Like that weird kid that doesn't look anything like his parents, you may be thinking he's a weirdo and should be avoided. But then you bump into him at the punch bowl and realize he's one cool dude. That's Deathstalker II.
Once again, Jim Wynorski shows the world why he should be at the top of the list of directors who make budget films. While most similar directors are given a project like this and just crap it out for the paycheck (I'm talking to you, anyone who works for The Asylum) good ol' Jim is told to make a Conan-knockoff and then makes a buddy-copesque screwball comedy with lots of adventure and shenanigans. Jim is the DaVinci of crummy movies.
Leads John Terlasky and Monique Gabrielle "shine" together in excellence of LOL acting. While John plays the smarmy Errol Flynn competently, Gabrielle gives us two different roles (one straight-laced Princess impostor, the other a way-over-the-top damsel) there is clear evidence that she is hamming one of them up. She's beautifully terrible as Reena the Seer, yet competent as Princess Evie. It's proof positive that she is intentionally acting poorly in her main role and kills it. SAG members couldn't act this bad if they tried and she is trying. It's an achievement and should be rewarded for the mastery of her stink.
As usual, Jim pours on the gags and boobs (of which there are plenty), but showcases his giant brass ones in only his third film. There's slams on James Bond, Dino De Laurentiis, tropes of the genre, the fans of Deathstalker I, Indiana Jones, Roger Corman and anyone not savvy enough to pick up on these references. He's a fricking wizard with giant testes. Extra credit for including Mathilda the Hun from GLOW. Actually that's reason enough to give this movie an A+.
Deathstalker II is a must do and likely "Year in Review" top 10 finalist.
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