Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
About a year ago we got around to watching 'Deathstalker', which was awful of course, but with its exorbitant amount of nudity and lame sword fighting and Rick Hill as the Deathstalker basically sleepwalking through the movie, it had its moments.  Besides, I'm trying to watch every lame Sword and Sorcery movie ever made in the late 80's and early 90's and I had to watch Deathstalker to get to this one, 'Deathstalker II'.  Why was 'Deathstalker II important on this mindless quest?  For starters it was directed by Jim Wynorski who through a career that has spanned close to three decades and 100 movies still hasn't completely figured out this whole directing thing, but most importantly this movie stars actress Monique Gabrielle.  We've seen Ms. Gabrielle in a few movies before this one and while she might not be the prettiest girl on the block, conventionally speaking, she does possess one of the more phenomenal figures in the history of grade B movies.  Since most women in B-movies are cast in B-movies because of their bodies and little else, that's saying something.  We didn't want to see this movie only to see Monique naked, for we can see that in any of the one or two scenes she was given in the plethora of movies she popped in and out of back in the 80's, we wanted to see her act.  We would not be disappointed.  Monique Gabrielle… arguably the worst actress ever… given dual roles.  And kept her clothes on for the majority of the movie.  Who in the hell was in charge of quality control on this shoot?

Our film starts with the Deathstalker (John Terlesky) dong some swashbuckling before stumbling upon Reena (Gabrielle).  It takes but a moment to realize that this movie diverges drastically from the first film as Terelsky is already portraying the Deathstalker as a fun loving buffoon, but when Reena shows up on the scene featuring Ms. Gabrielle's unique acting style, we now have a movie which you could assume has gone the route of a full blown parody of a sword and sorcery movie.
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Apparently Reena used to be the princess of whatever land this is, before the completely evil, albeit slightly effeminate Jarek the Sorcerer (John La Zar) cloned her, with the plan to perfect this clone before killing her but fortunately she escaped.  Now she needs the Deathstalker to go with her to her castle, do battle and take back her kingdom.

Adventure is now afoot.  More or less.  I mean there's no shortage of adventures for Reena and Deathstalker… I don't even feel right calling my man Deathstalker… considering they encounter zombies, assassins, amazons, and pig soldiers but the focus is more on the witty repartee between Reena and the man with the devilish grin going by the name of Deathstalker. 

Will Deathstalker be able to help storm the castle and get her kingdom back?  You probably haven't seen Jarek the sorcerer have you, because if you had you wouldn't be asking this question.  Just one look at this guy and I can't see him offering up too much resistance.  And it has nothing to do with Jarek being gay.  In fact Jarek's apparent lack of intimidation as a villain is an embarrassment to gay dudes everywhere.

So if you saw the first 'Deathstalker' and you enjoyed 'Deathstalker' and after seeing 'Deathstalker' way back in 1983, in whatever venue it was presented at, after the four year wait for Corman enterprises to finally come up off of 'Deathstalker II'… man you must've been disappointed.  I mean this movie is so far removed from the first 'Deathstalker' I don't even know why they called it 'Deathstalker'.  This collection of swashbuckling buffoonery can best be described as sword and sorcery that just had a head-on collision with 'Mr. Bean'.  That's not a good thing.  Oh, it could've been a good thing, I guess, it's just not a good thing here is all.

But here's the rub.  While this comical farce has nothing to do with the first movie, it's not like the original 'Deathstalker' was all that good to begin with, so it is unlikely that anyone who did see that movie was holding it all that close to their heart, which makes this complete nonsense a little easier to deal with.

No, 'Deathstalker II: Duel of the Titans' is not a good movie by any stretch of anybody's imagination but since nary a single frame of this movie doesn't take itself all that serious, it's difficult to be all that serious in crapping on it.  John Terlesky looked like he was having the time of his life grinning, winking and clowning his way through this movie, to be honest with you the sword fighting and such was much better in this far less serious movie than the first overly serious 'Deathstalker', and then there's the force known as Monique Gabrielle.  You will be hard pressed to find a worse actress, we get that, but she has such an amazing collection of other marketable skills that we are stunned that 80's filmmakers before Wynorski didn't try to take greater advantage of these marketable skills. 

If you are searching for some bad comedy mixed with suspect sword and sorcery, look no further than the mini-epic that is 'Deathstalker II'.  Next question would be who in the world would be looking for bad comedy mixed with suspect Sword and Sorcery?  Uh…us.  That's who. 
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