The Less Desirables Movie of the Week is brought to you by the Official Movie Sponsor of The Less Desirables, a/perture cinema. The movie is Conan the Barbarian (1982) starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Max Von Sydow.
Per IMDb: “A vengeful barbarian warrior sets off to avenge his tribe and his parents whom were slain by an evil sorcerer and his warriors when he was a boy.”
A young Conan (played by Schwarzenegger) sees his mother and father killed by the evil wizard Thulsa Doom (Jones). He’s then sold into slavery where he’s sculpted into a killing machine and gladiator. He has women and feasts thrown at him whilst his owner gets rich and richer. Eventually, after winning many battles, Conan is freed. Whilst traveling the countryside and fleeing from wild dogs, Conan stumbles upon an ancient tomb and hides inside. There he finds a former leader’s ceremoniously displayed corpse along with his sword which he takes as his own. On his travels, Conan encounters a young witch, with whom he has sex in exchange for information about Thulsa Doom. She’s not all she’s cracked up to be and Conan has to drive her off. Conan frees the witch’s prisoner Subotai (played by Hawaiian surfing legend, Gerry Lopez), a thief and archer who becomes Conan’s companion.
Conan and Subotai meet Valeria (played by the quite sexy Sandhal Bergman) and they, together, rob a temple that belongs to the snake cult that Doom is the head of. They get drunk on the loot and King Osiric (von Sydow) asks them to help rescue his daughter who is part of Doom’s cult. Conan is captured and tortured by Doom, tying him to the “tree of woe.” The tree of woe is when you’re basically crucified on a tree and you rot there with vultures and buzzards waiting to eat your leftover remains. Or, if you’re a wrestling fan, Kevin Sullivan had a move where he “wrapped” his opponent’s foot along the top turnbuckle and left them hanging, upside-down. He then would go to the opposite turnbuckle, get a running start and deliver a knee to their midsection or to their head. It was called the “Tree of Woe.” I digress.
Anywhat! If I continue, I’m going to give too much away. There’s snakes and spirits and all kinds of stuff. Don’t miss it!
I think because of the Schwarzenegger factor, I thought this was going to be cheesy. I saw it when I was a kid but didn’t really understand what it was I was watching. There was nudity, I remembered that. This, though, really wasn’t that cheesy. The effects were, a little, especially the spirits, but it was 1982 and FX weren’t what they would become, quite yet. The story, based off of a graphic novel of the same name (later to become a comic series… or several), is actually very interesting and the character development is more than just decent. James Earl Jones, while looking a bit silly in that wig, uses his deep voice to make Thulsa Doom sound even more evil than he is supposed to be. Speaking, anyway, Jones is still quite eloquent, even if he’s a maniacal wizard of, well… Doom!
If you’re a fantasy-action film fan, then you’ll like this one. Rotten Tomatoes has it at 70% Fresh with an audience score of 78%. IMDB rates it 6.9 stars out of 10. Neither are too shabby but not spectacular scores. That’s how I view it, too. I saw this film on Netflix and am rating it a 3.5 Stars. Have you seen this film? Do you agree or disagree? Let me know. Also, let me know what you’d like to see/hear me review!
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“Wealth can be wonderful, but you know, success can test one’s mettle as surely as the strongest adversary.” – The Wizard (Mako)