Sorceress
SORCERESS
(LOS BARBAROS) 1982

Director: Jack Hill

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



Sorceress In a decade when Hong Kong & Taiwan film studios were making heroic fantasy films of considerable interest (Buddhas Palm, 1982; Warriors of Magic Mountain, 1983; or A Chinese Ghost Story, 1987, for hasty examples) & often enough including very powerful swordswomen characters (White Hair Devil Lady aka Sorceress Wrath, 1981; Wolf Devil Woman, 1981; Demons in the Flame Mountain, 1983; Golden Sparrow, 1988; & many others), cinema in the west was giving us mainly dreck like Sorceress (1982). With a support cast of mostly Mexicans, the whole she-bang (so to speak) is badly, badly dubbed just to be extra certain nobody can turn in even half of a convincing performance.

Busty twin sisters (Lynette & Leigh Harris) play Mara & Mira, who have been raised as boys & think they're boys, despite that they pretty much continuously look like they're the March 1981 Playmates (in a special "nekkid twins" feature since they weren't good enough to qualify for the centerfold, no more than they were good enough to qualify for even a half-decent movie).

I can't imagine any reason for anyone ever to watch this film alone unless they have a fetish for twins & intend to use it in a porny sort of way. It otherwise requires a party of shlock film fans who can laugh their asses off & making smart-aleck commentaries throughout.

An evil sorcerer (Roberto Ballesteros) is trying to track down his daughters in order to sacrifice them to some god(dess) of things bad & silly. The twins are terrible sword fighters & staff fighters but fortunately they live in a world where everyone else is even worse. So they can win in the badly choreographed scenes that attempt to approximate what one might call "fighting."

If you hold out to see the titular sorceress you'll be sad. Toward the end the god(dess) Kaligara shows up briefly in the form of a floating head. Somehow I can't believe that was supposed to be the sorceress. Lots of nonsensical crap happens but nobody resembling a sorceress ever shows up, though we do have the "bad" sorcerer daddy & the "good" sorcerer warrior (Martin LaSalle).

But as for a sorceress, not a bloody one, unless their mommy at the beginning of the film was supposed to be more than the baby factory. This is surely why the Australian dvd release retitled it The Devil's Advocate (which is scarsely an improvement), though the Mexican release Los Barbaros would seem the only accurate title, meaning Barbarians.


Sorceress The petty twins are befriended by characters like the gruff fat viking in a Saxon helmet (Bruno Rey) who can't tell they're girls even if they're half naked with bobbly boobies & Frazetta-model rear ends.

They have sundry assinine adventures that wouldn't've passed muster for Crusader Rabbit. Then we're blessed with the big "reveal" that busty women aren't men, an event that amounts to their getting naked & hearing their chum exclaim in stark terror, "You're not boys!" to which they girlishly enquire, "We're not?"

Some of the humor has to have been deliberate, though in a film this bad it's hard to tell. Like when the Viking's good buddy the satyr (David Millbern) gets a woody for the naked "boys" & the "boys" discuss whether or not the goat-pecker is some kind of weapon protruding from over a sack of rocks (I improve the discussion somewhat).

The army of gorilla costumes seems also likely to have been funny on purpose, again hard to tell; it could be only that ape costumes had a rental sale that day.

I'm even less certain it was supposed to be such a hoot that the Semi-Handsome Leading Man (Bob Nelson) almost gets a pointy stick up his bum. In general the film is so inept, it's impossible to believe much of the comedy is anything but accidental, though I'll admit that if I were myself asked to write a script specifically to insult the intelligence of fans of such crud, this'd be it.

Eventually the twins & their buddies achieve some sort of victorious climax assisted by some sheep & a bat-winged lion-puppet swinging on a string. The puppet destroys the Floating Head of Kaligara with blue lightning beams hand-drawn on the film negative with a light-pen, & any three year olds watching just might, might get really scared.

When it's all over, there's a Mormon coda with the Semi-Handsome Leading Man prepared to marry both twins. As for what it all meant, you won't want to think about it too much unless you're with a bunch of people who want to play a post-film game of "what part of that made any sense?"

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl



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