Friday, March 09, 2018

Honourable Mention: The Magic Sword

The Magic Sword was a 1962 fantasy movie directed by Bert I. Gordon and stars Gary Lockwood as George (or Sir George, as he later claims) who is the ward of 400-years old Sorceress Sybil (Estelle Winwood). She found him after his royal parents died when he was a baby and has raised him. Now that he is twenty she despairs as he isn’t learning a trade (magic, one assumes) and spends his time mooning over the local Princess, Helene (Anne Helm).

Now when I say mooning over, he’s never met her but voyeuristically watches her in a magic pool (as she takes a skinny dip in the palace pond), which is a little more creepy than romantic. Anyway, a wicked sorcerer, Lodac (Basil Rathbone, Queen of Blood & Madhouse), kidnaps her and intends to feed her to his dragon. Sybil tries to get George to forget her but he manages to trap his foster mother and take magic armour, a magic sword, a magic steed and 6 brave knights (who were petrified as statues) and vows to defy Lodac’s seven curses to rescue her.

wooing Mignonette
Now, I’ve interpreted one part of this as vampiric and it is only a fleeting visitation, but it goes a little like this. Also travelling with George is double-crossing knight Sir Branton (Liam Sullivan). Branton goes to a mill to meet Lodac but is followed by Sir Dennis of France (Jacques Gallo). A woman, Mignonette (Danielle De Metz), comes along, singing Frère Jacques and completely distracting the (horny) French Cavalier. He immediately tries to woo her and, as he does, we see her eyes flash green.

hag attack
Suddenly she is not Mignonette but she is a hag (and credited as such on IMDb). We see two teeth like fangs and she goes (successfully) to bite his neck. Of course the hag is a vampire form in folklore (more often an energy vampire) and it does look like she has fangs. Perhaps the mode of attack was inspired by the fact that (as the hag) she is played by Maila Nurmi (Plan 9 from Outer Space) – famous, of course, as Vampira.

cross glows
Luckily, for Dennis, George arrives and holds his magic shield aloft. The (St. George’s) cross glows in her presence and causes her to cower and vanish. She does appear later in the film, very briefly, tricking Sir Branton by taking the form of Helene and then organising Lodac’s household. However her presence in the film is limited and it is only with Dennis that we see the vampire like activity. So, a fleeting visitation, and if you think I might be reading a little in to this, I do believe part of the original movie advertising said, “SEE the Green Fire Demons! SEE the 25-Foot Tall Ogre! SEE the Beautiful Vampire Woman! SEE the Boiling Crater of Death!

The imdb page is here.

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