Wednesday, August 23, 2006


In watching the MST3K version of 'The Magic Sword', one is forced to ask the question that one asks of all MST3K films: does the content bear even the remotest resemblance to the title? Does 'The Magic Sword', in fact, have anything to do with magic swords?

The answer is, well, yes, there is a magic sword in it, but to be honest, it's not exactly central to the plot. There's a whole bunch of other titles that would have been just as relevant.

The Mother Who Couldn't Let Go

George is the blandly good-looking foster son of Sybil, an elderly sorceress. When George discovers that his secret love, the Princess Helene, has been kidnapped, he vows to set off and save her. But Sybil has abandonment issues, and refuses to let him leave. Eventually he has to lock her in the cellar just to get out of the house. I think somebody needs a copy of "When Parents Love Too Much" for Mother's Day.

The United Nations of Knighthood

George is assisted by a battalion of knights whom he found in the basement, and who seem curiously sanguine about the fact that George's uncle turned them all into stone centuries earlier. There's a French knight, a Scottish knight, a Spanish knight, an Italian knight, an Irish knight and a German knight, all struggling with their accents like strung-out junkies trying to get the child-proof cap off a bottle of pills.

Down the Gurgler: The True Story of the Career of Basil Rathbone

In 1936 he was Tybalt in 'Romeo & Juliet'. From 1939 to 1953 he was the definitive Sherlock Holmes. But by 1962 he was reduced to playing the camp villain Lodac, stalking around cheap sets and striking dramatic poses, dressed like a cross between Gloria Swanson and Mandrake the Magician.

The Adventures of Princess Severebreasts

I mean, crikey! They look about as soft and yielding as a couple of bullet-shaped anvils!


Sir Branton is George's rival in the quest to rescue Princess Helene, and, since he's rich, aristocratic and speaks with a plummy accent, he turns out to be evil, and in league with Lodac. If he'd been poor, common and in the habit of dropping his aitches, no doubt he'd have demonstrated such a pure heart and an inner nobility as to make St Francis of Assisi look like Tucker Max.

Hooray for Focus Groups!

In the end, Lodac double-crosses Sir Branton and turns him into a wall hanging, George kills the two-headed dragon, Sybil transmogrifies herself into a panther and kills Lodac, George and Helene get married, and all the dead knights are brought back to life via Sybil's use of Lodac's magic ring, just in time for the wedding! Then they all lived happily ever after... at least until the Director's Cut came out.

Then Helene was eaten by the dragon, Lodac killed Sybil, and George ended his days as a dunken male prostitute dying of syphillis in a gutter. It was more in keeping with the director's uncompromising artistic vision.


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