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Deathstalker II

Comparison:

  • Theatrical Version
  • Director's Cut
Release: Jun 04, 2021 - Author: brainbug1602 - Translator: Mike Lowrey - external link: IMDB

Deathstalker II offers more barbarian movie madness

The barbarian deathstalker roams the country in search of women and wealth. One day, he saves the sight-seer Reena from a gang of evil thugs. Out of gratitude, she looks into his future for him, which promises power and wealth. Driven by this, the deathstalker immediately sets off on a journey together with Reena. What he does not know at this point is that Reena is a princess. The evil wizard Jarek has created an image of her, which secures him the claim to the throne. Jarek allies with the warrior Sultana to stop deathstalkers. Until deathstalker and Reena finally reach the castle, they have to survive many dangers, among them a graveyard full of zombies, a quarrelsome Amazon tribe and attacks of Jarek's henchmen. Will Reena succeed in regaining her rightful claim to the throne?

In the second part of the Deathstalker series, John Terlesky takes over the title role of the barbarian fighter from Rick Hill. There is no connection to the first part in terms of content, and the tone of the film and the character of the Deathstalker have changed considerably. The first part was rather serious and the deathstalker was a barbarian who was intent on his own advantage and who had raped a helpless woman before. The protagonist in Deathstalker II looks like a mischievous thief, who is usually intent on a comedic appearance. The female counterpart this time is Monique Gabrielle (Emmanuelle 5), who shines less through her acting performance than through her penchant for textile freedom. Since she can be seen both as the visionary Reena and as the evil princess clone Evie, the viewer gets twice the pleasure. Director Jim Wynorski probably had something similar in mind as he did with his debut work The Lost Empire by adding various pulp elements to Deathstalker II that he liked. From zombies, amazons, wrestling fights, doppelgangers, sucked-out teenagers to sword fights, the film is full of ideas that were executed surprisingly well even on a small budget. The production is light-footed with a tendency to self-irony. The grim, serious tone of the predecessor is missing, but whoever is in the mood for an amusing adventure film from the barbarian corner is perfectly stopped by the second Deathstalker.

The shorter Director's Cut is Jim Wynorski's favorite version - we agree

The German mediabook by White Pearl Movies / Daredo contains two versions of the film. The Blu-ray contains the Director's Cut, while the DVD contains the theatrical version. According to IMDb, the film was released directly to video in the US and in Germany, so the term theatrical version is somewhat questionable. Regarding the question which version was released on VHS in the US, the statements on the web differ somewhat. According to IMDb, the long version (= theatrical version) was first released on DVD by New Concorde. All previous releases should be shorter.

The current US dvd (released by new Concorde) is completely uncut with extra footage never before available in the US version. In addition to this, there is even more footage that was previously never available in any version. As an added note, the director's commentary points out all of the extra scenes for you.

The fact is that the US DVD by New Concorde contains the extended version of the film, which is noted several times in the audio commentary by Jim Wynorski. On August 23, 2011, the film was released together with Deathstalker, Barbarian Queen and The Warrior and the Sorceress as Sword and Sorcery Collection on DVD by Shout! Factory. There, the shorter Director's Cut was released for the first time, which is Jim Wynorski's preferred version. On August 30, 2016, the Director's Cut of Deathstalker II was released on Blu-ray along with the first part by Shout! Factory. For the German Blu-ray, this HD transfer was used. There is probably no HD transfer for the longer theatrical version, so this version on DVD was put into the mediabook.

What are the differences between the two versions? For the Director's Cut, various dialogue scenes were shortened, which either contribute little to the plot or simply repeat information again. Since Wynorski is considered a master of recycling, several scenes from the first Deathstalker were reused. The Director's Cut removes most of them again. Affected by this are the mud wrestling in the bar scenes and various fight scenes in the finale. Longer action scenes were also cut out of the film again, including a meeting of Sultana and the princess, who attack each other, and a longer scene in which Reena gets a massage together with the Amazon queen, although she would rather help the Deathstalker. A scene completely taken out of context, in which a man is dragged through the forest by three soldiers, is also only found in the theatrical version. In some places, the Director's Cut has exclusive or alternative material to create smooth transitions based on the removed scenes.

Basically, the Director's Cut is the slightly better version of the film, as the removed material can be considered rather trivial, but I would still advise trash fans to go for the longer theatrical version. The reused scenes, the trivial plot and the partly removed comedy moments simply add to the movie's enjoyment. Since both versions are included in the mediabook and since the Director's Cut on Blu-ray is the restored transfer from the US, I would recommend buying the mediabook without hesitation. The Blu-ray from the US should be out of print by now anyway.

Picture comparison:

Qualitatively, the BD is by far superior to the DVD, even if one ignores the higher resolution. Nevertheless, the DVD is open matte and shows more picture information at the upper and lower edge.

BD:

DVD:

Runtimes:

DC: 77:26 min.
Theatrical Version: 85:13 min.

The theatrical version on DVD runs faster than the Director's Cut on BD, more than 10 minutes of material are missing in the Director's Cut. Short film tears in the DVD version are not listed in the report.

Important dialogue note: We translated the German dialogues verbatim, they may differ in their original language a little bit, but you'll get what their content is about.

The theatrical version was compared to the Director's Cut. Both are included in the German mediabook by White Pearl Movies / Daredo.

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[00:11:03][00:10:34]

After Reena and Deathstalker have escaped their pursuers, there is a little more dialogue.

Reena: "A common thief, then!"
Deathstalker: "Ordinary?"
Reena: "Shh!"
Deathstalker: (softly) "Ordinary? The people around here consider me a hero, you know?"
Reena: (ironically) "Oh, a hero you are."
Deathstalker: "Yeah, you never heard of me?"
Reena: "No, I can't say."
Deathstalker: "Then no."



Theatrical Version: 17 sec.


[00:12:46][00:12:29]

More dialogue in the cabin after Reena mentions that she is a clairvoyant.

Reena: "I can tell you your fate."
Deathstalker: "I'm not the least bit interested in that."
Reena: "I think that probably everyone is interested, even the great Deathstalker."
Deathstalker: "Well, okay."



Theatrical Version: 10 sec.


[00:16:49][00:16:32]

Another shot of Jarek can be seen after he complimented Sultana that she was like a rose.

Sultana: "But I still have my thorns."
Jarek: "You would be incomplete without them. Tell me to whom do I owe the immense pleasure of your visit?"
Sultana: " Stop your teasing."



Theatrical Version: 8 sec.


[00:17:05][00:16:55]

The DC cuts to Sultana and then to Jarek.

Sultana: "Let's just say I am willing to forgive and remember. You want Princess Reena to be found [...]"

This part of the synchro was stolen from the removed scenes of the theatrical version for the German version.



Instead, the theatrical version has a little more dialogue between Jarek and Sultana.

Jarek: "Very generous even my love, if you remember. It saddens me very much that you are so dissatisfied."
Sultana: "You swore that I would rule at your side, but I didn't come here to argue with you. I want to make you a proposal."
Jarek: "Oh you are ready to forget the past, is that right?"
Sultana: "Let's just say I am willing to forgive and remember. You want Princess Reena to be found and I want to settle a score with the rascal who accompanied her. I offer you my services again."



DC: 7 sec.
Theatrical Version: 34 sec.


[00:17:43][00:17:59]

After Sultana has left the room, she meets the princess on the castle corridor. The two make it clear that they think little of each other.

Princess: "Look who's coming."
Sultana: "Now how is our little royal whore? I think she's in my way."
Princess: "I think that's my castle. Oh, I must say thank you for helping me to the throne."
Sultana: "And you think you rule the land now?"
Princess: "I know I do."
Sultana: "You are mistaken, my child, for I am first in line."
Princess: "Do you speak of Jarek? He doesn't want you now that he has me."
Sultana: "I should whip you, but I don't have the heart to do it, because it will give you pleasure, too."
Princess: "If you had a heart, it would be pitch black."
Sultana: "I only advise you to stay out of my way in the future."
Princess: "I never want to see you here again, Sultana."
Sultana: " You can have that."



Theatrical Version: 1:02 min.


[00:18:03][00:19:19]

The DC fades over to Deathstalker and Reena on the horse. The two stop and talk about which direction they should continue riding. At the end, the camera pans to the pirate who is hiding in a tree.

Deathstalker: "Which way now, mighty oracle?"
Reena: "Why are you called prince of thieves?"
Deathstalker: "Because I am the best."
Reena: "But you are not a real prince."
Deathstalker: "So which way?"
Reena: "The way west."
Deathstalker: "Are you sure?"
Reena: "Absolutely sure. The crystal ball told me. Take the path to the west."
Deathstalker: "All right, the way west then."
Reena: "If you could marry a real princess, you would."
Deathstalker: "No, I wouldn't."



In the theatrical version, Deathstalker and Reena can be seen earlier as they ride through the fog. This is an alternative scene. The dialogue has been extended a bit.

Deathstalker: "Which way now, mighty oracle?"
Reena: "Why are you called prince of thieves?"
Deathstalker: "Because I am the best."
Reena: "But you are not a real prince."
Deathstalker: "No, not that. I, um..."
Reena: "If you could marry a real princess, you would."
Deathstalker: "No, I wouldn't."
Reena: "Why not?"
Deathstalker: "Because princesses are usually spoiled. They whine, cry and if they don't get their way, they make your life hell. No, I want a woman with brains, not a spoiled brat. A woman who stands on her own two feet."
Reena: "A woman like me?"
Deathstalker: "So which way?"
Reena: "The way west."
Deathstalker: "Are you sure?"
Reena: "Absolutely sure. The crystal ball told me. Take the path to the west."
Deathstalker: "All right, the way west then."



DC: 36 sec.
Theatrical Version: 1:10 min.


[00:18:47][00:20:36]

The DC shows an exterior view of the tavern.



In the theatrical version, you see guests entering the tavern and a woman being thrown into a mud pit.



DC: 2 sec.
Theatrical Version: 5 sec.


[00:19:01][00:20:53]

The theatrical version shows more scenes of the hustle and bustle in the tavern after Sultana has run to the pirate. Various women are kidnapped by men and also two women can be seen mud wrestling.



Theatrical Version: 22 sec.


[00:19:16][00:21:29]

While Sultana is talking to the pirate, the women are being shown while mud wrestling.



Theatrical Version: 10 sec.


[00:19:22][00:21:45]

A man comes to the women in the mud pit.



Theatrical Version: 6 sec.


[00:19:35][00:22:03]

The camera circles around the mud pit after the pirate says that he will serve the Deathstalker like raw meat.



Theatrical Version: 3 sec.


[00:19:37][00:22:08]

The camera continues to circle around the mud pit.



Theatrical Version: 3 sec.


[00:20:15][00:22:47]

After the pirate has introduced his men, another cut is made to the mud pit.



Theatrical Version: 2 sec.


[00:20:33][00:23:07]

At the end of the scenes after the pirate has left, another cut is made to the mud pit.



Theatrical Version: 3 sec.
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