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Film / Amazons

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One of the many Heroic Fantasy films produced by Roger Corman and filmed in Argentina to capitalize on the popularity of fantasy films at the time. It is notable for having a better than average story, with villains who have read The Evil Overlord List. This is likely due to the script being written by noted African American Fantasy author Charles Saunders of Imaro fame, adapted from his short-story Agbewe’s Sword, which was published in a 1979 anthology titled Amazons!

The titular Amazons are the elite guard in the lands ruled by The Emerald Queen. When the Evil Sorcerer Kalungo and his Evil Army begin to lay waste to the land, it is determined that one of the Amazons must retrieve The Sword of Azundati - the only weapon capable of slaying Kalungo. The Chosen One is revealed to be Dyala - the second in command of the Amazons. The Amazon General, Tashinge, orders her daughter, Tashi - the finest warrior among the Amazons - to go with Dyala to watch her back.

In truth, Tashinge wants Tashi to kill Dyala once the sword is secured - nominally to settle a score with Dyala's mother but really because she is working with Kalungo to retrieve the one thing that can kill him in exchange for becoming his queen once he conquers the land. Kalungo, however, is smart enough not to trust any woman capable of betraying her own people, and sends his lioness Akam to kill both Dyala and Tashi once they have the sword.

This film provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Dyala and Tashi.
  • Actually I Am Her: The old woman who helps Dyala and Tashi on their way to the cave holding The Sword of Azundati is revealed to be Azundati herself, now "deathless or just dead".
  • Ambiguous Situation: Kalungo has a lioness named Akam in his lair, to whom he feeds rebels. Later, Akam changes into a nearly naked woman and he sends her off to kill Dyala and Tashi. It is never explained if Akam is a Familiar, an Uplifted Animal or a Voluntary Shapeshifter in Kalungo's service who works as an assassin/Sex Slave.
  • Ancient Artifact: The Sword of Azundati.
  • Artificial Limbs: Tshingi has a prosthetic metal hand in place of the one she lost years ago.
  • Cool Sword: The Sword of Azundati.
  • Covers Always Lie: There is no male lion in the movie and the Amazons' in the movie wear Fur Bikinis rather than Chainmail Bikinis.
  • Evil Overlord List: Kalungo seems to have read it, taking multiple measures to ensure that The Chosen One of this generation dies after retrieving the Cool Sword that can kill him rather than trusting her to fail, apparently leaving said Ancient Artifact untouchable in the Cave of No Return, Past The Gorge Of Eternal Peril, etc...
    • Ironically, his gaming the system is what leads to his downfall. If he hadn't sent Akam after Dyala and Tashi in the first place and if Akam hadn't stepped in when the two amazons were overpowered by outlaws, they probably would have been killed and the sword lost for a generation!
  • Evil Sorcerer: Kalungo.
  • Familiar: Akam might be one to Kalungo. It's an Ambiguous Situation.
  • Fanservice: Multiple examples.
    • Akam The Lioness in her human form. She's naked except for a collar.
    • The Skinny Dipping scene and subsequent fight with the bandits.
    • Kalungo and Tashinge's sex scene.
  • Feuding Families: Tashinge and Dyala's mom fought over a man, who became Dyala's father. Tashinge lost her hand in the process and has raised her daughter to avenge her loss.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Dyala and Tashi. Despite the feud between their families, the two grow to respect then like each other after saving one another's lives.
  • Fur Bikini: The default armor for all the Amazons, except for General Tashinge.
  • Gambit Pileup: You got the Amazons sending Dyala and Tashi to find the sword, Tashinge ordering Tashi to kill Dyala, Tashinge also working with Kalungo as his mistress, Kalungo not trusting Tashinge completely and sending his own minion after the sword, some political squabbling in the Emerald Queen's court, and Kalungo's recently captured slaves working on a revolt. Dyala is pretty much the only major character in the film who isn't part of at least one secret plan to double-cross someone.
  • Informed Ability: Dyala is supposed to be The Chosen One and Tashi is the best single warrior among the Amazons, yet they are both easily overpowered by a group of bandits and probably would have been Made a Slave if not for Akam attacking the bandits and giving Dyala a chance to fight back once Tashi was knocked unconcious.
  • MacGuffin: The Sword of Azundati.
  • Ms Fan Service: Given the thong-bottomed Fur Bikini armor for the amazons, pretty much every female character in the movie, save for The Emerald Queen and Azundati, fit the bill.
  • Mum Looks Like a Sister: Tashinge looks more like Tashi's older sister than her mother.
    • Amusingly, if IMDB can be trusted, Penelope Reed (Tashi) is almost two months older than Danitza Kingsley (Tashinge)!
  • Our Souls Are Different: While the movie barely has a chance to touch upon the full mythology, it does make use of concepts presented in Agbewe’s Sword by Charles Saunders. The short version is that each person has three souls and two of the souls are bonded to a tree that is planted in the ancestral grove of their people whenever a child is born. Hurting the tree will harm the person physically and killing the tree completely will disconnect them from their ancestors and their gods.
    • This leads the disgraced Tashinge to try and cut down Dyala's tree after having lost her daughter, her lover and her position.
  • Outlaws: A band of them nearly overpower Dyala and Tashi.
  • The Prophecy: Dyala gets one declaring her The Chosen One who will retrieve The Sword of Azundati.
    • Later, Azundati herself gives Dyala and Tashi a prophecy which states that three will enter the cave containing the sword but only one will come out.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Tashinge is killed in the process of trying to cut down Dyala's soul tree, after said tree falls on her.
  • Shapeshifting Squick: Is Akam The Lioness a familiar who changes into a beautiful woman wearing nothing but a leather collar? An Uplifted Animal created by Kalungo's magic? Or is she a Sex Slave/Assassin who can voluntarily change into a lioness?
  • Skinny Dipping: At one point Dyala and Tashi stop their urgent quest to go for a swim.
  • Snakes Are Evil: A constrictor tries to strangle Dyala, leading to Tashi killing the snake and saving her life.
  • Stock Footage: Footage of the final battle between the Amazons and Kalungo's men found its way into other Roger Corman produced fantasy films, including Wizards of the Lost Kingdom 2 and Deathstalker II: Duel of the Titans
  • Stripperiffic: The Amazon soldiers' uniform is a fur thong bikini.
  • Uplifted Animal: Akam might be one. It's an Ambiguous Situation
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Akam The Lioness, though it's unclear if she's a familiar who can shift into the form of an attractive young lady or an actual lioness transforming into a human.