Tuesday, April 13, 2010
The Magic Sword!
When I was a kid, summer vacation meant at least two weeks spent at my Grandparent's house in Lakeland, FL. The local station there played all kinds of cool old movies early in the morning and late at night (this was before infomercials were legal, wtf happened!?) and I was guaranteed to catch this one, THE MAGIC SWORD!, at least twice during those two weeks.
Even at a young age, I knew that this was a truly horrific movie. Yet I couldn't tear my eyes from it! The villain looked strangely familiar (that's because it was Basil Rathbone, villain of about 400 other movies), and so did the hero's aunt or mother or whatever she was (Estelle Winwood, of the campy Batman TV series, Darby O'Gill, etc).
From a fantasy standpoint, this movie has just about everything. Two-headed ogres, giant wolfmen, two-headed dragons, hungry ghosts, hot chicks who turn into slavering ghouls, and so on. Our hero, George, sets off to rescue a princess from an evil wizard with a magic sword and a group of knights from history (?) who should be wearing those red uniforms from Star Trek.
The movie shifts somewhat unnervingly from the comic shenanigans of Winwood and company to the horrible, screaming deaths of George's comrades. Even as George gamely battles the two-headed dragon, Rathbone and Winwood share a little banter.
Why, oh why, must I like this movie?