#16. Deathstalker and the Warriors From Hell
16. Deathstalker and the
Warriors from Hell (1988) - Season 7, episode 703
"This movie is like playing Doom when there's no monsters or
Plot: Some guy named Deathstalker has to do something or other and save whoever.
The guy in the bat helmet.
"I'm a bat. Squeak squeak." "You would tell me if I looked silly in this, wouldn't you?" Who are we? BATS!What do we want? INSECTS!When do we want 'em? RIGHT NOW!
My favorite riff: Oh, man, so many great riffs in this episode. It's hard to
pick just one. Especially with the goofy-ass swordfight at the end that
Mike and the Bots just shit on for twenty straight minutes.
"Well, this movie made it possible for two more actors to put stage fighting on their resume." "It was a good idea to film the walkthrough." "Trash talking wasn't very good yet. All you could say was "Ahhhhh!!! Arrrrrrh!!!""
However, if there's one
riff that I will always remember from this episode, it's the one that
pops up because the editing is so spazzy. And because characters will
just randomly appear in scenes and disappear from other scenes, without
At a crucial moment in the film, Deathstalker just
randomly shows up in Troxartas's window. With no explanation.
Which leads to one of my
all-time favorite MST3k riffs...
"You clever bastard. So the editor's working with you!"
Deathstalker isn't the best episode of MST3k. But it IS what I
would consider one of the most well rounded
episodes of them all. In fact, this is probably the perfect episode if
wanted to introduce a friend to Mystery Science Theater, and show it to
them for the first time. I know I've already said that about a bunch of
other episodes, but this is the one
that I use whenever I introduce somebody new to MST3k these
Deathstalker is right there in the perfect sweet spot between comedy,
and camp, and crap.
"Well, let's see how long these accents last." "Wow, he's Hasselhoffing it BIGTIME."
reason I use Deathstalker as my introduction episode is because
not a single point in this movie where the riffing actually lets
up. Seriously, there's not even one. It's solid, funny riffing from the
opening credits right up to the closing credits, and the pacing is
incredible. When you finish
Deathstalker, you feel like you've been laughing for hours.
I'm not kidding about this. I had one occasion a couple of years where I was laughing so
consistently throughout this episode that at the end, my jaw actually
started to get sore. MY JAW ACTUALLY STARTED TO GET SORE. Name another TV show where you laugh so
often that your jaw gets sore.
[When the guards are burning a particularly stiff corpse]
"Wow, rigor mortis. (laughing) They must have pounded pieces of rebar through her body."
"Never show the audience the inside of your hero's mouth." "It's hard to look menacing when you're dressed like Maude."
don't have a whole lot to say about this episode other than that.
It's just a crappy old 80s sword and sorcery movie with nothing
especially outstanding about it, other than the riffing. Oh, and
other than the fact that they really didn't even TRY to make it much of
a period piece. They just figured the audience wouldn't
notice blatant little anachronisms like this...
"They missed on the haircuts by roughly twelve hundred years."
Oh, and did I mention the bat helmet?
They really should have made more jokes about the bat helmet.
"Uh, do those flap? Or are they just attached?"
Other personal favorite things
about this episode:
You're in luck, because I've got three.
The first thing I love is the fact that the bad guy in this movie is
named "Troxartas." But Mike and the Bots keep calling him "Trucks
Artist." Which leads to riffs like Deathstalker telling Trucks Artist, "Hey,
after the swordfight, can you paint my van?"
I don't know why I find that so funny. I just do.
second thing I love about this episode is the running joke that
everyone just eats potatoes. Which doesn't seem like it's going
anywhere for most of the movie. Except then Mike caps it off with the
most AMAZING Ore-Ida potato joke
right at the end.
Seriously, this riff is a thing of beauty.
[Deathstalker is looking at the corpse of his girlfriend for one last time] "Well, I have to say. She was All-Righta."
finally... I love the fact that the actor who plays Troxartas basically
just makes up his own rules of grammar. And he's always putting
punctuation breaks in his sentences, like he's fucking Christopher
Which leads to this riff, where Servo finally calls him out on it.
Troxartas: This has. Nothing to do with. Being rich! Tom Servo: I put the. Beats in my own. Script and I'm sticking. With them!
Trivia: By the way, here's some fun history about this movie.
When it first
came out, Deathstalker and the Warriors From Hell was originally just known as Deathstalker III. And the reason I know
that is because the movie that preceded it (Deathstalker II: Duel of
the Titans) is one of my favorite guilty pleasure
movies of all time.
I've owned a copy of Deathstalker II on DVD for years. I even wrote about it once on a webpage called "200 Movies That Deserve More Love." I also did a podcast about it once on a movie podcast I run called Staff Picks. It's one of those dumb little B-movies that I've always just loved.
Deathstalker 2. If the guys who made Airplane! made a sword and sorcery movie.
first and original "Deathstalker" came out in 1983, and it was
a big bowl of nothing. It was a blatant ripoff of Conan the Barbarian, and it probably went
straight to video. And fuck it, nobody cared.
And then four years later,
the producers decided to make a Deathstalker sequel. Only this time, they
hired a director (Jim Wynorski) who was known for making goofy
horror/comedies, not serious sword and sorcery epics. His
movie prior to Deathstalker II was a goofy 80s horror classic called Chopping
Wynorski agreed to make Deathstalker 2. But at the same time, he had
conditions. And his conditions were... basically... "Okay I'll take
your money, but fuck it, this
time around, Deathstalker is gonna be a comedy." And
that's exactly what he
did. Deathstalker II is one of the goofiest and most strangely
B-movies you are ever going to see in your life. It's so goofy, in
fact, that at certain points in the
movie... the actors literally CRACK UP AND BREAK CHARACTER. And because
Wynorski didn't give a shit, he actually left them breaking character
in the film.
anyway, there's your backstory. Deathstalker I, boring. Deathstalker II, goofy camp classic. And then along comes
this movie, Deathstalker
III. And... well... this time around, the producers decided to play it straight again, like they did with the first one). So we
wound up with this boring piece of shit. And of course Mike and the Bots
give it the savaging that a piece of shit like this deserves, and I'm glad that they did.
There's no other way I can say this. Deathstalker and the Warriors From Hell is a great episode.
"GUESS WHAT I'VE BEEN DOING!"