Thursday, March 27, 2008

Conan the Barbarian (1982)

My personal favorite Schwarzenegger movie, here's 1982's Conan the Barbarian. You can go here for a plot summary, but beware of spoilers.

This is kind of a weird movie. More of a guilty pleasure than anything else, it's one of those movies that just revels in the blood, guts, and boobs excess of the 1980's. Schwarzenegger is billed as the star but he only has like 30 lines throughout the entire picture, a fact that certainly didn't lend anything to his reputation as an actor. James Earl Jones is good as Thulsa Doom, bad wig and all, but you get the feeling he's sort of slumming it here. Director/writer John Milius must be applauded for preserving the violence and brutality that were hallmarks of Robert E. Howard's original short stories, even if he does take some artistic license with Conan's backstory.
Also of note is Basil Poledouris' magnificent score, regarded by many as one of the greatest film scores ever created.

The DVD release is pretty good, sporting an interesting documentary as well as a raucous commentary track by Schwarzenegger and Milius. It's currently only available as part of a 2 disc set along with its vastly inferior sequel that retails for like $10, well worth the price if you want to own the premier sword and sorcery flick of the 1980s.

Schwarzenegger did all of his own stunts in this movie.

No comments: