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Overused Cliches will appear in a purple font
Deathstalker II begins the proud Deathstalker tradition of having a title for your movie that has nothing to do with the actual film. "Duel of the Titans" doesn't make anymore sense even after watching the movie twice. When you settle down to watch a Deathstalker movie you can count on a few things:
- Deathstalker won't be played by the same actor as the last movie you saw.
- The title will have nothing to do with the movie.
- Deathstalker won't look anything like the guy on the cover.
- Almost every line or scene will have been pilfered from some other movie or TV show.
- Every cliche of Swords and Sorcery movies will be used.
- Having the time of your life!
The movie begins in typical fashion. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is ripped off in the opening thirty seconds as Deathstalker walks onto an altar in an ancient castle of sorts and steals something (although we don't know what). Then all of a sudden enemies pop out. They are 1/2 ninja, 1/2 arab warriors. Deathstalker quickly dispatches the guards in a physical display that he must have spent minutes preparing for. He manages to beat the guards with sword thrusts, kicks and at one point actually just punches a guard in the shoulder, knocking him to the ground.
Click here to hear Sultana say: "I'll have my revenge and Deathstalker too!"
Deathstalker is played by John Terlesky (who has worked with such talented actors as Ice-T, Cooli and Roy Scheider) who looks like he could have been any one of your friends' college roommate. The loveable mop top (Deathstalker) escapes from the guards in the castle by jumping out a window and running away on foot. After this we see the evil Sultana appear in the window and say "I'll have my revenge... and Deathstalker too!" After this is said the Deathstalker II logo appears accompanied by flames. The theme music whines on for a few minutes and then the movie starts up.
We are then whisked away to the sight of a girl being thrown out of a castle by some guards. Two things become apparent: 1.)This girl is a seer and is being thrown out for making and unfavorable prediction about the Queen's infidelity. 2.)The actress playing this seer has single-handedly sent the Deathstalker movies' acting skill to an all time low.
The seer is played by Monique Gabrielle from such films as Bachelor Party and Silk II. She has to be seen to be believed. I would post a link to her website but I fear that linking to a website of that nature may get LanceandEskimo.com in trouble with our host as we are not allowed to have adult material on our website. Let's just say that you see a lot of Monique on her website and that she shares her website with several other aging B-movie bombshells including Rhonda "Up all night" Shear. I'll also say that her website rhymes with HexSymbolDynasty.com. That's as much as I'm willing to reveal. If you are of legal age and would like to order some of her work from the website then check it out! If you are willing to pay upwards of $49.00 to $69.00 for a single VHS tape then you will be thrilled at what you can find there.
Deathstalker appears as the guards are beating up Reena ands says: "Ordinarily I don't mind seeing a woman get a good beating if she deserves it." There you have it. Deathstalker's loveablility has increased slightly from the fist movie to the second. Deathstalker II's hero is on the fence about whether or not he should save a girl from a beating whereas Deathstalker I's hero goes around raping girls.
After escaping from the castle guards Deathstalker says: "You have to wake up pretty early in the morning to catch the Prince of Thieves." Then an arrow hits a tree by their head and Reena says: "It is early in the morning!" The viewer then groans at the terrible joke that just never got off the ground. Also it's clearly late at night so it doesn't even work from that angle.
Later a group of hitmen go after Deathstalker and Reena with explosive arrows just like Beau and Luke Duke used to use. Deathstalker manages to kill one of them with his own arrow leaving nothing but a smoking pair of shoes.
Deathstalker manages to bring Reena out of harm's way on his trusty steed when Reena asks him what he does for a living to which he replies: "I'm in what I like to call the wealth re-distribution business." Renna then says: "You mean you steal from the rich and give to the poor?" "No," Deathstalker answers. "I steal from the rich and pretty much keep it."
We are then introduced to the evil sorcerer Jerak. As usual this evil sorcerer is also a really good swordsman as well. Just to give you a taste of how evil he is the director makes sure that he is seen killing at least one of his own men in every scene! In the opening scene he is just killing his own guards one by one while idly chit-chatting.
Jerak has made an identical copy of Reena the Seer (who we find out is also a princess!) that he shares the castle with. Princess Eevie is shown to be dependent on the original Reena (the REAL princess) because of a problem with Jerak's duplication formula so they must keep Reena alive. Disgusted with her current predicament, Eevie retires to her chambers where she is seen telling a grungy looking guy to come over to her. "Come in... I don't bite." she says. He finally approaches and she does something to him that causes him to turn into a rubber mask that she places on the wall above her bed with the others.
Meanwhile Deathstalker and Reena are roaming through a graveyard. I could have forgotten why they were there but I'm pretty sure it was for no reason whatsoever. Deathstalker gets caught in a mausoleum while Reena is left outside to fight off an attacking band of zombies that have risen from their graves because... well because it's a graveyard and that's what happens in graveyards at night. As Deathstalker tries to escape the walls begin closing in on him. As the walls begin closing some names can be seen on the mausoleum walls including: Bob Nessler and R.J. Robertson. Hmmmm. I wonder if those are the names of some ancient dead guys or if they are guys who were involved with the filming of the movie. Nah, it must be just the names of some ancient dead guys.
Like any man-hating group of Amazons, these Amazons do enjoy a scantily clad woman prancing around in the ring between rounds.
Deathstalker and Reena escape but are quickly captured by Amazons. The Amazons put Deathstalker on trial for crimes against womanhood. His trial is more of a wrestling match than a trial in that it is a wrestling match and not a trial at all. As he approaches the ring the theme from Rocky actually plays. Click here to hear Chuck Cirino's cover of the Theme from Rocky. This battle scene goes on for about ten minutes (about 12% of the entire movie). At the end Deathstalker wins the match and is ordered to kill his opponent by the Amazon Queen. In a brilliant show of character Deathstalker lets the warrior live and we all learn a valuable life lesson.
Later Deathstalker moves branches aside while spying on the bad guys and says "Very Interesting." It's pretty ad when a fantasy movie has to lift scenes directly from Rowan and Martin's Laugh In.
Click here to hear Sultana read from an Ian Fleming novel.
Sultana finally captures Deathstalker and straps him to a table where a giant pendulum swings closer and closer to his private parts. As if this wasn't bad enough, Deathstalker says "You don't expect me to talk do you?" "No," she answers. "I expect you to die." If that wasn't enough then she says. "We could have been a good team, you and me." If you don't believe me then listen for yourself.
Finally the grand sword fight between Deathstalker and Jerak takes place and all is well with the world. The Evil Princess Eevie is killed and the throne is returned to Reena (actually the real princess Eevie). Seeing that there is no Queen in this movie at any point they decide to start calling her Queen at the very end. The movie is left off as if Deathstalker is going to settle down with Eevie but having seen Deathstalker III I know that this doesn't happen. Eevie leaves off the movie by saying: "Tales of your exploits will be told and reenacted for centuries to come." Then Deathstalker smirks and says: "Well, I sure hope they get a good looking guy to play me."
Deathstalker's humor is lost on me. He's smiling when he delivers this line but I really don't get the joke. Maybe it's weird like that crazy British humor I read about in Entertainment Weekly but I just don't get it. If you understand this joke please email me and explain it so that I can close this chapter of my life and move on. Thank you.
Once again we see a movie box that has nothing to do with the movie. It's just another random Boris Valejo painting that could just as easily been the cover of any issue of Dragon Magazine in the late eighties or early nineties.
I saw this movie after I saw Deathstalker III so forgive me for noticing things backwards. It's very clear that they have reused the set from Deathstalker II in Deathstalker III. Most noticeably in the very opening scene of Deathstalker II we see the exact same castle that Troxardas dwelled in and then cuts to Troxardas' little magic laboratory place.
Jerak's guards are played by guys wearing Return of the Jedi Gamorrean Guard halloween costumes. At the beginning one of the guards is seen looking at the head or a roasted pig with a sad look in his eyes. Then the guard shrugs as if to say "To hell with it." and eats the pig head anyway.
Evil Eevie (along with sharing a name with a Pokemon) is an evil version of the real princess. And what do evil people do? They inexplicably eat other people. In one scene the Princess tells a man in his early twenties to "Come in... I won't bite." He timidly approaches and then the camera cuts to outside the door and we hear screams. When all is said and done she is seen putting the face of a mustachioed eighties year old onto her wall. So what I guess happened was that she said: "Come in... I won't bite..." then the camera cut away and she finished the sentence with: "...you. I'll bite this eighty year old mustachioed man."
The Sound Effect
Throughout Deathstalker II there is one sound effect that is used repeatedly. It sounds kinda like the Sorceress from He-Man with a sore throat. This sound effect is used to accompany everything that happens in the movie. Everything. Deathstalker jumps off a hill and kills a bad guy... we hear the sound effect. Reena gives Deathstalker his sword back... we hear the sound effect. The bad guys appear... we hear the sound effect. The bad guys disappear... we hear the sound effect. It doesn't matter what it is that happens or whether or not it is good or bad, if it is an event in this movie it will be bright to you by the sound effect.
Click here to hear the sound effect for yourself.
The only thing that rivals the sound effect in reusability is Deathstalker's Theme. Every time Deathstalker wins a fight or rides off on a horse or mugs for the camera you can hear Deathstalker's Theme start up. It sounds like a very l
Click here to hear the theme from Deathstalker II's title sequence.
For what it's worth (which I know is next to nothing) Paul and I had some fun looking through Leonard Maltin's Film Guide one evening. As you may or may not know, Leonard Maltin rates movies from "bomb" to "4 stars." He only had the patience to watch Deathstalker I, II and III but how he rated them may shock you. Deathstalker I gets the "bomb" rating. Fair enough, that was a thoroughly horrible movie. Deathstalker II gets a rating of "two Stars." How did that happen. It's clearly better than the original but 2 stars! Deathstalker III gets a rating of "bomb" as well. How is Deathstalker II better than III? Was Thom Christopher in Deathstalker II? I don't believe he was. Don't get me wrong now, Deathstalker II was a delight but I hope Leonard Maltin has made some adjustments to the group of people that helps him with his ratings. Someone should have been fired for this outrage.
The movie ends in typcial fashion. Pictures of the characters are flashed in front of the screen accompanied by the name of the actor/actress who played the part. They even show the crowd of extras with all the names of the extras which is actually kinda a classy thing to do (I can put stuff like that this far down in the article because the chances are that no one will read this much). After the crowd scene with the credits I thought I was all done and reached for the VCR remote but what I saw next both shocked and delighted me. They played outtakes! That's right. We see Monique Gabrielle choke on a magic potion, we see archer dropping arrows, we see John Terlesky get burned with fire. There's Monique Gabrielle in a topless scene where people start laughing at her. There's Monique Gabrielle in some other kind of love scene where the director calls a lunch break in the middle of the take. There's Deathstalker's stunt double falling (apparently to his death) and John Terlesky having some random guy in a bar fight fall on top of him. I highly recommend Deathstalker II if for nothing else then for the blooper reel at the end.