Monday, October 18, 2010

Tales Of An Ancient Empire - rubbish.

there is something terribly, terribly wrong when a rather anticipated film, albeit anticipated by a modest sized cult following, gets its premiere on DVD in Thailand for roughly US$6, is there not? what's all the more alarming is when that film is not even worth that price. i guess let's go back and start at the beginning of this sad, depressing tale.

be warned, for there are *** SPOILERS AHEAD ***, although any lover of the first film i mention would do well to read the whole post and decide if they are going to be clever or if they are going to go ahead and watch the "sequel".

in 1982 a little masterpiece of a film called The Sword And The Sorcerer was released. and i do mean masterpiece. of all the swords and barbarians films made in the 80s, this was the best - and i do mean it was even better that Schwarzenegger's Conan.

Lee Horsley starred as Talon, a kind of warrior for hire, although gold was rarely what settled his bill. i wouldn't wish to take up too much time celebrating this masterpiece here, but remember, if you will, just how cool the three bladed sword of Talon was (and indeed is), featuring two blades that fire off at any given enemy (this is an important thing to remember).

one of the coolest things about this film was that the credits promised more :

some of us spent a fair part of the 80s and 90s patiently waiting for this Tales Of The Ancient Empire to arrive. it never did. there was some excitement, then, when a few years ago Albert Pyun announced that, at long last, he was making the film, now calledTales Of An Ancient Empire.

it promised much, this sequel. not only was Lee Horsley to return, along with the three bladed sword, but the likes of Val Kilmer and Christoper Lambert would be in the cast. excellent!

so how, then, does the film end up with such a dubious premiere? well, because, quite frankly, it is complete and utter rubbish. it's taken all the wonderful elements of The Sword And The Sorcerer, printed them out, wiped several bottoms on the pages, flushed them and sent them off to the depths of the Atlantic as untreated sewage. looking for the remains of that would be far more enjoyable that enduring this - and i use the term loosely - movie.

what you get here is a kind of bizarre family reunion film. a whole load of very bad actors and actresses, all of whom appear to be the offspring of Talon, decide to unite and take on some sort of very badly acted vampire Queen. except they never actually do much fighting. or anything other than unite one by one.

as for the cast, Val Kilmer and Christopher Lambert are not in it - apparently Pyun "wanted" them to be and thus shoved their names on the poster. oh, Lee Horsely is in the film. he is not, however, cast as Talon. yep, you read that right - Lee Horsley is not Talon in this film. instead he plays a character called "The Adventurer", and mumbles some story or other for no apparent reason. here's a glimpse.

oh dear. as for the three bladed sword, well, it is in the film. however, it fires three blades, and clearly leaves one behind - somehow it is now a four bladed sword. no idea who is holding it or why, really. an unnamed actor seems to have taken the Talon role, one who will presumably feature in the "sequel" promised at the end of this very short film.

a short film? yep, it's 70 minutes long, including the elaborate and confusing opening credits. the end credits go on and on after the promise of a third film, one that you really hope will never ever be made.

a lot of people seem excited by the fact that this bloke pictured below, Kevin Sorbo, is in it. i have never heard of him, and quite frankly if this is the best kind of work he can get, not many others shall hear of him either.

every possible aspect of this film, be it bad acting, no plot or script of consequence and some really bad cinematography which serves to highlight astonishingly bad special effects, is offensive and an insult to anyone who even midly enjoyed the original film. it is disgusting that anyone has been allowed to make it in the name of a sequel to The Sword And The Sorcerer, let alone the man who made that film in the first place!

apparently, a "longer" version will be released in the USA, and the director promises that "one big action star" will be added. i really don't care. after i have posted this, i am going to pretend that this film was never made, and that they never got around to doing the promised follow up to The Sword And The Sorcerer. this will not be too difficult to do, because they in fact have not done this with this trash.

apparently pirate copies of the film are widespread thanks to this curious DVD premiere. the director seems rather excited about this, as it seems it has increased people checking out the trailer on his site for the film. don't watch a pirate of this, don't waste time and money on the original disc from Thailand or anywhere is all i can say.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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