Albert Pyun’s 1982 fantasy adventure The Sword and the Sorcerer may not be the most fondly remembered epic of its era, but it was wildly successful. The sword and soccer genre saw a revival in the 1980s. Hollywood anticipated that Conan, Universal’s mega-budget adaptation from the Robert E. Howard pulp books, would be the next Star War. It didn’t quite happen, but before it even reached theaters, dozens of low-budget Conan riffs were in the works. One that hit theaters first was 1982’s The Sword and the Sorcerer, which grossed a spectacular (for the era) $39.1 million, actually outgrossing Conan in North America by 1 million dollars (at a fraction of the budget).In this episode of Fantasizing About Fantasy Films, which is written and narrated by Jessica Dwyer and edited by Bill Mazzola, we dig into the making of the late Albert Pyun classic. If the film had been released to the same level of success that it achieved today, one would have expected Pyun to be elevated to the A-list. Although
The Sword and the Sorcerer10 would have been his only major theatrical success, he would go on to have a long and distinguished career in B-movies. The star, Lee Horsley (who played Talon, keeper of the legendary three-bladed sword), didn’t exactly become the next Arnold Schwarzenegger but was able to parlay the movie’s success into a long-running stint as the lead on TV’s Matt Houston, while co-stars Simon MacCorkindale, Richard Moll and Richard Lynch would all become staples of film and tv throughout the decade and beyond.In this episode, we dive into why the movie was able to beat
Conan to theaters, how the fantasy boom was short-lived, and why the film never got a legitimate, big-budget sequel.Do you have fond memories of
The Sword and the Sorcerer? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!