elements common in most fantasy stories: sword battles, powerful demons and treacherous villains, beautiful and exotic damsels in distress and dark ancient rituals and magic spells. After the credits roll by, you will probably be left expecting to see the second installment of this movie: Tales of the Ancient Empire, which unfortunately, was never made. A word of warning: the image quality of the DVD is not great, nor does this movie have any Special Features, but it's very unlikely it will ever get a better edition. A must for fantasy film buffs. --Reviewed by M. E. Volmar
What did you think of this review?
Fun to Read
About the reviewer
M. E. Volmar (chupluf)
I've been a freelance artist, graphic designer, editor, and translator for over 15 years, and I love and greatly enjoy my job. Although my biggest passion is art and languages, I am interested in … more
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.
Lee Horsley (Matt Houston on TV) is our medieval warrior in this Conan the Barbarian knockoff with a pure cliché plot. Our hero shares the stage with Richard Lynch (as the villain), Kathleen Beller, George Maharis, Richard Moll, and an unforgettable projectile-loaded, three-bladed sword. Albert Pyun, who learned his craft under the watchful eye of Akira Kurosawa, makes his directorial debut with this film, offering us great imagery and fluidity of action, which helps detract from the obviously lacking budget for the film. Sometimes awkward and utterly silly, it's a nevertheless highly entertaining romp that in recent years has become a cult film for fantasy buffs just as have other similar 80's films like Ladyhawke, Krull and Legend, among others.