Saturday, August 22, 2009

Great Moments in Stock Footage: Barbarian

Stock footage is the crutch of many bad directors. It allows you to show something without even shooting something. On top of that, the stuff is usually cheap- bonus! This has gone back to nearly the beginning of film-making, most notably in the wake of 1 Million B.C. The same dinosaurs would show up to battle in several other films- including Robot Monster and King Dinosaur. This sub-medium's impact on cinema is often understated and ignored. Time to change that! Let's begin with a pretty obscure example from....
This is what you need to know. Roger Corman produced four Deathstalker films, basically his low-rent versions of Conan the Barbarian or Ator. Years later, a Russian production company wanted to make their own Deathstalker movie and paid an unknown sum to use the footage from the previous film. They just crafted their film around this footage. This created the problem that I am going to point out today.
Whether this film is a remake or a sequel is sort of unknown. Some parts imply that it is latter, while most of it implies the former. At the end of Deathstalker, the titular hero destroyed two of the three objects of power using the third (this works somehow). The evil wizard was killed at the end.
Barbarian begins by having the evil wizard come back to life using one of the three objects. In a later scene, they show the hero (not Deathstalker) in a bar. A fight breaks out. This scene is one shot in the original Deathstalker and used in part for all four of them. No, really. In one of the shots you see the evil wizard...just not this movie's. That's right- they did not cut a scene showing the other actor as the same character. Think people!
Up next, a 60's classic is cut up...again and again. Stay tuned...

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