Well Jimmy Smits, your movie today is roasted fresh from the kitchens of Bert I. Gordon. It's a fetid little piece of tripe featuring sword and sorcery, Gary Lockwood and an embarrassed Basil Rathbone.
  — Dr. Forrester

The Movie



The Magic Sword

George (Gary Lockwood) is the foster son of Sybil (Estelle Winwood), an elderly sorceress. She brought him up after his "royal parents died of the plague" in his infancy. He has fallen in love with Princess Helene (Anne Helm), though they have never met.

Helene is kidnapped by the wizard Lodac (Basil Rathbone), who brazenly informs her father that he intends to feed her to his pet dragon in seven days, revenge for the death of his sister at the same age as Helene is now: 18. George wants to go on a quest to liberate his lady love, but Sybil believes he is too young (he is 20). She tries to distract the youth by showing him a magic sword, a steed, an invulnerable suit of armor, and six magically frozen knights he will command when he turns 21. The impatient George, however, tricks Sybil and locks her in a cellar, then leaves with the magical implements and revived company of knights.

Sir George and his party appear before the king and insist on journeying to Lodac's castle to rescue Helene, against the opposition of Sir Branton (Liam Sullivan), a knight who had previously volunteered for the perilous quest. The king promises the rescuer his daughter's hand in marriage and half his kingdom.

The Magic Sword

Seven curses bar the path to Lodac's castle. First, they encounter an ogre, who slays Sir Ulrich of Germany and Sir Pedro of Spain. When George tries to save Sir Anthony of Italy from a swamp, Branton treacherously comes up from behind and kicks him in as well. Anthony is killed, but George survives with the help of his magic sword.

Later, Branton meets secretly with Lodac. It turns out that Branton has Lodac's ring, which the magician lost and wants back desperately. The kidnapping was solely intended to make Branton look good in exchange for the return of the ring. When Sir Dennis of France happens by, Lodac prepares a trap. Mignonette, a beautiful Frenchwoman, distracts her compatriot, then suddenly turns into an ugly hag (Maila Nurmi, best known to TV viewers of the 1950s as Vampira) who attacks him. Fortunately, George saves him with his magic shield.

Lodac finally becomes aware that George is being aided by magic. He contacts Sybil and mocks her abilities. Stung, she tries to cast a spell to help George, but ends up inadvertently stripping away all his magical powers.


Sir Dennis and Sir James of Scotland perish when they reconnoiter ahead. Branton then leads George and Sir Patrick of Ireland into a trap, revealing his partnership with Lodac before sealing them in a cave with deadly green apparitions. Patrick enables George to escape at the cost of his own life.

George sneaks into Lodac's castle and rescues Helene, only to be captured. The magician gives Helene (actually the hag in disguise) to Branton, but once he has the ring, he uses magic to put Branton's head on a plaque on the wall. George is tied up, but escapes with the help of shrunken prisoners. Sybil arrives and finally remembers the spell that restores George's powers, enabling him to slay the two-headed dragon and save Helene. Sybil steals the ring while Lodac is distracted. When the magician threatens the young couple with the seventh curse - himself - Sybil transforms herself into a large panther and kills him. The movie ends as Helene and George get married. When the six knights are returned alive, George's happiness is complete. [1]


  • In addition to her credited role in the mask as "The Hag", Vampira - as Maila Nurmi - also played (un-credited) the role of the sorceress who kidnaps Princess Helene.
  • Stuntman/actor Leroy Johnson (Sir Ulrich of Germany) had his dialog dubbed by voice specialist Paul Frees.
  • Best Brains acknowledged (in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Amazing Colossal Episode Guide book) that "this is actually a pretty good movie."
  • The Magic Sword of this movie is the sword Ascalon which was indeed the weapon St. George used to slay a dragon in the legend this movie was based off of. (Though in many versions it was a lance.)
  • Like many movies based off myths and legends, many story elements were changed as well as adding new characters (like Lodac, Sybil and the mystical knights accompanying George) not from the original legend.

The Episode

Host Segments


Crow's Estelle Winwood song

Prologue: Joel is a cheesy caricature artist. Gypsy is disgusted, because he draws her nude. Of course, as he points out, all of the Bots are nude.

Segment One (Invention Exchange): The Bots criticize Joel's caricatures. Joel shows off his Big Gulp Berets, an arty take on the beer can caps popular in trailer parks everywhere. Frank demos the Mads' Designer Biohazard Absorbent Throw Pillows with a cute skit. Alas, he gets some biohazard material on him in the process.

Segment Two: The SOL crew puts on a commercial for Rathbone's Doggie Biscuits, with Crow and Servo as the dogs and Joel as their trainer.

Segment Three: Joel and the Bots don medieval apparel for a festive medieval pageant. Crow is a knight, Gypsy is a lady-in-waiting (who doubles as a unicorn), and Joel is a happy king. Alas, Tom the serf wants to be too historically accurate and wrecks the whole thing.


Rathbone's Doggie Biscuits

Segment Four: Crow has become enamored of Estelle Winwood. As he sings about his new-found love, Tom (mockingly) and Joel (supportively) sing along.

Segment Five: Joel and the Bots, in the vein of George Carlin, discuss different words you can’t say on TV. They read a letter. In Deep 13, Frank really has been exposed to way too much bio-hazardous material.

Stinger: The witch's two-headed assistant looks on in confusion.



Joel and the Bots go medieval

  • Throughout the episode, the Brains pronounce the name of actor Basil Rathbone as "BAY-zil". The more traditional pronunciation is "BAH-zil", with "BAY-zil" being the name of a popular spice.
  • In 2015, The Magic Sword became a Rifftrax presentation as well.
  • Ode on Estelle” was written and arranged by Michael J. Nelson and Paul Chaplin.
  • While reading the letter, Joel actually says “keep circulating the tapes,” the only time he ever did on the show.
  • This episode aired tenth during Turkey Day '92.


Obscure References

  • "Answer unclear, ask again later."
One of the answers from a Magic 8-Ball toy.
  • "Open the pod bay doors, Hal."
Gary Lockwood later starred in 2001: A Space Odyssey, the film from which this line comes.
  • "You ain't woman enough to take my man!"
A quote from the Loretta Lynn song "You Ain't Woman Enough to Take My Man".
  • "You'll risk the Seven Curses?" "I love that Carlin bit!"
Comedian George Carlin did a famous routine revolving around seven profane words whose use on broadcast television is forbidden by the FCC.
  • "She has more stories about her relatives than Gabe Kaplan."
Gabe Kaplan played Mr. Kotter in Welcome Back, Kotter. In each episode, he would tell a joke involving one of his relatives.
  • "Sir Branton" "Sir FRAMPTON!?"
Upon hearing Sir Branton's name Joel's riff reflects how it sounds like the name of rock musician Peter Frampton
  • "Teddy Ruxpin, NO!!!"
Teddy Ruxpin was a popular toy of the 1980s, a teddy bear that "talked" with the aid of special audio cassettes.
  • "The Mists of Avalon!"
The Mists of Avalon is a novel by Marion Zimmer Bradley that re-told the Camelot legend.
  • "I just realized we're in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken!"
The Ghost and Mr. Chicken was a 1966 movie starring Don Knotts in which Knotts faced an evening of terror in a supposedly haunted house.
  • "It's becoming the Green Ghost game."
Green Ghost was a glow-in-the-dark board game from the 1960s.
  • "Bad Zippy! No!"
A reference to the comic strip Zippy the Pinhead.
  • "The burning! The itching! Try Cruex!"
Cruex is a brand of jock itch spray.
  • "Drizzil Drazzil Drozzil Drone, time for these two to come home!"
MST3K 411 Promos

MST3K 411 Promos

Joel is quoting Mr. Wizard from the Tudor Turtle cartoons, from the show King Leonardo and his Short Subjects.
  • "Now is she doing her Fay Wray or Jessica Lange?"
Princess Helene is being offered up to the dragon in the same fashion as Anne Darrow was offered up to the giant ape King Kong. The riff mentions two actresses who played Anne in different versions of King Kong: Fay Wray from the 1933 version and Jessica Lange from the 1976 version.
  • "The secret compartment of the ring I fill with a Proton Super Energy Pill!"
The animated hero Underdog spoke in rhyming couplets like this and occasionally used a Super Energy Pill to activate his powers. Joel seems to be combining this reference with the "Proton Energy Pill" which gave the animated hero Roger Ramjet his strength.
  • "He sounds like Godzilla!"
The dragon's roar is being compared to the trademark roar of Godzilla; the giant movie monster who starred in two previous experiments. (Godzilla vs. Megalon and Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster.)
The roar also bears a striking resemblance to the engine roar of an Imperial TIE Fighter from the Star Wars franchise.
  • "The year of the cat..."
A quote from the Al Stewart song "Year of the Cat".

Video releases

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