Wizards of the Demon Sword (1991)

Nomination Year: 2009
SYNOPSIS:  Could this be an ultra-low-rent Deathstalker ripoff from Fred Olen Ray? Yes! Yes, it could....

It starts out with our heroine, Melina, running from some thugs at Vasquez Rocks to the tune of some deep-80s suspens-o-synth chase music. Luckily, Thane of Hawksridge (perhaps you've heard of him?) happens by, and rescues her with his over-large sword and overly-inept fight choreography.

Her father has been captured, and with him the blade of Aktar! This is very bad. The world could be in peril! Melina and Thane head off to seek out a holy man. Meanwhile, the bad guys, lead by Lord Cora Khoura (Lyle Waggoner), are trying to figure out how to make the demon blade (which incidentally is a knife, not a sword) work. They try some blood. That doesn't work. They try sacrificing a female virgin. That doesn't work. Lord Khoura's creepy male sidekick suggests maybe they try sacrificing a male virgin next time. Lord Khoura's female sidekick (and apprentice in the Dark Arts) Selena suggests that maybe they try getting the info from the Keeper of the Blade, Melina's father (who we will eventually discover is played by Russ Tamblyn).

Melina and Thane have some random encounters while seeking their holy man. Eventually, they find him, and learn that in order to stop the Protectors of the Blade from being tempted to use it, it can only be used while it's plunged into the heart of that person who the Blade Keeper loves the most (in this case, Melina). So the worst thing that Melina can do is attempt to rescue her father, because that just might put her into Lord Khoura's clutches.

Melina gets kidnapped anyway, so Thane makes a friend (who is later killed offscreen) and assaults Lord Khoura's castle, where some rooms have spooky red lighting, some rooms have eerie blue lighting, and other rooms have an ahorrent combination that looks like someone was shooting a 3-D movie but you don't have 3-D glasses. Lord Khoura never does figure out why his threats to torture Melina are so ineffectual. She simply refuses to tell him how to make the demon blade work, even on pain of torture. Imagine that.

Oblivious

Lord Khoura Is Shadow-Blind
Lord Khoura is informed that the prisoners have escaped. In a foul mood, he leaves off torturing Melina, and stomps down the corridor toward his throne room -- totally ignoring Thane, who "ducked into a shadow" when he heard Khoura coming, and whose own shadow is clearly visible in the hallway. ARGH!

Smithee Award Winner! Best One-Liner

Fools Are a Dime a Dozen, Though
Thane and Melina are visiting a Holy Man, the Seer. They learn that in order to stop the Protectors of the Blade from being tempted to use it, it can only be used while it's plunged into the heart of that person who the Blade Keeper loves the most (in this case, Melina). Thane scoffs at this, since it doesn't stop other people from using the blade, and the Seer snaps back at him: "Foolproof plans are hard to come by, son!"

Actors/Directors of Note
Actor Claim to Fame
Lyle Waggoner was considered for the role of "Bruce Wayne / Batman" in the 1960s TV series; possibly best-known as "Major Trevor" in the Wonder Woman television series 
Russ Tamblyn long film and television career (he'll be a Jet to his dying day - West Side Story); father of actress Amber Tamblyn 
Heidi Paine  
Dan Speaker stunt coordinator of Time Barbarians, and swords master of Army of Darkness -- as an actor, he makes for a good stuntman 
Dawn Wildsmith  
Lawrence Tierney  
Jay Richardson from The Newlydeads through The Witches of Breastwick, his career spans the The
Director Claim to Fame
Fred Olen Ray in addition to directing films, he wrestles in the ACW 

Kevin Hogan

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