In the Deathstalker movies, it never really mattered who played Deathstalker as long as producer Roger Corman made a quick buck. In Part 4, Rick Hill returns from a two picture absence to reprise his role as Deathstalker. He may not be the greatest actor in the world, but at least he LOOKS like a Deathstalker. (The guy from Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell looked more like a Weeniestalker if you ask me.)
So anyway, the plot of this one has Deathstalker rescuing a chick from a race of German Sheppard people who try to rape her (doggystyle of course). He helps her out, but then runs into a lot of flashbacks from the first movie. (Corman always did know how to save a buck.) What happens next is basically The Quick and the Dead, except with broadswords and loincloths instead of pistols and cowboy boots, as Deathstalker signs up to participate in a sword fighting tournament. The sponsors of the competition, a sex starved queen and her crusty magician, take the losers and turn them into stone, with the intention of building an army of invincible soldiers. It’s up to Deathstalker to stop the no-good nympho and save the day.
Nobody was really making a lot of sword and sorcery movies in 1990, but they sure as heck were making a lot of movies with the number 4 in the title, so it was okay.
I don’t know whether or not you’d call this a “good” movie, but if you’re the kind of person that enjoys seeing muscular, well oiled dudes draped in fur pelts wielding gigantic swords, then you may enjoy it. For me, things kind of fell apart once they introduced the whole stone warrior subplot. It made little sense and everything was resolved way too easily. It also didn’t help that all the sword fighting scenes looked like they were choreographed by Stevie Wonder and edited by Helen Keller.
Sure this movie’s action sequences were some of the lamest since the invention of the medium, but I have to admit, this flick did a lot of things right. No matter how many times I rolled my eyes every time Hill minced around while narrowly avoiding being hit by a plastic Rite Aid sword, there were some great stuff sprinkled here and there that made this crap worth sitting through. There was topless female mud wrestling, guys running around with bear skin rugs over their faces, lesbians giving each other sponge baths in mead barrels, dog-faced women dressed in dominatrix get-ups, Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling rejects beating the snot out of bull dykes, medieval food fights, lots of women with breasts the size of fully ripe cabbages running around with no tops on, heads got cut off, and arms got ripped off. This movie also featured more mullets on display than a Molly Hatchet concert, so that alone is worthy of some praise.
Also, you have to respect a movie that’s only 78 minutes long, especially when the first 8 minutes are almost exclusively flashbacks from the first movie and it contains 4 minutes of opening and end credits, leaving only 66 minutes of actual “movie”.
And then there is the smoking hot Maria Ford as Deathstalker’s arm candy who gets to show off her ample assets. As a B Movie Actress, Ford never really got her due (check her out in the immortal Angel of Destruction if you don’t believe me) and her magnificent frame and impeccable beauty is easily the best thing about the movie.
Writer/director Howard R. Cohen was also responsible for those dreadful Saturday the 14th movies. He didn’t exactly know which side of the camera you were supposed to look through when it came to filming the action scenes, but that’s just dandy by me, because anybody who can write dialogue like, “Women zap your vital juices!” is entitled to a free pass every now and then.
AKA: Deathstalker 4: The Darkest Hour.