The Warrior and the Sorceress
Roger Corman’s Cult Classics
Sword and Sorcery Collection
David Carridine stars as Kain. He’s the titular ‘warrior,’ though he doesn’t do much fighting. Instead, his primary weapon is manipulation. One day, he comes to the small town of Yam-A-Tar and finds the townspeople caught in the middle of a turf war between two tyrants, Zeg and Balcaz, who fight over the town’s single water well.
The movie takes place on a planet with two suns, which apparently makes water scarce. The entire town is centered on the well, with just a few buildings around it. I’m not sure how it supports two warlords and the innocent villagers.
The majority of the movie focuses on Kain’s scheming, and it actually works quite well. Compared to the other movies on this DVD set, this one is just plain clever. Kain’s machinations are complex, with not-always-predictable outcomes. His character isn’t developed that much, but it works for him. Firstly because he’s supposed to be a bit of a schemer and con man, so knowing too much about him would make that less effective; and secondly because he’s sort of a play on the classic western movie archetype of the ‘mysterious stranger,’ who rides into town, beats the bad guy, then moves on.
Maria Socas plays Naja, the titular ‘Sorceress,’ though she doesn’t use any magic. Her magic credentials are limited to having a star carved into her hand, and the knowledge of how to make a really good sword. She spends the entire movie topless, and Kain feels compelled to save her, having worked with sorceresses at his previous job.
The Warrior and the Sorceress loses steam at the end, when the Machiavellian plotting is done and generic sword fighting takes its place. The climactic battle drags and is something of a let down compared to the character driven plot that fills most of the movie.
The DVD from Shout factory, which includes four films across two discs is quite good. The movie is presented in anamorphic widescreen, but the print has a fair number of defects and scratches.