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|Deathstalker II: Duel of the Titans|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jim Wynorski|
|Produced by||Frank Isaac, Jr.|
|Screenplay by||Neil Ruttenberg|
|Story by||Jim Wynorski|
|Music by||Chuck Cirino|
|Cinematography||Leonardo Rodríguez Solís|
|Edited by||Steve Barnett|
|Distributed by||Concorde Pictures|
|12 September 1987 (Japan)|
Deathstalker II, also known as Deathstalker II: Duel of the Titans, is a 1987 Argentine-American fantasy adventure film and sequel to 1983's Deathstalker. The film was directed by Jim Wynorski, written by Neil Ruttenberg, and starring John Terlesky and Monique Gabrielle. Terlesky replaced Rick Hill, the protagonist from the previous film, in the starring role of Deathstalker. This is the last sword and sorcery movie that Roger Corman produced in Argentina during the 80's.
Owing to its low-cost production and the perceived self-awareness of the movie, Wynorski called the film an "anachronistic comedy of sorts".
Princess Evie of Jzafir is deposed by the evil Jarek and his ally Sultana. Posing as Reena the Seer, Princess Evie enlists the aid of the renowned hero Deathstalker. Together they battle the forces of evil and a clone of Evie created by Jarek, to win back Evie's kingdom.
- John Terlesky ... Deathstalker
- Monique Gabrielle ... Reena the Seer/Princess Evie
- John LaZar ... Jarek the Sorcerer
- Toni Naples ... Sultana
- María Socas ... Amazon Queen
- Marcos Woinsky ... Pirate
- Dee Booher ... Amazon Champion Wrestler (as Queen Kong)
- Jacques Arndt ... High Priest (as Jake Arnt)
- Carina Davi ... Young Amazon
- Jim Wynorski ... Dying Soldier (as Arch Stanton)
- Douglas Mortimer ... Man in Black
- Maria Luisa Carnivani ... Woman Guard
- Leo Nichols ... Pirate's Hitman One
- Frank Sisty ... Pirate's Hitman Two
- Red Sands ... Pirate's Hitman Three
- Dan Savio ... Pirate's Hitman Four
- William Feldman ... Pirate's Hitman Five
- Nick Sardansky ... Evie's Victim
Roger Corman had a deal to make several sword and scorery films in Argentina, of which Deathstalker II was the last. He asked Jim Wynorski, who had just made Chopping Mall (1986) for Corman, to direct it. Wynorski says Corman was upset that he did not make Conan the Barbarian, "he should have done Conan, but he didn’t, someone else did it and he said I’m gonna copy it, so that’s what he did."
Wynorski hired several actors he had worked with before, including John Terlesky. He was dating Monique Gabrielle at the time and had dated Toni Naples; both were cast. He also hired John LaZar because he had been in Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.
There was a script by Neil Ruttenberg which Wynorski felt was "terrible" so Wynroski rewrote it with Terlesky and regular collaborator R. J. Robertson. Wynorski said the original script "was trying to be a Conan movie, and I just said, you know, not what I want to do and I want to be entertaining and I had John who was very, very personable, and I had Toni and Monique and John (LaZar) and Queen Kong, when she was there, and some of the Spanish actors spoke English very well, and they were very happy to do something different."
The director said, 'we kinda did our version of It Happened One Night" He wrote two parts for Monique Gabrielle "because it gave me an extra person, I needed a lot of people who could speak English and, so by creating a dual role for Monique, I created yet another character and every night, John and I would go back to the hotel and rewrite new stuff and shoot it over the next couple of days."
Wynorski reused sets from previous Corman films but says "the sets were pretty much trashed by the time I got there, cause I think I was the last guy to use them before they got torn down."
Wynorski says the producer, Frank Isaac, was "very upset" because they kept changing the original script. "Finally he got so angry about it he called Roger Corman, and Roger Corman’s family came down and Roger watched dailies and said, “This is fine, keep going”."
When Corman got back to California, Wynorski asked him to send down the biggest lady wrestler he could find. He did and Wynorski filmed the Queen Kong scene.
Wynorski said "Maria Socas was/is a very sweet person, she was trying to do the role serious and finally I just said play it serious and we’ll do comedy around you."
Monique Gabriella later described the film as her favourite:
It was a very difficult shoot, in a way, because we were shooting in Argentina and our script had a lot of stunts that couldn't be done with the limitations they had down there. It wasn't safe and there were a lot of problems. I almost got dropped into a pot of water, which, luckily, wasn't boiling (it was supposed to be). But, besides all that, it was really my favorite because I loved the role I played. I got to play dual characters.
Wynroski said "it took a lot from me" to get Gabrielle to play comedy. "She had more apogee for playing the evil queen, but I said you have to play yourself, which is very sweet and you have to play as a funny, you know, waif, and she did, she did a good job."
Wynorski says the Argentinian producers "didn’t want to spend any money on this production, and it was difficult to get them to pony up a little money for extras or anything, but, you know, Roger kept calling up and saying, you owe me this, give it to the guy – and again, we were trying to be fun, without spending a lot of money and I think we got away with it, a lot of people enjoyed the movie because it doesn’t take itself seriously at all. It’s a comedy with action."
The film was re-released in the 2000s by Shout Factory as "Roger Corman's Cult Classics: Sword and Sorcery Collection". The collection features Deathstalker, Deathstalker II, Barbarian Queen and The Warrior and the Sorceress.
The release of Deathstalker II on this collection is quite different from past VHS and DVD releases. It features a new Anamorphic Widescreen Transfer (1.78:1) and an Approved Director's Cut of the film.
- Fevrier, Andres (2008-03-24). "Hollywood in Don Torcuato (third part)": When Roger Corman and his B-movies invaded Argentina Cinematófilos.com.ar (in Spanish)
- "interview with Jim Wynorski". Justin Bozung.
- Hill, Kent (15 November 2016). "IS THAT YOUR FIRST NAME OR YOUR LAST NAME?: REMEMBERING DEATHSTALKER 2 WITH JIM WYNORSKI". podcasting them softly.
- "The Incredibly Bad Film Show Deathstalker II". Trash City.