Wizards of the Lost Kingdom (1984) poster

Wizards of the Lost Kingdom (1984)


USA. 1984.


Director – Hector Olivera, Screenplay – Tom Edwards, Producers – Frank Isaac & Alex Sessa, Photography – Leonard Sols, Music – James Horner & Chris Young, Special Effects – Richard Lennox, Makeup Effects – Mike Jones, Production Design – Mary Bertram. Production Company – Trinity Productions.


Vidal Peterson (Simon), Bo Svenson (Kor the Conqueror), Thom Christopher (Shurka), Barbara Stock (Queen Udea), Dolores Michaels (Princess Aura), Edward Morrow (Gulfax/Wolfrick/Old Simon), Michael Fontaine (Hurla)


The wizard Shukra overthrows the kingdom of Axholm and unseats its ruler, the good king Tylor, with the aid of Tylor’s queen Udea. The wizard Wulfrick teleports the prince heir Simon away to safety and gives him the magic ring that Shukra desires. Falling in with the warrior Kor the Conqueror and a large woolly creature Gulfax, Simon sets out on a peril-laden journey to save the kingdom and stop Shukra marrying his beloved, the Princess Aura.

Wizards of the Lost Kingdom was an incredibly cheap effort to jump on the success of the 1980s sword-and-sorcery bandwagon that began with Conan the Barbarian (1982). The success of Conan was immediately copied by a host of other cheap sword-and-sorcery films from Corman and others, with the Italian exploitation industry being particularlty prolific in producing them. The film was shot in Argentina and distributed by Roger Corman’s production company Concorde, although Corman has taken his name off the credits.

There is almost entirely no conviction to the fantasy world the film creates – the magic is just cheap animation effects; the Chewbacca-wannabe Gulfax creature is a laughably unconvincing white rug; the sets are cardboard; the suits of armour the various fighters wear look like extras wearing coal buckets over their heads; the fights are unchoreographed – mostly these just consist of people crossing swords in the middle of a field.

The plot is only a series of random encounters with fantasy creatures – it never goes anywhere. Moreover, some of the creatures become exceedingly dire. One encounter where a cyclops tries to marry Bo Svenson to his sister – yes, she is a cyclops in a wedding dress – tries for a sense of humour that is agonising.

Simon (Vidal Peterson) and Kor the Conqueror (Bo Svenson) in Wizards of the Lost Kingdom (1984)
(l to r) The young prince Simon (Vidal Peterson) and the warrior Kor the Conqueror (Bo Svenson)

It is only one or two of the cast that offer anything even moderately decent – one is Thom Christopher who suggests an evil wizard with a sense of arrogantly cruel sadism and the other is Vidal Peterson from Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) who is reasonably convincing in portraying a child forced into adult decisions.

Roger Corman later produced the even worse Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II (1988), although it is unrelated to this in terms of plot, any of the characters or production personnel. Director Hector Olivera made one other sword-and-sorcery film for Corman with Barbarian Queen (1985), as well as produced Deathstalker (1983) and The Warrior and the Sorceress (1984) and subsequently returned to work in his native Argentina.

Trailer here

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