I can’t find any evidence that “Wizards of the Demon Sword” was ever screened in an actual movie theater. It seems unlikely. That’s like wondering whether the answering-machine tape at your dentist’s office was played on the radio. Why would it be? What could be gained by sharing such a thing with a large audience?
And yet “Wizards of the Demon Sword” is a real movie that really exists, and it has some real actors in it, so why shouldn’t we make fun of it? It was made by the good people at Troma Entertainment, a company known for its ability to crank out cheap and trashy films that maybe aren’t very good but that at least are cheap and trashy. They often feature the naked bosoms of adult human females, which I understand are very appealing to a certain segment of the population.
The film is set in a distant time in a faraway place, though it looks suspiciously like San Bernardino in the early ’90s. We meet Melina (Heidi Paine), a sturdy woman who is being pursued through the desert by three men, one of whom is wearing a mask like the Gimp in “Pulp Fiction.” At first we don’t know why they’re chasing her, but we eventually come to realize that we don’t care, either. Once she is captured, she is rescued by a handsome stranger named Thane (Blake Bahner), who dresses like Aladdin and is moderately handy with a sword. Then he turns his back for five seconds and Melina is abducted again, only to be immediately re-rescued by Thane. The film is barely 10 minutes old and already it is stalling for time.
Melina tells Thane (and us) what the deal is. The deal is that the evil Lord Khoura (played by real actor Lyle Waggoner) has captured her father — being captured evidently runs in the family — and taken the Blade of Aktar from him. With the Blade of Aktar, one can allegedly unleash dark powers from another dimension, et cetera, as is generally the case with mystical swords that have names. But Lord Khoura can’t do the unleashing by himself: He needs the blood of a pure young virgin, a category from which he is triply disqualified.
Thane agrees to help Melina rescue her dad, whom Lord Khoura is holding captive, and who it turns out is played by Russ Tamblyn, who is a real actor. They can’t just barge into Khoura’s castle, though. First they need help from an ancient man called the seer of Roebuck (hardy har!), a crazy old coot who, I don’t know, has a lot of experience with this sort of thing, I guess. I missed the part where the film explained what the seer’s credentials were. All I know is he has wild hair and looks like beloved director Robert Altman.
Also, Thane and Melina find the seer by going to a small town and asking at the local whorehouse. The madame of the place knows where the seer hangs out. This is preceded by hilariously stilted Olden Tymes dialogue such as this:
THANE: Perhaps we can partake of rest and nourishment in the town down below.
MELINA: And let us not forget to inquire about the seer.
Oh, I should also mention that there are dinosaurs in this movie, occasionally, though never in the same shots as any of the humans, and for no discernible reason as far as the plot is concerned.
The seer doesn’t tell Thane and Melina anything useful, causing me to wonder why he bothered to be in the film in the first place, and the two are on their way. Meanwhile, Lord Khoua, who is too tan and wears too much eye makeup, has procured a virgin by having his henchmen pick one up at the local slave auction. The auctioneer is played by Lawrence Tierney, who is a real actor. He makes the slave girls show their breasts to the bidders. The whole process is unsavory, even by the admittedly low standards of the slave trade.
Predictably, Melina is captured by Lord Khoura’s goons again, the idea being that maybe her father will help Lord Khoura use the Blade of Aktar if his daughter’s life is threatened. Now it befalls Thane to rescue her AND her dad, and let’s be honest, Thane was never really committed to this in the first place. He just happened to wander past when the goons and the Gimp were abducting Melina, acted like a good Samaritan, and now he’s knee-deep in someone else’s problems. This should be a lesson to us all.
Lucky for Thane, while he’s sitting around trying to figure out what to do, he is ambushed by some guy! Some guy named Damon (Dan Speaker) who wants to fight him! Damon does not give a reason for this, but fight they do, until finally they are exhausted and stop fighting and sit there like old pals, old pals who frequently get into fights in the desert for no reason. Impressed that Thane managed to avoid being killed by him, Damon says, “No man has ever resisted the punishment of my sword!” Upon learning that he has just fought with the famous Thane (oh: Thane is famous), Damon also says, “I’ve long awaited the day we could cross swords!” It is here that I determined the film wanted to be made fun of.
So Thane and his new sword-crossing buddy Damon attack the castle, have lots of sword fights with people, defeat Lord Khoura, and so forth, all without much fanfare or suspense or production value or even any more naked breasts. The specifics of the film’s plot are so generic they could have been copied from any number of cheesy sword–and-sandal flicks of yesteryear, with no innovations save for the addition of dinosaurs, which hardly counts. Apart from the real actors mentioned, no attempt was made to hire competent professionals to deliver the awful dialogue written for them. I suspect casting calls were held at renaissance fairs and Dungeons & Dragons tournaments. But what I find interesting about “Wizards of the Demon Sword” is that the people who made it evidently thought that someone would find it interesting in spite of all this. In a way, I guess they were right. Here we are, talking about it, even though it’s hardly even a real movie.