Conan The Barbarian17 Apr 2020
B-movies love to use hot bodies - big boobs and tight ringede. You know, the good stuff to distract you from noticing (or caring) how bad their acting is. Kinda like when Arnold Schwarzenegger was cast in Conan the Barbarian. Who better to play the buff warrior than Mr. Universe himself? Granted it was several years after being crowned the title I(and several years before mayorhood) but it was still the hot, buff champion bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger.
I love movies from the 80’s that had the whole sword and sorcery theme: Fire and Ice, Clash of the Titans, Dragonslayer… the Beastmaster is one of my all time favorites. And although I was never one of the females who drooled over Arnold, I must confess he made 1982’s Conan the Barbarian at least fun to watch.
Conan the Barbarian, the most famous of barbarians in comic book fiction - hell, in fantasy fiction - that put Robert E. Howard on the map as early as 1932.
Conan the Barbarian begins when The Snake Cult, a band of evil warriors led by the uber evil Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones), sweeps through young Conan’s village, killing his parents along with most everything else in their path. In the aftermath, Conan and the remaining children are taken hostage and ultimately sold into slavery where Conan spends the rest of his youth chained to the awful “Wheel of Pain” - a human powered mill - where he is forced to walk around in circles, over and over, until he grows into adulthood, resulting in the only survivor still chained to the wheel. Apparently he is special (not in the short bus kind of way) and as a result, he is purchased by a horseman who trains him to fight savagely in the “pit.” Luckily Conan proves himself to be an exceptional gladiator with really big muscles that no one can seem to defeat, and is subsequently freed.
Before long, after Conan enjoys an orgy, meets up with a sidekick known as Subotai (a role played by a surfer dude of all things), hooks up with a dame, almost gets himself killed - again - agrees to rescue the daughter of King Osric the Usurper (Max Von Sydow,) and sets off to seek revenge on the elusive Thulsa Doom. Unfortunately things backfire and Conan finds himself in the desert being crucified on the Tree of Woe. He just can’t seem to get a break.
It’s safe to say that Conan eventually saves the day and is made king “by his own hands” but getting there was both boring and fun:
Boring because most of the action happened towards the end of the movie, and because the dialogue was below even B movie standards. I am sure it did not help that Arnie could barely speak English in 1982, but that was only part of it. Plus there was constant narration filling in the blanks caused by the lack of dialogue and I found it to be incredibly annoying. Fun because of the cheesy lines and the bloody action. And yeh, partly because Arnie’s muskles were hot. Sue me. I have no idea if this movie follows any of the Conan comics or books as I was never on to read them even though my brothers had the books and each drew very impressive pencil sketches of Conan battles and to be honest I really don’t care if it follows the storyline. But Conan the Barbarian does have a cult following and while many cite this film as being a “10” I myself only give it a “5” or perhaps a “6.”
Maybe it takes a guy’s perspective to fully understand the appeal of Conan the Barbarian, perhaps that is why I just don’t get it. Can you tell me what it is I missed??