Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Conan the barbarian - 1982

If I was stranded on a desert island with not much than a cold fusion energy source, a 1080p/Blu-Ray screen and 200 or so movies, I would pick this as one of them.

It really is an amazing movie. Incredible talent in the actors, a solid plot. A good balance between violence, a sense of wonder at what might be possible, and some humor. I was really struck by the opening, steel is what you can trust. I personally only trust in God Almighty, but there are a number of edged weapons in my house. They are something I know and understand. Most of them are fairly short; in close quarters a Scottish Claymore really can't be used to advantage.

After Conan's mother is beheaded by Thulsa Doom, and he is put into hard labor, we understand he is forged to become a great warrior. Love the cinematography where he is morphed from a boy into Arnold, er, uh, Conan.

They take him from slave labor to a gladiator style fight, he wins, no surprise or it would be a very short movie. There is intermittent narration from this guy with the coolest voice. As a successful gladiator he is taken to the East to learn advanced fighting technique. In a strange plot twist he is freed from captivity, chased by wolves and falls into a hard to believe burial chamber where he acquires a sword from the skeleton of an ancient king.

What bonded me to the movie comes later when they find the head quarters of Thulsa Doom. They are doing some chanting thing. A long, long time ago, when we lived in a duplex in Fredericksburg VA, we were at that part of the movie. There was a loud pounding on the door. I used to keep a special club, a trailer hitch ball on a threaded table leg by the door. Made note of its location. Opened the door. There was this guy; straight out of a movie. "What's going on in here", he asked, "devil worshiping?" No, sir, we were watching a movie. It turned out the tenants downstairs violated the terms of their lease and allowed an additional party to live there.

Parents, this is not a movie for young children. Violence, witchcraft, and brief bits of partial nudity.

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