Fantasy Film Review: Archer, Fugitive from the Empire
Also known as the Archer and the Sorceress, Archer: Fugitive from the Empire came out in 1981.
This is a bad film. It plods along, setting up the central conflict brick by brick, and then it resolves it all with the wrecking ball of the last 10 minutes or so.
Our hero, was a prince who was framed for killing his father—but that’s not the central conflict. Instead he has to go and find some wizard and talk to him for some reason, but along the way there’s this daughter of a goddess he meets who wants to kill that wizard. Meanwhile, there’s this king of the snake men who is trying to kill them.
Frankly, the plot is a mess. It doesn’t help that it was meant to spawn a TV series: They never find the villain in the end and they don’t make certain the king of the snake men (who is a human, for some reason) dies.
The script is poor, the acting is so-so, and the special effects are generally lame. Sure there’s a line from the hero that is egregiously bad and will cause groans, “My mother used to say that love and hate are two horns on the same bull. I’ll take your hate, Estra, if that’s all you have to give.” And the hero has a magic bow that shoots exploding arrows (matched eventually by the guy with exploding spears). In the end, though, it’s a bad film. Yet it’s not laughably bad, so it’s not one of those movies you want to have friends over to watch so you can all have a chuckle.
However, there is one bright spot that makes it worthwhile. Victor Campos plays a charming rake of a rogue! He’s a gambler, a thief, and out to save his own skin. Basically, take Lando from Empire Strikes back and paint him with all the clichés about Dungeons & Dragons rogues, and you’ve got the picture. He even keep a throwing knife in his hat! Check out the clip below. It’s a great example of his comic delivery.
Ultimately, this film earns the rating:
WATCH UNDER ADVISEMENT