Top Ten Sword and Sorcery Movies
It’s Sword and Sorcery September, so let’s take a look at the top ten sword and sorcery movies. This is an interesting genre mostly populated by B movies but many have found some mainstream success, Such as Conan and Lord of the Rings. The genre reaches from historical period pieces to Sci fi alternate realities, to pulp fiction.
So lets take a look at the Top Ten Sword and Sorcery Movies of heroes poking villians with pointy objects.
The Beastmaster series while not initially successful upon it’s release, has built up a very strong cult following over the years due to its heavy exposure on late night TV.
Beastmaster tells the story of Dar, the son of a king who was stolen from his mother’s womb by a witch under the command of vicious sorcerer Maax.
Read Neil’s Retro Review here.
9. Fire and Ice
The only survivor is a young warrior, Larn, who vows to avenge this act of destruction. The evil continues, however, as Nekron’s palace of ice heads straight towards Fire Keep, the great fortress ruled by the good King Jarol.
When Jarol’s beautiful daughter, Teegra, is abducted by Nekron’s sub-human ape-like creatures, Larn begins a daring search for her. What results is a tense battle between good and evil, surrounded by the mystical elements of the ancient past.
Bloody and Visually stunning Bakshi Delivers on this Sword and Sorcery tale. Read the rest of my review here.
Directed by Russel Mulcahy, Highlander lends itself to Russel’s music video past.
Flashy and energetic camera work that pairs well with its Flash Gordon-esque Queen soundtrack, Highlander not only entertains in style but also boasts an original and engaging story.
Performances by Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery make this film memorable as well.
Originating in 16th century Scotland, Immortals do battle to win the ultimate prize of being the only one left standing at the end of time. The story spans over 4 centuries culminating in the streets of New York. There can be only one!
An adaption of “Le Morte D’Arthur” Excalibur is the quintessential King Arthur movie.
Tremendous story and some great and equally bad performances as well. The pacing leaves something to be desired in this movie as it starts off fairly slow and then becomes quite abrupt throughout the film, with new plot lines raised then dropped throughout.
However there is plenty to like here that will satisfy fans of the genre. One scene of note is the sex scene in full armor.. geesh
The 80’s had a slew of Sci Fi and fantasy movies, what made Krull standout at that time was that it incorporated both.
Krull never became the big hit that Columbia Pictures hoped it would be, but it did become an enduring cult favorite. It’s easy to see why: it was a film designed for the fantasy-loving kid in all of us, pure and simple.
Borrowing from sources as diverse as Star Wars and Excalibur, the movie blended sci-fi and fantasy into a mysterious, intriguing world that has never been duplicated by another film
Wizards (1977), an allegory for the birth of fascism, set within a post-nuclear apocalyptic wasteland peopled by humans who have mutated into fairies and magicians (on the good side) and red-eyed warlocks and their hideous minions (on the bad).
Essentially the story of two brothers, the benevolent Avatar and the evil Blackwolf, who must face off in a battle for supremacy over the land, Bakshi pushed the boundaries of what was technologically and aesthetically possible at a time when American mainstream animation was stagnating
Not only is this a great Sword and Sorcery film but it is filled with social and political commentary. A must see
4. Conan the Barbarian
Adapted from the pulp fiction stories by Robert E. Howard, tells the Story of Conan a child sold into slavery after his village and family were massacred. Grown up, Conan is freed by his master and seeks revenge.
The movie that made Arnold a star, actually hold up well over time (thanks to a 20 million dollar budget, which was a lot at that time). Sure it takes itself a little to seriously at times but hey, Arnold does punch out a camel in this.
3. The Princess Bride
“My name is Inigo Montoya…”
The Princess Bride is certainly lighter fare on this list but it remains one of the most enjoyable movies of all time.
I have watched this movie countless times over the past couple decades and it still entertains. Perfect casting, an enjoyable satire that caters to all ages (much like what Pixar is doing these days) there is a lot to love here.
The Princess bride tells the tale of the beautiful Buttercup and her true love Westley who become separated through the course of an unfortunate event. Westley’s destiny is to rescue Buttercup from the clutches of an evil Prince so that they might be together again. Along the way many great characters are introduced.
Zach Snyder’s adaption of Frank Millers graphic novel is a treat to the eye.
The story of the battle of Thermopylae was simplified here but the focus was on creating a film where every frame was treated as a piece of art.
The colors, costumes, background and every action were crafted to give a unique visual experience. It seems that many people either love this film or absolutely hate it. But there is no denying that this film raised the bar in cinematography.
And that is why it is number two on my Top Ten Sword and Sorcery Movies.
1. Lord Of The Rings Trilogy
Faithfull to Tolkien’s vision this is truly an epic trilogy, the first perhaps be the best of the three.
I recall sitting in the theatre stunned how Peter Jackson was able to bring Middle Earth to life almost exactly how I had envisioned reading the series.
The acting, cinematography and score are beautifully done in my book. Individually they may not be amazing films but as a whole it is truly an impressive feat in film making. (Sorry Elias, Star Wars Is the original trilogy and the best.)