by Lillian Csernica on April 22, 2015
The film opens as King Cromwell (Richard Lynch) and his men land ashore of Tomb Island in search of Xusia of Delos (Richard Moll), a long-dead sorcerer who may be the key to overthrowing his rival King Richard, whose land of Ehdan is the richest in the world. Using one of Xusia’s worshipers to awaken him, Cromwell convinces Xusia to join his cause. With the sorcerer’s black magic at his command, Cromwell easily lays waste to Richard’s formidable army.
Now this has to be one of the most disgusting deals-with-a-demon I’ve ever seen. On all sides, Xusia’s coffin looks like this:
What’s more, the coffin itself is full of blood, and Xusia himself rises up out of it bald, dripping, and with the sorceress licking his fingers. When the negotiations take a hostile turn, Xusia rips her heart out of her chest with the Glowing Press-on Nails of Doom.
Eventually, Cromwell becomes eager to be rid of Xusia. Fearing that the sorcerer could very well turn against him, he attempts to kill Xusia by stabbing him in the chest and chasing him off a cliff.
This scene turned tragic when stuntman Jack Tyree missed his airbags and died as a result of the fall.
With only one army left to defend the city, King Richard prepares to lead the charge against Cromwell in a last-ditch effort to save Ehdan. He orders his family to evacuate to the river, and entrusts his youngest son Talon with his magnificent triple-bladed projectile sword, instructing the boy to avenge his death should it occur.
Here is young Prince Talon with this amazing sword that can actually fire three blades. Spring-loaded? Pressure canisters? Magic? For some strange reason we’re never allowed to know the secret of the shooting blades.
When Richard fails to return home afterwards, Talon goes to find him. At that moment, Talon spies his father in the distance, just seconds before his execution. Talon desperately races to the river on horseback, but once again, he is too late. Horrified, he watches as his mother is put to death at Cromwell’s hands. With Cromwell’s men now in pursuit of him, Talon has no choice but to flee. After narrowly surviving an ambush, the boy manages to evade capture and disappear from the kingdom.
This is where the name “Talon” comes in. The kid is leaning on a tree. An enemy arrow nails his hand to the trunk. To escape, Talon has to lose parts of his last two fingers on that hand. That’s why you see him wearing that spiffy leather brace through the rest of the movie.
Eleven years later, Prince Talon (Lee Horsley), now a seasoned warrior, leads a small group of mercenaries back into his homeland, seeking to fulfill the promise he made long ago. Meanwhile in his subterranean lair, the sinister Xusia—still very much alive—vows to repay Cromwell for his treachery.
In the city of Ehdan, a rebellion has begun under Prince Mikah (Simon MacCorkindale), son of King Richard’s closest advisor, who many believe to be the rightful heir to the throne. After confirming the final plans with Machelli (George Maharis), Cromwell’s war chancellor (who is secretly a double agent), Mikah relays the news to his sister Alana (Kathleen Beller), but Cromwell suddenly bursts into their hideout and a battle ensues. Although Mikah is captured, Alana flees through the city streets, but eventually finds herself cornered by Cromwell’s men. She is then rescued by Talon, who easily dispatches her assailants.
This is one of the funniest scenes in the movie. Here you have a Prince and a Princess, both looking like five miles of bad road. He’s being the tough mercenary and she’s bargaining with her natural charms. What makes this even more entertaining to me is knowing Lee Horsley is over six feet tall, while Kathleen Beller is barely five feet. The crew must have stood her on a box for the scenes where Alana and Talon are kissing.
At a nearby tavern, Alana learns of her brother’s imprisonment and asks Talon to rescue him, along with a faction of rebels who have been recently trapped by Cromwell’s forces. Unable to bribe the mercenary with gold, Alana reluctantly offers herself to him for one night. Satisfied, Talon departs on his mission, but Cromwell’s men arrive shortly thereafter and capture Alana as well.
Simon MacCorkindale as Mikah. He went on to star in a short-lived TV series called “Manimal” about a veterinarian who could shapeshift into various animal forms.
Successful in freeing the rebels, Talon infiltrates the castle through the sewers and is able to rescue Mikah, but is subsequently detected and captured by Cromwell.
You want to know how Cromwell caught Talon? Simple. Talon burst into the room where Alana was butt naked getting a massage by candlelight. That provided the crucial distraction. Talon ended up getting tossed out the window.
After forcing Alana into marriage, Cromwell invites the four neighboring kings to their wedding feast, where he intends to assassinate them with Talon crucified in the dining hall.
Before the plot can be carried out, however, Talon amazingly summons the strength to pull himself free of the crucifix, just seconds before the rebels, led by Mikah, storm into the dining hall and overpower Cromwell’s soldiers.
Here he is, yanking that huge spike out of the wood. In slow motion, no less. Assuming the heads of the spike didn’t break enough of the bones in his hands to just slide through, I seriously doubt Talon would be in any kind of shape to grip the hilt of that huge, heavy, triple-bladed sword.
Cromwell attempts to flee the castle with Alana in tow, but Talon intercepts them. In the resulting skirmish, Machelli takes custody of Alana and brings her to the catacombs beneath the castle, where he reveals his true identity as Xusia.
Now here’s another utterly gross moment in the movie. Xusia is just wearing a Machelli “body,” which he proceeds to erupt out of, giving us a wonderful view of Machelli’s face coming apart.
Although Cromwell tries to intercede, he proves to be no match for the sorcerer, but Talon is somehow able to resist Xusia’s power long enough to strike him down with his projectile sword.
This isn’t as easy as it looks, because right then Xusia’s Glowing Claws of Mayhem have lit up as he tries to rip Talon’s heart out. Cromwell couldn’t hold out too long, but Our Hero can do it!
He then engages Cromwell in combat, finally vanquishing the evil king. Afterwards, Talon saves Alana from a giant constrictor snake, but Xusia suddenly rises again, prompting Talon to finish off the sorcerer with a blade concealed in his gauntlet.
Why is there always a great big snake?
In the end, Talon yields the crown of Ehdan to Mikah, and Alana honors her commitment to spend one night with her brother’s savior. Talon and the mercenaries then prepare to leave Ehdan for another adventure. As the film closes, a large oared boat with no oarsmen is shown moving out from shore — Xusia, still alive, is shown on board directing its course.
Full disclosure: when I was working at the Ren Faire selling chain mail jewelry, my company made the headdress you see Alana wearing in these photos. I once met Kathleen Beller at the Ren Faire. Little tiny lady! Quite beautiful, and very gracious.