Tag Archives: Deathstalker

D for Deathstalker

by Lillian Csernica on April 4, 2015

There are a total of four movies in the Deathstalker franchise.  They put the “low” in “low budget” with their steady decline in plot, characters, and special effects.  On board for the first Deathstalker movie was none other than Roger Corman himself, the king of the B-movies.




All of these movies feature lots of pretty warrior women, princesses, and slave girls who are wearing as little as possible.  To be fair, the heroes are handsome and they run around half-naked too.


Here we have Rick Hill and Lana Clarkson starring as “Deathstalker” and “Kaira.”  Nice outfit she’s almost wearing.


Deathstalker II is so bad it’s hilarious.  Wikipedia says, “Princess Evie of Jzafir is deposed by the evil Jerak and his ally Sultana. Posing as Reena the Seer, Princess Evie enlists the aid of the renowned hero Deathstalker. Together they battle the forces of evil and a clone of Evie created by Jerak, to win back Evie’s kingdom.”


Sure, all that happens, but there’s so much more!  The sorcerous clone of Evie apparently eats people alive, leaving only the bronzed face of her victim which she adds to the headboard on the bed.  Deathstalker and Reena get captured by Amazons.  Deathstalker must fight for his life in a wrestling match with an actual lady wrestler with the ring name of “Queen Kong.”

Starring John Terlesky as Deathstalker and Monique Gabrielle as Reena, Deathstalker II is a borderline porn flick with swords and magic.  It does have a script that’s worth the time.  When Sultana tells the evil Jerak that the famous warrior Deathstalker is helping Reena, Jerak starts spluttering with laughter and says, “Deathstalker?” in this perfect tone of sarcastic disbelief.  Watching John Terlesky play Deathstalker messes with my mind because he looks a lot like a boyfriend I had back when I was 19 or so.  Poor Mr. Terlesky can’t get through some of his scenes without breaking into a grin or just losing it completely.  When he faces the clone of Evie who plans to seduce and devour him, she cuddles up to him and gets a good grip on the front of his leather pants.  Have you ever seen a hero in one of these movies blush?  Terlesky does, the poor devil.  Watch Deathstalker II, especially the outtakes.  Those are really priceless.


In this installment, Deathstalker is played by John Allen Nelson, an otherwise respectable actor who has gone on to have a busy career in television.  Deathstalker is hired by yet another princess to find one of three magic jewels that are crucial to restoring peace to the kingdom.  Two of the jewels are inside the fortress of the evil sorcerer Troxartes, a necromancer who believes in recycling.  Every time he kills a bunch of the good guys, he raises them from the dead to be his zombie soldiers.  The princess gets killed, but as luck would have it, she has a twin sister!  I kept getting distracted by the fact that John Allen Nelson’s head did not look like it belonged on his body.  Clearly the man had worked out and muscled up for the role, but it really looked like his head was sticking up out of some kind of costume.  How bad is this movie?  It is so bad I’ve watched it only once.

Last but not least, Deathstalker IV: Match of the Titans.  Deathstalker is lured to a competition among warriors held at the hilltop castle of the wicked Queen Kana.  Deathstalker discovers the competition is mere bait to attract the strongest warriors in the land so they can be killed off one by one.  Deathstalker decides it’s time to round up the remaining fighters and run for it.  Queen Kana unleashes her Stone Warriors and so begins the battle to the death!  If this plot sounds a lot like the first Deathstalker movie with the addition of silly Stone Warriors, that’s because it is.

Rick Hill returns to the role he created, the mighty warrior Deathstalker.  Doesn’t look too happy about it, does he?


Filed under Blog challenges, fantasy, Fiction, Goals, history, Horror, Humor, romance

How Do You Spell H-A-P-P-Y?

by Lillian Csernica on May 14, 2013


Day 14: Ten things that make you really happy

I considered organizing this list in order of importance, but that feels a little too left-brained.  The very impulse to prioritize what makes me happy suggests a certain rigidity of thinking.  Different things make me happy in different ways and at different times.  One of the many benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is learning how to reframe situations, to develop flexibility in one’s thinking and perceptions.  So!  Here’s my Happy List, in no particular order:

 Ice cream.  At the moment my favorite flavor is Ben & Jerry’s Karamel Sutra, but I’ll take any good chocolate, Neapolitan, spumoni, or seasonal flavors such as eggnog.

 Kittens.  Love those little tiny paws, the itty bitty fangs, and the way they can doze off in a sitting position and just topple over.

 Writing success.  Selling a short story, pushing through a rewrite, looking over an old piece of writing and now having the knowledge to make it what it could be….  And then there’s that feeling summed up by Dorothy Parker‘s comment, “I hate to write but I love having written.”  The actual labor can be a real pain, but oh the pleasure of knowing I’ve churned out another two thousand words!

 Finding just the right gift for someone and seeing that person surprised and happy.

 Getting mail.  I’m talking about greeting cards and handwritten notes and Christmas newsletters and graduation invitations and birth announcements.  I love the physical act of writing.  Choosing a favorite pen and going through my stationery wardrobe for just the right notecard or paper so I can write to someone is an old-fashioned pleasure that I hope never goes out of style.

 Peace and quiet.  I tend to stay up late.  I’m a night owl by nature.  Given that I grew up as a de facto only child, I’m used to being alone and there are times when I really prefer it.

Sleeping late.  Need I say more?

 Really bad sword & sorcery movies.  Remember Miles O’Keefe, star of the “Tarzan” movie with Bo Derek as Jane?  Miles went on to star in a few of the worst sword & sorcery movies ever made, featuring the main character known as Ator.  Then there’s “Hawk the Slayer,” with its really terrible leading man and some of the most pathetic attempts at special effects I’ve ever witnessed.  Green Silly String as magic?  Last but not least, any time I need some serious belly laughs, I watch any of the “Deathstalker” movies.

 Knowing my mother is proud of me.  When I sold SHIP OF DREAMS, Mom gave me a fully constructed model of an actual brigantine, which is the pirate ship and key setting of my novel.  I promptly got some plastic pirate figures from the party store and put them all over the deck and in the rigging!  That’s a big example.  All through my life my mother has given me cards and gifts both large and small as tokens of her pride.  She’s the one who got me addicted to collecting unusual bookmarks.  When I was eight years old and decided I wanted to be a writer, I told my mother I would dedicate my first novel to her.  The day I gave her a fresh new copy of my novel and watched her face as she read the dedication page will remain one of the happiest days of my life.

 My sons.  I love my boys.  Every accomplishment, every victory, even the tiniest sign of progress, is a source of joy to me.  The other day we were talking about how Michael needed a hair cut.  He said, “Barber.”  You have no idea how huge a moment that was!  For Michael to enunciate a new word clearly enough for us to understand him is a real triumph.  And then there’s John, who argues about his homework and struggles with some Social Studies projects and still made the Honor Roll again.  My boys are fighters.  My boys are winners.

Please, tell me what makes you happy.  I take great pleasure in other people’s joy.


Filed under Blog challenges, Family, fantasy, Fiction, Humor, Special needs, Writing