Deathstalker II Release Date: 11 November 1987 (USA) Genre: Action | Adventure | Comedy Director(s): Jim Wynorski (Chopping Mall, Ablaze) Writer(s): Neil Ruttenberg (Magic Island, Bad Blood, Prehysteria! 3) Starring: Monique Gabrielle, John Terlesky, Toni Naples While I’ve yet to see the first, third, and fourth films of the Deathstalker series, the basic consensus among […]

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Deathstalker II
Release Date: 11 November 1987 (USA)
Genre: Action | Adventure | Comedy
Director(s): Jim Wynorski (Chopping Mall, Ablaze)
Writer(s): Neil Ruttenberg (Magic Island, Bad Blood, Prehysteria! 3)
Starring: Monique Gabrielle, John Terlesky, Toni Naples

While I’ve yet to see the first, third, and fourth films of the Deathstalker series, the basic consensus among b-movie fans is that Deathstalker II is the only one worth a damn. Directed by Jim Wynorski, who took a straightforward action adventure script by Neil Ruttenberg and trashed it in favor of something more tongue-in-cheek, Wynorski’s Deathstalker delivers that same old campy fun that I’ve grown to expect from the man.

Deathstalkr II knows that it is pure cheese, and just revels in that fact. When one of your opening lines is, “Ordinaily I don’t mind seeing a woman get a good beating if she deserves it… But this doesn’t look like much of a contest,” you know you’re in for something beautiful.

This line is said by the Deathstalker (Terlesky) shortly before rescuing a damsel in distress (Gabrielle) that has been thrown out a castle. As we come to learn, this peasant woman is actually a Princess that has been tossed out by a master swordsman intent on performing evil deeds. While we’re never really told how, the swordsman and Queen Sultana have managed to make a clone of the Princess that follows all their orders. Throughout the rest of the movie, the Deathstalker meets the worst of the worst, including a midget, zombies, and a group of feminists that put him in a wrestling match to the death (complete with a ring) with a behemoth of a woman.

Made in Argentina with only four American cast members, Deathstalker II is in no way quality cinema. It’s not meant to be, and that’s why it’s so great.
DVD: Jim Wynorski has a lively commentary track with John Terlesky and Toni Naples. Naples says very little, leaving Wynorski and Terlesky to give an outstanding commentary that outlines just how cheap the entire production was.

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