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Deathstalker 1 & 2 Double Feature (Blu-ray Review)

REVIEW OVERVIEW

The Film (Deathstalker 1)
The Film (Deathstalker 2)
The Video
The Audio
The Supplements
Overall

SUMMARY

A double feature of sword and sorcery exploitation films that find the character Deathstalker on a quest to unite three relics of creation and save a beautiful damsel in distress (Deathstalker) and to help a beautiful princess regain her thrown from a villainous sorcerer (Deathstalker II).

101 Films brings these 1980s sword and sorcery exploitation films to Blu-ray in the UK in a double feature collection. Deathstalker and Deathstalker II are separated by four years and two different directors, but they follow the same formula: Show some muscular guys, a bevvy of scantily clad or nude women, and shoehorn in some sort of mystical quest with a number of fight sequences.

In 1983’s Deathstalker, the warrior (Rick Hill), from whom the film takes its title, is tasked by an old which to unite three powers of creation —  a chalice, an amulet, and a sword – to keep them out of the hands of the evil Munkar (Bernard Erhard) Armed with the Sword of Justice, which makes him invincible, Deathstalker heads out on his quest. Along the way he joins up with a number of travelers and must save delectable damsel in distress Barbi Benton as the scantily clad Codille.

1987’s Deathstalker II has an even more confusing plot which is borne out by the three writers who had a hand in assembling its razor thin screenplay versus the one for the original film. This time, Deathstalker, now played by John Terlesky, is a sword for hire, who is retained by beautiful Princess Evie (Monique Gabrielle) to help her regain her thrown from a villainous sorcerer named Jarek (John Lazar). Just like the first film and even more so, this sequel is more about showing ample amounts of skin – especially female skin – than any strong storyline or character development. The low budget trickled likely down to the limited amounts of cloth for the actors as much as it did to the B-grade visual effects.

The Video

Each film comes in a 1.78:1 AVC 1080p encodement on Blu-ray. They don’t look great, to be honest. The source shows a lot of specks and grain is somewhat coarse. There’s film softness and detail is sometimes lost. That said, there are ample scenes, especially in closeups, that yield solid textures and minute details in clothing and in faces. Colors look natural, but shadow detail can get lost in murkiness and hints of noise.

The Audio

Each Deathstalker film includes its original mono soundtrack in LPCM 2.0. These audio tracks will not light your home theater ablaze, but they get the job done offering more than enough clarity in the dialogue and sound effects.

The Supplements

There is not much included here outside of the audio commentaries for each film and the obligatory original theatrical trailers. Deathstalker also includes a photo gallery.

Deathstalker 

  • Commentary with James Sbardellati, John Carl Buechler, and Richard Brooker
  • Theatrical Trailer (1080i/60)
  • Photo Gallery (1080p; 00:02:08)

Deathstalker II

  • Commentary with director Jim Wynorski and actors John Terlesky and Toni Naples
  • Theatrical Trailer (1080i/60)

The Final Assessment

Deathstalker and Deathstalker II are two ludicrous sword and sorcery films that revel in their exploitive action. These are aimed strictly at genre fans looking for more adult, low-budget take on films like Conan the Barbarian and Red Sonja.

Deathstalker & Deathstalker II Double Feature is out on Blu-ray in the UK 22 August 2022 from 101 Films


  • Rating Certificate: UK: 18
  • Studios & Distributors: Aries Cinematográfica Argentina | Palo Alto Productions | Palo Alto | Aries Films International | New Horizons Picture | 101 Films
  • Directors: James Sbardellati (Deathstalker) | Jim Wynorski (Deathstalker II)
  • Written By: Howard R. Cohen (Deathstalker) | Jim Wynorski (story) | Neil Ruttenberg (screenplay) | R.J. Robertson | (additional dialogue) (Deathstalker II)
  • Run Time: 165 Mins.
  • Street Date: 22 August 2022
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Format: AVC 1080p
  • Primary Audio: English LPCM 2.0 Mono
  • Subtitles: English SDH
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Deathstalker 1 & 2 Double Feature (Blu-ray Review)A double feature of sword and sorcery exploitation films that find the character Deathstalker on a quest to unite three relics of creation and save a beautiful damsel in distress (Deathstalker) and to help a beautiful princess regain her thrown from a villainous sorcerer (Deathstalker II).
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