Main      Site Guide    

It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Movie

Reader Review

Wizards of the Lost Kingdom

Posted by: Sam
Date Submitted: Saturday, April 10, 1999 at 17:51:33
Date Posted: Monday, April 12, 1999 at 14:57:55

"Wizards of the Lost Kingdom" is utterly pathetic. It's one of the worst bad fantasy movies I've ever seen, worse than the usual. There are moments that are tiresome, a few more that are funny, but the overwhelming impression is one of shocked, slackjawed disbelief. It makes so little sense, it is difficult even to laugh at it, let alone describe it, because the scenes are wrong in so many ways that it's hard to *relate* to what's happening. "Sinbad of the Seven Seas" is a terrible movie, but it was still coherent enough that you're never confused about *why* the bad parts are bad -- hence, it's one of the funniest bad movies out there. But "Wizards of the Lost Kingdom" raises the bar of stupidity so high, it's too alien to appeal to *any* human sense, humor or otherwise.

We start out with an overly dramatic narrator telling us about how times are chaotic. The visual images accompanying this narration show how chaotic everything is. People fight each other and laugh maniacally and stuff. One shot of two people fighting, with others watching, reminds me of "Deathstalker" -- one guy had a *huge* hammer. It wouldn't surprise me if it were the same exact footage, but I'm not sure. There's also mention of a "Great Sword of Power" (love the name), but that never comes into play.

The movie opens with a kid, his father, and his pet (a guy standing in a polar bear suit) talking in a room. Through a magic vision portal thing, they discover that the castle they're in is currently being attacked. (News travels fast.) The boy says he'll stay and fight with his father, but his father disagrees, saying the boy should get out of there so he could avenge his father's death someday. Here's an idea: why don't you *both* get the heck out of there?

The father gives the boy a magic ring and tells him not to lose it. The boy loses it four seconds later, before he even gets out of that very room. The boy and his pet leave; the father dies in a cheesy battle of animated fire. The badguy wants the ring but can't find it. "Without the ring, he is powerless," the badguy says, referring to the boy -- but how'd he know the boy didn't have it? Later on, the boy himself says that he's powerless outside of the castle. Yet throughout the movie, without castle and without ring, he continues to perform mind-boggling acts of magic (naturally involving animated fire).

The boy runs across a warrior who kills his opponents by tripping them. The kid tries to persuade the warrior to fight back against the evil badguy, but the warrior refuses. In desperation, the boy says, "And I thought you were a brave warrior." That, of course, changes the warrior's mind.

Meanwhile, the Big Evil Badguy is spying on the goodguys via the magic vision portal thingy. (Why does every bad fantasy movie have one of these?) Other badguys are chasing the goodguys; these are using metal trash bins with holes in them for helmets.

A vision of a sword fighter attacks the boy; the dead father speaks to the boy out of nowhere, enlarges his sword, and the boy kills the vision after a sword fight. The sword fights are pretty amusing, because when the swords hit each other, it sounds like two table legs thwacking each other rather than metal swords.

The warrior starts training the boy in sword fighting by having him hit trees while the warrior naps. A woman, who later turns out to be a bug in disguise, appears and lures the boy into a virtual harem. An evil vision appears to the boy, and here is where things become so ridiculously insanely confused that I could only shake my head in wonder. I do know they cut the worst fantasy movie special effect ever from "Sorceress" and used it here. I'm speaking, of course, of the conjured winged blue lion vision that hovers around in outer space while people on the ground go haywire. Then a giant floating head appears next to the lion, the lion makes the head explode in a demise reminiscent of the great explosion shot in "Eyes of the Serpent," and the blue lion continues to hang out, totally immobile except for the puppet-controlled head and wings. I can't possibly describe how laughable this special effect is. See either this movie or "Sorceress," because it has to be seen to be believed. Here it's particularly stupid, because there isn't even the *attempt* to work it into the storyline. It was just a loose piece of footage they had the rights to use or something and found a reason to work it in.

When the vision ends, the bug drops its woman costume and attacks the boy like a Sleestack from "Land of the Lost"; the boy stabs it a few times while it stands in place, and it dies. The warrior, who has just appeared, inexplicably says, "All that from magic?" The boy responds, "Black magic."

How'd the warrior find the boy? Because the boy dropped his SWORD, and the warrior found it and thus knew he was heading in the right direction. Meanwhile, the trash bin headed badguys continue to follow them. They find the warrior's dropped WATER FLASK and know they're on the right trail. Huh? How come these people keep inadvertently leaving their most important supplies behind?

The kid decides they need some extra help, so he resurrects some dead warriors. (He's powerless without the ring and outside of the castle, right?) The dead warriors disinter themselves from the ground -- they were only buried approximately one inch below the surface of the ground, no exaggeration. The dead warriors start groaning annoyingly and walking like the aforementioned Sleestacks. "Join us, join us, join us," they intone, and just when this gets REALLY irritating, they inexplicably turn around and wander into a misty swamp and disappear. They never show up again.

Meanwhile, a fanged gorilla steps on some mice and laughs like a hyena.

Meanwhile, an elfish looking guy brings the goodguys into his cookie house and warns, "You must hurry -- the power of good is fading." Some Sleestacks -- this time they *look* like Sleestacks, too, only shorter -- attack the elfish cookie house. But there's an impenetrable force field around the house that, when someone tries to go through it, causes the entire screen to flash white. The warrior asks the elf guy to take down the shield so he can go through and defend them all from the Sleestack attack. Huh??? Just leave the stupid force field shield up! A giant shows up. The boy, still in his no-castle, no-ring weakened state, uses magic to make the giant disappear into thin air without hardly thinking twice about it.

The boy and warrior leave the Wookiee at the cookie house (later, after the boy and warrior have travelled *huge* distances, they find the Wookiee waiting for them -- neat trick). They go through a cave with spooky ghosty things. They defeat the ghosts by singing badly. Then the warrior gets captured by the trash bin heads, and the boy gets lured away by another female vision. The trash bin head turns out to be a cyclops who wants the warrior to marry his sister. He offers the warrior a choice: "Do we marry you or marinate you?"

Meanwhile, a paper dragon eats a model of a bat sliding down a wire track.

The boy and warrior are reunited after some more table leg fights and a confusing scene where he and another guy wave their arms at each other without attacking. And here the boy discovers the warrior lied to him when the warrior said that he didn't know the Big Evil Badguy. Here commences the film's most abysmally pathetic plot point in which the boy takes this huge amount of offense, and there has to be some talking before they reconcile. Um...hello? They're STRANGERS! Not only shouldn't this kid be acting like the lie was a big old personal offense, but the warrior had no conceivable REASON to tell that particular lie in the first place. This plot element is one of the most pathetic, deplorable scenes I've ever seen on film -- and I've seen a lot of bad movies.

Meanwhile, the badguy still can't find the magic ring. He asks a dwarf if he's found it yet. The dwarf inexplicably nods his head, then shakes it when the badguy asks for it. The badguy makes the dwarf disappear. I'd like to know why he even wants the ring. He can make people DISAPPEAR AT WILL and NEVER COME BACK. What other power do you need?

The warrior and boy cross a HUGE river and then, after all that journeying, end up back where they started. (Heh -- they only crossed that big river once.) Why did they bother going anywhere? They went through so ridiculously many "quest-like" obstacles, and their final destination was back at the castle where this whole thing began. Even worse, the boy kept saying he had to find the ring -- and the badguy kept worrying that he would -- while *BOTH* of them *KNEW* the ring was lost AT THE CASTLE. AAAAHH!!!

The boy and warrior infiltrate the castle and find the ring. Just like that. Then they track down the evil badguy.

Meanwhile, the badguy has tied up the evil queen, whom I've not mentioned thus far because she's completely superfluous. The badguy has stated that he will execute the queen, yet when the queen escapes with the aid of another dwarf (there's a lot running around), rather than sneaking away to safety, they both walk up to the badguy and stand motionlessly. The badguy makes both disappear forever, and that's the end of that.

Suddenly, a grand, humongous, climactic sword fight erupts out of nowhere, and the entire castle is fighting everyone else. There's lots of shots of the battle, including one in which a guy swings his sword a full three feet *above* his opponent's head. The opponent ducks, but he needn't have.

The boy and the badguy fight each other with another cheesy animated fire fight. The boy and warrior say their farewells, moved so much by the moment that you'd think they were blood brothers, and finally, at long last, the credits roll.

I'd probably give this movie about 4 turkeys, but even with a rating that high, I think it's important to see it with other bad movie lovers. As I say, it is more nonsensical than funny, and while nonsensicality in itself is funny, it takes more than single person viewing to make that quality enjoyable.

Back to the It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Movie home page.