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Quest For The Mighty Sword
(1989)
 

Director: David Hills                   
Cast:
Eric Allen Kramer, Laura Germser, Marisa Mell


I'm sure there are a number of people who are somewhat acquainted with the Ator movies in one way or another. The first two movies of this sword-and-sorcery series (obviously inspired by Conan the Barbarian), Ator - The Fighting Eagle and The Blade Master, were offered to the world when video stores were hungry for product - that's why these two movies are fairly easy to locate to this day. That also explains why these shoddy and hilariously awful movies are known to more of the general public than the usual B-movie (as well as the fact these movies are shoddy and hilariously awful in such memorable ways). The Blade Master was revived several years back when Mystery Science 3000 gave their special treatment to the movie, under the new title Cave Dwellers. That's also available on video. But tell me - where were the cave dwellers?

Several years later, another Ator movie was released, the dull The Iron Warrior. Again, Miles O'Keeffe played the title role. However, the movie seems to have been a different sword-and- sorcery movie that was redubbed to take advantage of the "Ator" name (!) This movie does have some knowledge among the B crowd, but not as much as the first two movies. Then several years later came yet another Ator movie that no one seems to know about. That movie is Quest For The Mighty Sword, and the original director of the first two movies returns once again to continue the exploits of the mighty hero. At least, I think it's supposed to continue Ator's exploits. I'm not sure, because O'Keeffe didn't return to play the character in this movie (was this movie too pathetic even for O'Keeffe?) And second, Ator - if this is the Ator from the previous films - gets killed in the first five minutes of the movie!

You know, describing the plot for a movie like this really is redundant. There usually isn't a plot. But you also can't have a review that only talks about the bad things in a movie, soooo....Ator (who's now a prince) gets killed by some visiting bad guy in circumstances and dialogue too murky to figure out. Anyway, his widow flees with their infant child (also named Ator) deep into the wilderness to visit Grendel, a butt-ugly dwarf that actually looks more like a werewolf. Grendel agrees to raise Ator, but on the condition that he makes it with the widow, leading to a hilarious make-out sequence. (Fortunately, the movie doesn't decide to show what happened after that.)

Years later, we see a 17 year-old Ator, played by an actor who looks closer to his mid-30s, and with thinning, peroxided hair. (That, and his fat face, makes him resemble Jon Voight.) In return for Grendel raising him through all of these years, Ator finds his father's broken magic sword, fixes it in a couple of hours, and then uses it on Grendel. This scene will undoubtedly have viewers using their rewind or slow-motion buttons over and over, so if your tape looks fuzzy at this point, you'll know why. Told by a friendly goddess to start his undefined quest in the east, Ator takes her advice and travels that direction. Though later, he's told to go....west. Huh? Well, I guess you don't argue with a goddess.

Ator then finds himself in the standard cave, guarded by some typical unseen beast that leaves skeletons all over the cave floor. Probably in a nod to the 1983 Lou Ferrigno Hercules, the monster turns out to be...a robot. Oh, not just an ordinary robot, but a Siamese twin robot! -  with two heads! Ator confuses the robot (I thought two heads were better than one), and slices it down the middle, leading each half of the robot to spin wildly around the room and burst out with sparks from concealed fireworks. But just when Ator thinks his problems are over, who should pop out from the next room, but Godzilla! Actually, it's a six-foot fire-breathing Godzilla costume covered with mucus. It doesn't faze Ator in the least, and he proceeds to beat the snot out of the creature. Though Ator's quest isn't over yet - he has more challenges to face, including the attack of the Volcano Stock Footage monster (complete with tomato sauce lava flowing down the stairs), and more action-packed adventures!

Okay, okay - I'm sure you get the idea of how cheap and shoddy this movie is. The question now is whether it is cheap and shoddy in a hilarious way or not. Though it's a step up from The Iron Warrior, it is still not as inspired as the first two entries of this series. The dull locations (mostly marshlands), some boring bits, and some things so cheap that they would embarrass the first three movies make the going ons in this movie a little sad. But then something comes along to make up for it; a hilarious line of dialogue ("You'll make the world ring with your exploits!", "What must a mortal do to free his love?","I may have lost some of my immortality"), a ridiculous monster or costume, or the just plain dumbness of everything make up for it. Lower your expectations a little, keep your patience, and this is definitely worth a few yuks and smiles.

Check for availaiblity on Amazon (VHS)

See also: Troll 2, Hearts And Armour, King Kong Escapes

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