Barbarian Queen II: The Empress Strikes Back (1991)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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as Princess Athalia
as King's Soldier
as 1st Noble
as 2nd Noble
as Noble's Father
as 1st Soldier
as 2nd Soldier
as 3rd Soldier
as 4th Soldier
as Iron Man
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Not too sure what the title means here, there was no Empress in the first film and the plot doesn't relate in any way to the first film either. Characters are also different to the original film despite starring Lana Clarkson in both.
What we have here is a slight play on Robin Hood. A king is killed in battle so his unruly son claims the throne for himself including the magical scepter which is the source of the kingdoms power. The kings daughter (Clarkson) protests this naturally and is marked for execution to get rid of her...naturally. She escapes, joins up with some other female rebel warriors (just like that) and they all band together to win the kingdom back hurrah!
Now I hope your not expecting too much here, you know what this will entail, much like the previous film and all the 'Deathstalker' films. Plenty of tits and ass, skimpy outfits, females killing poorly skilled swordsmen, Clarkson on the rack again topless and errr more poorly skilled baddie swordsmen trying to rape big breasted women (happens a lot in these films).
Pretty much exactly the same as the first film, there's a good rescue scene from the gallows which is similar to the sequence in 'The Adventures of Robin Hood' with Errol Flynn. There is a nice sadistic little girl Princess who is heir to the throne (if Clarkson's character is gotten rid of, the whole point of the film) whom I liked, her spoilt bratty ways are fun to watch as all around her cower.
Just like the first film the finale is way better than the rest with a semi decent sword battle within the castle. Costumes are quite nice in this film it must be said, a kind of Crusades thing going on with the good guys whilst the sets look suspiciously like sets used before, oh well. The lead male hero in this looks the part too, he actually looks like he could be in a proper film, the same can't be said about the cliched blonde lead Clarkson.
Well by now you will know if you like these films or not, a guilty pleasure possibly, just for a laugh and some naked girlies perhaps. Not as good as 'Deathstalker' though.
"Men don't understand power - they think all it's good for is getting more" - Barbarian Queen
The last thing the film world needed was a sequel to "Barbarian Queen" but being the B-movie enthusiast that I am I still welcomed it with open arms. I mean how could a cheap sword and sorcery junk film with bad acting, low production values, loads of nudity and starring blond bombshell Lana Clarkson not be at least a wee bit entertaining?
The plot has no connection to the previous film... it's just about another 'barbarian queen' (a different character) having to rise up against the corrupt ruler of her kingdom after her father, the king, dies in battle. Since she refuses to let the new dictator have the magic words to gain control of a powerful scepter, she is sentenced to death but escapes to join some rebels to bring down his iron grip on the countryside.
The plot for the most part is the same of the previous film but the setting is more medieval (like 'knights in shining armor') as opposed to barbaric times (aka "Conan the Barbarian"). Typical with later 80s Roger Corman productions, the production values are also lower (which is hard to believe) more on par with the later "Deathstalker" films than the first "Barbarian Queen".
Like the first film (and all other sword and sorcery films from the Corman factory), the film is loaded with nudity. The filmmakers even have the audacity to throw in a topless mud-wrestling scene, as if they're winking at the audience saying "oh yea, this is how low we're willing to go". Hell there is even a topless torture scene of our heroine that copies the original film, so much in fact I had to do a double take to make sure it wasn't stock footage (common in Corman films) and to my surprise, sure shit, it's new footage just filmed in a way it will bring some viewers to déjà vu.
Unlike the "Deathstalker" films which changed actors in the title role in about every film, "Barbarian Queen II" benefits by having Lana Clarkson returning. She might not be the same character, but she plays it the same and she has the looks and warrior woman presence to help the audience keep the audiences attention, suffering through some of the dire dialogue and stiff acting (one odd bit of dialogue has a man yell "take it like a man" at a woman he is trying to rape... seriously?!).
"Barbarian Queen II: The Empress Strikes Back" delivers nothing new for audiences but fans of this type of B-movie cinema should not expect anything new or groundbreaking. When it comes to filmmaking from a technical standpoint than this is a complete failure and a textbook example of how not to make a film, but all this badness and exploitation elements makes it worth a watch for fans and despite it's lower budget, it really isn't that much worse of a film than the first "Barbarian Queen." Hell I even enjoyed it more than the last few "Deathstalker" sequels.
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