Conan the Destroyer (1984)

DailyView: Day 77, Movie 131

I have recently come to appreciate the character of Conan the Barbarian from his current run in the Marvel Comics run. When the original movies came out starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. I was not interested. I have recently seen Conan the Barbarian from 1982 and I did not love it. The sequel to this brings Arnold back to the sandal, sword and sorcery genre of pulp films as Conan the Destroyer.

Created by Robert E. Howard, Conan has been a successful pulp[ character for years, including several successful runs in comics. Conan the Barbarian #1 (Marvel) has been inducted into this year’s EYG Hall of Fame while Conan was inducted las year.

You probably do not find a better actor to play Conan than Arnold Schwarzenegger. The original film was darker and more tragic, focusing on Conan’s early life and his search for vengeance. Conan the Destroyer is considerably less dark, bordering on silliness, including some dumb comedic moments such as a drunk Conan.

Conan is hired by Queen Taramis (Sarah Douglas) to escort her niece Princess Jehnna (Olivia D’Abo) in retrieving a magical crystal that will help them procure the horn that legends say can awaken the god of dreams, Dagoth (Andre the Giant).

Conan has a band of people with him including Jehnna’s bodyguard Bombaata (Wilt Chamberlain), Zula (Grace Jones), wizard Akiro (Mako), and the cowardly Malak (Tracey Walker).

This is a silly movie with a ridiculous plot and special effects that are laughable. I felt for poor Andre the Giant beneath the terrible costume they had him.

I was disappointed to see that Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway were credited with writing this. As two of the extremely talented comic book writers, including those already writing Conan comics (Roy Thomas was credited with writing the aforementioned EYG Hall of Fame comic Conan #1) because the dialogue was atrocious and the plot was simplistic.

I actually had several belly laughs from this movie, which I assumed was not supposed to be the case. I am not sure what they were going for here, but it finished off the Conan franchise in movies for years, despite ending with the coolest shot of the whole film, Arnold sitting on a throne as King Conan, clearly a movie that they would have liked to make, but never did. I wonder why? (Sarcasm)

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