Greetings from the edge!
Grab your wand and check your compass for Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II, the 1989 “in name only” sequel to last week’s fantasy-on-a-budget offering from Roger Corman. Slightly less stock footage, but way less plot, humor, action, and fun, starring Robert Jayne as bowlcut… I mean, Tyor, Sid Haig as Donar, and an obviously cash strapped David Carradine as “The Dark One.”
This week’s invention exchange features GIF Notes, the all emoji version of Cliff’s Notes for the aspiring subliterate and animal-abusing sadist lurking deep within us all. “Punt Bunnies,” the bunny you can punt and, to make matters far, far worse, they’re engineered to like it. If you’ve ever wanted a cute and fuzzy woodland creature to look up at you with its adorable eyes and beg you to kick it, you probably need serious help… or Punt Bunnies! The choice is yours!
With makeup effects by Party City and special effects that will make you appreciate Asylum studio’s quality CGI, Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II makes you wistful for the effects excellence of The Time Travelers and The Loves of Hercules. I think this might be the film that Corman leaves off his resume.
The only thing I can find that connects Wizards of the Lost Kingdom I and II is a strange obsession with the roofying and attempted murder of early teenage boys by scantily clad magical seductresses…and stock footage, but I’m not sure if that counts.
This week, we get a special cameo appearance by classic series actors Mary Jo Pehl, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy as Pearl Forrester, Observer, and Professor Bobo.
Pearl gets spotted by Shinga after mistakenly thinking her cloaking system will hide her from her clingy granddaughter. After bemoaning her new experiments lack of popularity, Shinga decides she needs a big, flashy publicity stunt to draw attention… and settles on a marriage with Jonah!
Oh, Max is not going to be happy about this!
Compared with its predecessor,
falls short in every category. Jonah and the bots are really working overtime this week to keep up the riffs and make this turkey watchable and, in my opinion, they succeeded. While it’s not nearly the gem that last week’s episode was, Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II has some laughs and a couple of fun original skits thrown in for good measure.
I have to give a tip of the hat to Sid Haig. He seems to be the only actor actually invested in his part, and his brief appearances are a treat. It makes you wonder why he wasn’t given a bigger role, especially seeing that the final evil wizard is so disappointing in comparison.
Favorite riff of the episode: it’s a toss up between “Miss Piggy has gone feral” and “And she shall be renowned in legend as The Thigh Master!”
Join me next week for episode 12, the 1981 cinematic tour de force, Carnival Magic. A sideshow mentalist who can communicate with animals and a talking chimpanzee saves a struggling carnival with production values usually found in a junior high film project… but with less effort. Come for the funnel cake and then go home, it’s gonna be a rough one, folks!
And always, remember, “Keep circulating the tapes!”