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Barbarian Queen II: The Empress Strikes Back

USA/Mexico 1989
produced by
Antonio De Noriega, Alan Krone, Anthony Norway, Roger Corman for Triana Films, Concorde Pictures
directed by Joe Finley
starring Lana Clarkson, Greg Wrangler, Roger Cudney, Cecilia Tijerina, Alejandro Bracho, Elizabeth A.Jaeger, Rebecca Wood, Orietta Aguilar, Monica Steeler, Carlos Romano, Manuel Benitez, Antonio Zubiaga, George Belanger, John Sterlini, Patrick Welch, Arturo Ostos, Alejandro Landero, Francisco Tostado, Hector De Rubin, Memo Ayala
story by Lance Smith, screenplay by Howard R.Cohen, Lance Smith, music by Christopher Young

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Princess Althea (Lana Clarkson) is the keeper of the secret of a magic sceptre that is supposed to keep the king alive forever. Then though, the king dies all the same, and evil Ankaris (Alejandro Bracho) pronounces himself the new king and assigns his right-hanmd-man Hofrax (Roger Cudney) to torture the secret out of her. Althea however manages to free herself and escape her ancestral castle to live in the woods and become the leader of an amazon tribe. Hofrax however comes after her to hunt her down with a battallion led by Aurion (Greg Wrangler), fiancé to Ankaris' bratty daughter Tamis (Cecilia Tijerina) who is nevertheless in love with Althea though.

Of course, Hofrax, Aurion and their soldiers are beaten by the amazons, and while Hofrax is humiliated, Aurion is finally able to get into Althea's panties. Then though both he and Hofrax are sent back to Ankaris, to properly rub in his men's defeat.

Ankaris figures the best way to get hold of Althea is to lure her to the castle, so he announces a mass hanging of innocent peasents - a plan that works, because while Althea and her women manage to free the peasents, Hofrax' men manage to capture her, and she is subjected to a series of tortures, including a spider bite administered by bratty Tamis herself. Aurion has second thoughts though about his allegiances, and he frees Althea, just when her amazon friends arrive to save her, and they all take her back to her camp in the woods ... where she is slowly dying, and only the sceptre could heal her ...

Bratty Tamis is devastated by Aurion's switch of allegiance, so she turns herself from a tweenie into a yong adult by magic, enters the amazon camp as one of them, and somehow learns the secret of the sceptre - but Althea has seen through her new appearance, takes her captive and forces her to ride with them when she and her amazons attack the castle.

During the attack, Tamis is killed by her own father, mistaking her for an amazon, and overcome by grief he takes his own life immediately afterwards, while Althea, still dying a bit more every minute from the spider bite, finally goes one on one with Hofrax, and she only just defeats and kills him, before making it to the sceptre just in time, saving her own life.

With her enemies gone, Althea is now king of the realm, but she throws away the sceptre that granted her family power through its magic and promises to become a just ruler based on what she has learned with the amazons.

 

Ok so this film is silly, clichéed, and made on the cheap - but it's also lots of fun, full of torture scenes, catfights, breast-baring incidents, colourful (if a tad flat) characters and the like, all carried by a script that doesn't take itself to seriously and a rather light-hearted directorial effort. And of course, while Lana Clarkson might not exactly be the greatest actress, she has got a great body and puts it to great use here. Oh, and Elizabeth A.Jaeger as klutzy amazon is a hoot.

In all, certainly no masterpiece, but a next-to-perfect party flick.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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the new anthology by
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