With the success of "Conan the Barbarian", "The Beast Master" and "The Sword and the Sorcerer", Sword n' Sorcery movies became a new flavor, and nobody was filling rental chains with these movies like Roger Corman. Sure, Joe D'Amato gave the world "Ator", but Corman produced plenty of movies filled with muscular men, swords, beasts, boobs, blood, more boobs, and more. In short, they were the kind of thing he has been doing for a while, just set in newer, more fantastical settings. He even let Jack Hill get in on it with 1982's "Sorcererss", which has a bit of a bad rep, and was Hill's last movie to boot. So, is it as bad as they say it is?
To keep his powers, the nefarious wizard Traigon (Roberto Ballesteros) must sacrifice his firstborn to the god Caligara. His wife though, isn't cool with this, so she gives birth to twins, and gives them to the warrior Krona (Martin LaSalle.) Twenty years later, Mira and Mara (former Playboy playmates Leigh and Lynette Harris) are hot twins who have powers, and tend to get naked. Well, Traigon returns to hunt the twins down, but they aren't going down without a fight. So, with the help of the Barbarians Erlick (Bob Nelson) and Valdar (Bruno Rey), as well as the creature Pando (David Millbern), it's time to fight back.
To be honest, "Sorceress" is not a good movie, and isn't exactly the best way for the director of classics like "Foxy Brown", "The Big Doll House" and "Spider Baby" to end his career. The acting is all around terrible, with Ballesteros in particular feeling like he's auditioning for a movie filmed in somebody's backyard. The film also feels cut, as if there were certain, possibly key scenes were left out. Then there's the terrible special effects, with a rather lackluster scene with two gods, and all the unbelievably fake beards on display.
That out of the way, at least it's not a boring movie, and it's far from Hill's worst movie (hello "Island of the Snake People.") The main thing that helps is the writing from future exploitation jack-of-all-trades Jim Wynorski, who adds enough humor to the proceedings. Though there are moments that fall flat in this department, there's still enough chuckles and genuine laughs (such as the twins not knowing the difference between men and women) to help it move along. There's also a genuine sense of fun to the proceedings, like the people behind this were having a genuinely good time making it, and you can even see that with the bad performances, which are at least earnest. Oh, and there's zombie soldiers nearing the end that are actually kinda creepy, and gave me an almost Italian Zombie movie vibe.
So yes, "Sorceress" is a bad movie. However, it knows it's not a particularly good movie, and for a rainy Saturday afternoon, you could do worse. Good luck finding it though, as legal reasons are apparently the reason this sucker hasn't made it on DVD yet. Then again, there's always the chance of Shout Factory releasing it, as they have other Corman related titles...