Sorceress (1982 film)

Sorceress is a 1982 Mexican-American sword and sorcery film directed by Jack Hill and starring Leigh Harris and Lynette Harris.[3]

Directed byJack Hill (as "Brian Stuart")
Produced byJack Hill
Roger Corman (uncredited)
Written byJack Hill (uncredited)
Jim Wynorski
StarringLeigh Harris
CinematographyAlex Phillips Jr
Edited byLarry Bock
Barry Zetlin
Distributed byNew World Pictures
Release date
March 1982
Running time
83 min.
CountryUnited States/Mexico
Box office$4 million[2]

As of 2019, it is the last feature film Jack Hill has directed.


To maintain his powers, the evil wizard Traigon must sacrifice his firstborn child to the god Caligara. However, his wife has other ideas. After giving birth to twin daughters she flees with their daughters. Before she dies, she hands the girls over to a warrior named Krona, who promises to raise them both as great soldiers; this he does.

Twenty years pass, and when Traigon returns, he resumes hunting down his now-adult daughters (the Harris sisters), still intending to sacrifice them to Caligara. The twins enlist the help of a barbarian, Erlik, and a Viking, Baldar, in their struggle to defeat their own father.


  • Leigh Harris ... Mira
  • Lynette Harris ... Mara
  • Bob Nelson ... Erlick
  • David Millbern ... Pando
  • Bruno Rey ... Baldar
  • Ana De Sade ... Delissia
  • Roberto Ballesteros ... Traigon
  • Douglas Sanders ... Hunnu
  • Tony Stevens ... Khrakannon
  • Martin LaSalle ... Krona



Hill says Corman approached him to do a sword and sorcery film inspired by the success of Conan the Barbarian. Hill:

At that time, Roger had a special effects studio [at the New World Studios in Venice, California] that was doing really good work. They had done some of the special effects work on [John Carpenter's] Escape from New York [1981] and some other big pictures, and Corman owned the special effects unit himself, so he could do it for a low budget. So to me, it was an opportunity to make something that would look like a big movie, which I had never had an opportunity to do before. I thought this might get me back in business doing mainstream pictures.[4]

"I should have known better," joked Hill later.[5]

Jack Hill said he was inspired to do a film about twin girls inspired by The Corsican Brothers.

Hill says he wrote the script "entirely" but Jim Wynorski is the only one credited. Hill says "the dialogue was unfortunately all dubbed in by amateurs and office employees, of which I was not involved in."[6]

According to Hill, Corman wanted to make the film in the Philippines, then got a deal to do it in Portugal. Hill visited that country and found out they did not have the facilities. Corman was then going to make it in Italy, which Hill thought would be ideal. Then two weeks before filming Corman told Hill he had arranged a better deal in Mexico, and that is where the film was shot.[7]

Hill said "We were there for three or four months while they put together this very strange kind of deal with various crooks like (on one side) the Mexican government and (on the other side) Hemdale, which is now very notorious."[8]


The movie was shot in Mexico in October 1981. Production was extremely difficult, plagued by rain, fire, and low budget. Hill claimed that Roger Corman never delivered the budget he promised, forcing him to compromise on both special effects and music. (Hill says the rise in the video market caused the decline in drive ins and Corman was even more worried than usual about money.)[9]

Hill says the Mexican crew "worked their hearts out on the film" but also told him "this production had the most problems of any movie they had ever been on - all kinds of things went wrong. The Mexican film vault on the studio lot even blew up."[10]

Hill wrote the part of Pando for Sid Haig who had appeared in many of Hill's films but Corman would not pay the actor's fee so another person played the role.[11]

Like many New World films of the time, it re-used James Horner's musical score from Battle Beyond the Stars (1980).[12]


Hill took his name off the film, which turned out to be a big hit. It became the last time he and Corman ever worked together.[13]

The Los Angeles Times called it "a fairly shabby movie."[14]

Corman went on to make a series of sword and sorcery films including Deathstalker (film) and Deathstalker 2.


  1. Calum Waddell, Jack Hill: The Exploitation and Blaxploitation Master, Film by Film, McFarland, 2009 p196
  2. Christopher T Koetting, Mind Warp!: The Fantastic True Story of Roger Corman's New World Pictures, Hemlock Books. 2009 p 218
  4. Filmmaking "for the fun of it": An Interview with Jack Hill Wheeler, Winston Dixon. Film Criticism; Meadville Vol. 29, Iss. 3, (Spring 2005): 46-59,79.
  5. Waddell p 1985
  6. Waddell p 192
  7. Waddell p 194
  8. Waddell p 194
  9. Waddell p 195
  10. Waddell p 195
  11. Waddell p 195
  12. Waddell p 192
  13. Jack Hill on Sorceress at Trailers From Hell accessed 10 June 2012
  14. 'SORCERESS' CASTS ITS MURKY SPELL Gross, Linda. Los Angeles Times 9 Nov 1982: g5.
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