Overview: "Deathstalker, your quest continues! Deathstalker, you must seek the holy Amulet of Yendok, which will - hey, come back here, Deathstalker! Deathstalker, your sequel awaits! Deathstalker, how can you walk away from an opportunity like this? Deathstalker, your quest for the elusive residual check has ended at last, with Deathstalker 2! Come back here, Deathstalker! You know what, fine, we'll just cast some scrawny grinning doofus with a giant chin to replace you, see if I care, Deathstalker. Deathstalker, are you listening to me?"
Directed By: Jim Wynorski, 1987
The Case For: If you're sick of barbarian movies always casting guys with giant pecs, square jaws, and terse murder-related one-liners, Deathstalker 2 will be a refreshing change of pace for you.
The Case Against: This movie somehow manages to tarnish the good name of the Deathstalker franchise, and when you're making a sequel to a barbarian B-movie full of breast shots, butt shots, beheadings and quasi-consensual rapes, that's no mean feat.
Deathstalker 2 is worse than a pale imitation of Deathstalker, which for all its failures at least had a bunch of beheadings and some orchestral music to provide some mild amusement. Deathstalker 2, on the other hand, boasts less believable fight choreography than a backyard wrestling league populated by inanimate Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage pillows. And if you're interested in owning the complete Deathstalker 2 soundtrack, you'll probably find it in the "demo" menu of some shitty '90s Yamaha-knockoff MIDI keyboard nestled between #12 "My Heart Will Go On" and #14, "House of the Rising Sun (All Pan Flute Version)."
Worst of all, Deathstalker 2 commits the ultimate bad movie sin of thinking it's funny/trying intentionally to be "so bad it's good". Here's a pro-tip for any budding directors out there: making a movie that sucks on purpose while winking and nodding as hard as you can directly at the audience in every scene only works about .0001% of the time. The rest of the time, you're just taking a worn out concept and completely fucking it up, thus making everyone hate you forever.
Speaking of which, we're going to place pretty much all the blame for this fiasco on director Jim Wynorski, who has piloted more than a few other big steaming piles of horror/fantasy sequels nobody asked for into the twin towers of dignity and shame. Sure, maybe a Deathstalker 2 could happen to anybody, but with a resume composed mainly of tedious Asylum-ripoff level CGI monster flicks and direct-to-video novelty pornos like "The Witches of Breastwick", we're pretty sure this wasn't an isolated incident. Despite all of that, Deathstalker 2 is still one of the movies J.W. is most famous for, and we hope that fact haunts and torments him for the rest of his shitty, meaningless days.
The movie opens at what looks like Castle Blackenstein, wherein our eponymous hero is busy fight-scaping from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Chin after a botched attempt to steal a priceless Chin Dynasty miniature. Much to our relief, he escapes unharmed by the hair of his chinny chin chin, and goes home to celebrate another job well done with a nice relaxing read of Chinnegans Wake in the tub. Sorry, we missed the actual beginning because we were so bored we just started making fun of this guy's chin. There's actually a bit character in the movie named Chin, so the casting director missed a golden opportunity here. Oh well, at least he's overcome his physical disability to master the heroic slow-motion, physics-defying dive.
So what else is new about this shitty Deathstalker compared to the last shitty Deathstalker? Glad you asked! Despite proudly announcing in the first 3 minutes of the film that he enjoys watching women get beaten to a bloody pulp for fun, it turns out Deathstalker Jr. has...(wait for it)...morals. Well, sort of. See, for some insane reason, the writer/director decided to regress the character into a walking series of awful hero cliches, so now instead of being an amoral sociopath who rescues damsels in distress only to rape them as a surprise twist, he's an amoral sociopath who rescues damsels in distress and doesn't rape them as a surprise twist! As if this welcome touch of gritty realism and narrative depth wasn't enough already, D.S. also seems to have lost all of his random godlike magical powers and had them replaced with this fucking sound effect instead:
Is that an exploding ninja midget or are you just happy to see me?
Being able to bend the laws of physics to your will and send objects flying across the room with telekinesis is overrated anyway, man. It's all about the CRAWWWWwwwwwww now. CRAWWWWwwwwwww makes the Holy Grail look like the Regular Grail. It puts the "Oh fuck" in "Oh fuck! It's that guy!" Up yours, Cockroft, you can unsplit the atom and shove it right back up your taut Nobel prize-winning British ass, because we've got John CRAWWWWwwwwwwwCRAWWWWwwwwwwwft. Shakespeare? Uh, no thanks, I'll take some CRAWWWWwwwwwww instead of that stupid jerkass, whoever he even is. Mozart? Hey Blowzart, nice requiem that you totally finished--SYKE--maybe if your idiot, smelly powdered wig-having parents had named you CRAWWWWwwwwwwwmadeus you wouldn't be so crummy and dead. Crayfish? More like CRAWWWWwwwwwwwfish. And don't even get us started about Mardi CRAWWWWwwwwwww.
With powers like that, obviously the dude's gotta die. And of course as we all know the only way to kill a hero properly is by assembling a crack team of gimmicky henchmen whose nicknames and/or catchphrases double as puns involving their preferred method of killing:
Bonus points if you assemble your entire team in a cantina/particularly evil brothel, double bonus if you get some guy with a Bond-era stereotypical rooskie accent to introduce all of them directly to the camera.
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Lean in close to your screen. Inhale deeply. Does this guide give off a cloyingly sour odor? Then it is likely the genuine article.
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