Deathstalker II: Duel Of The Titans (1987)

Rating: *
Review Date: 8/13/18
Director: Jim Wynorski
Cast: John Terlesky, Monique Gabrielle, John Lazar

"I'll have my revenge... and Deathstalker too!"

Deathstalker (John Terlesky), the self-proclaimed "prince of thieves", saves a seer named Reena (Monique Gabrielle) from a group of soldiers and reluctantly agrees to help her in his quest for fortune and glory. It turns out that she's a runaway princess, and the girl on the throne is actually a evil duplicate of her that was created with black magic by the sorcerer Jarek (John Lazar). After a chance run-in with a tribe of Amazons and an absurd wrestling match with their champion, Deathstalker eventually prevails and Reena's kingdom is restored.

It's a knowingly awful film, and as soon as I saw Jim Wynorski's name in the credits, my heart sank with dread and disappointment. I find his particular brand of goofy and self-aware adolescent humor intolerable, which makes the film difficult to watch. It also shamelessly recycles footage from the original "Deathstalker" (1983) as well as "Amazons" (1986). John Terlesky's pretty boy persona plays the part solely for laughs and is irritating throughout. Monique Gabrielle is a terrible actress, but somehow her blank expressions and flat delivery are perfect for Wynorski's style of comedy. She also suffers from wearing a really bad wig. Curiously, it's only during her topless scenes as the evil princess that she exhibits any amount of talent and a sense of presence. In Wynorski's defense, the film does have several nice compositions and the final sword fight between Terlesky and Lazar is nicely staged, but that's not enough to outweigh the pain of watching the rest of the movie.