DEATHSTALKER delivered in the action. DEATHSTALKER II delivered in the comedy. Sadly, DEATHSTALKER III only delivers in the “this ain’t nearly as good as the first two” category.
Screenwriter Howard Cohen – no doubt fuming that a DII got made without him – returns to the series to continue the adventures of our titular hero. Deathstalker (John Allen Nelson) seems to be living the peaceful life now, hanging out at a Renaissance Fair, er, his village where everyone is happy. And he hangs out with kids for some reason. Oh crap, not again – this place is fixing to get wrecked. Sure enough, the baddies come riding out of the woods (these villagers never seem to hear them coming) and storm the village. They are looking for Carissa (Carla Herd), a young woman who possesses ½ of a magical crystal. She has come here because she believes wizard Nicias (Aaron Hernan) has the other half, but he vaguely tells her to go “to the South” to find it. So a bunch of villagers are killed, Nicias disappears in a puff of smoke (thanks for helping, dude), and Carissa escapes with her savior Deathstalker.
Setting up camp for the night, Carissa shows Deathstalker the stone and mentions how it will produce “a city built of treasure” when combined with its other half. She also mentions having a sister who died for it. Oh, crap, dude is totally emotionally invested now. This is good because Carissa is quickly killed by some men (that’ll teach her for refusing to sleep in Deathstalker’s tent) and she gives Deathstalker possession of the crystal. He escapes the men once again and runs into the traveling caravan of Princess Elizena (Herd again), Carissa’s stuck up twin sister. She is on her way to the North (I thought we were going South) to marry Troxartas (Thom Christopher). What she doesn’t know is ol’ Trox is an evil dude and is marrying her to get the other half of the crystal (which she doesn’t have). Anyway, Deathstalker proves his charm by pretending to have sex with her when Troxie’s men come around and she calls him something like a ruffian. Gee, I wonder if these two will work it out.
Troxartas or Joan Crawford?
third BEASTMASTER and TV pilot. It is not like DEATHSTALKER III is some horrible, painful film to watch. It isn’t and I never found myself bored with it during its 85 minute run time. It is, however, just missing that pop, that sizzle, that anything that makes the best Corman productions stand out. Like the DEATHSTALKER shooting locations (this one moved shooting to Mexico), this film is all over the map. John Allen Nelson fills Deathstalker’s loincloth this go around, but he lacks Rick Hill’s muscles and John Terlesky’s natural charm. Actually, he seems more like Robin Hood than Deathstalker. Nelson is a decent actor and delivers the funny lines well enough, but he seems like he should be heading a 80s teen comedy and not a Deathstalker film. I also had to shake my head at Thom Christopher as the bad guy. He frequently dips into this New Yawk accent and looks exactly like Uncle Leo from SEINFELD.