Friday, June 24, 2011

bad/awesome flixxx review: Wizards (1977)

"Oh yeah... one more thing: I'm glad you changed your last name, you son of a bitch! "- Avatar

"Ohh. Oh, Fritz? Fritz, get up for God's sake! Get up! They've killed Fritz! They've killed Fritz! Those lousy stinking yellow fairies! Those horrible atrocity-filled vermin! Take that! Take that! They killed Fritz!"- Soldier

"This has been the biggest bummer of a trip I've ever been on; but if you let me down, or you hurt my friends, especially the broad, I got stuff planned for you that'll take twenty years to kill ya."- Avatar

20th Century Fox's first animated feature from none other than Ralph Bakshi. He had previously only done dirty filthy cartoons like Fritz the Cat up until this one. It was a year where he was battling a young director named George Lucas for budget over at Fox. He even changed the name of the movie from War Wizards so as not to be confused with Lucas' Star Wars. When it came down to it, he succeeded in creating it, writing, directing and producing it all by himself. An epic futuristic story of ancient technology and propaganda being brought back to life in a war that could destroy the planet, I bring you Ralph Bakshi's WIZARDS!!!

So this one starts out with a storyboarded tale about the past. The drawings were apparently from when Bakshi was in college. The story tells of the Earth far in the future and after a holocaust has killed most of the people on Earth. The ancestors of the Humans, the dwarves, elves, and fairies begin to rule and the rest of the populace is comprised of these shitty mutants. After 3000 years of peace, there's this bigass party, and the queen of the fairies gets sick, and goes home. She turns out to have given birth to twin wizards. One named Avatar is the good one, and his brother Blackwulf is a fucking dick- right from the start.

So the mom dies, and then Blackwolf is psyched cause he thinks he can take over and bring doom to the lands, but Avatar is like, bullshit man, and he is so sad that he fights and defeats his brother, and banishes him from Montegar to this really crummy place called Scortch. Of course its all hot and desertlike there. Blackwolf vows to come back and defeat his brother, and he keeps learning the blackest secrets of Earth and trying to overthrow the land with mutants, but the elves kick their asses every time because the mutants are easily distracted and bored and just forget what they're doing. They are "slow" if you will. But Blackwolf was nothing if not determined. So he's amassing his armies, and finds his secret weapon: A projector that has old filmstrips of Hitler preaching to his nazis, and getting his troops all psyched. Blackwolf uses this footage to encourage his own troops and to scare the elf army. The propaganda and loud noises work as well as assassins that Blackwolf sends out to exterminate anyone using magic. The main robot assassin dudes name is Necron 99.

Necron 99 tracks and kills a ton of peeps on his way to exterminate Avatar. But he fails to kill this one dude named Weehawk. Word reaches back to Avatar about his brother back in Montegar from his loyal elf friend. Avatar is busy training this young fairy princess Elinore to being a full fledged fairy. Her dad is president. Necron 99 kills her dad, then she freaks, and Avatar zaps him and changes his name to "Peace". Then Peace, Avatar, Weehawk, and Elinore set out to stop Blackwolf from ruining the planet. Along the way, they get stopped by a bunch of mini fairies who fuck everything up. Also Blackwolf's troops succeed in breaking thru the front lines of the elf army.

Finally they escape the minis, get lost and unlost in a wintery forest, run into some other pissed elves in boats, Elinore for some reason kills Peace and splits in a tank and blah blah blah. Weehawk and Avatar split in the night to infiltrate the castle. I'm not sure what kind of message this was supposed to send but since his magic was weaker, Avatar opts to shoot Blackwolf in the chest instead of killing him with magic. Turns out Elinore had been mind controlled since she touched Peace. Poor old Peace. They tell Weehawk to go be the king of Montegar and Avatar decides he's going to marry Elinore. Kind of a let down/ anticlimactic ending. But whatever. Not as good as "Fire and Ice", but he wouldn't have been able to do that one if he had not done this one. Feel me? A good stone out flick. word.


  1. A "kick ass" film ... saw at at a midnight show with Star Wars and Bambi versus Godzilla while attending SUNY Stony Brook (NY) back in its drugged up, late 70s heyday.

  2. I haven't thought about this movie since the first time I saw it as a kid at a drive-in in 1979. Thanks for the memories. Awesome flick I'll be looking to pick up today.

  3. Quote,"He had previously only done dirty filthy cartoons like Fritz the Cat up until this one."

    This is a common misconception of Bakshi.

    Actually his fame and fortune began with a Saturday morning kids cartoons when he was with Terrytoons- Mighty Heroes,James Hound, Sad Cat, Spiderman, Deputy Dawg, James Hound, Heckyl & Jeckyl, Lariat Sam, Foofle and then in 1987 "Mighty Mouse".

    After "Fritz" and "Heavy Traffic" (Also adult themed), he did a string of social commentary films, including "Wizards", that frequently came with the label,"WARNING- THIS FILM EQUALLY OBJECTIONABLE TO ALL".

    His use of rotoscoping, stinging social commentary (no one was immune)and collaboration with artist Frank Frazetta helped set him apart from his contemporaries.

    Wizards is one of my all time favorite films- Thanx, Vala

  4. haaaaa! just ordered it 5 minutes ago. my first rental house, all we had was a beta machine and this movie, and fleas, back in 1989.