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Conan the Barbarian

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Posted 25th April 2009 at 01:20 PM by Sam@Cult Labs

Conan the Barbarian

Arnie helped to define the early 80s Swords & Sandals revival with this epic tale of Iron age fantasy that would spawn copycat movies like the fantastic Beastmaster, as well as a spate of less than perfect Italian hack jobs.

Based on the fictional work of Robert E. Howard, the film sees Arnie play the eponymous hero, a hulk-like warrior of mercifully few words (most of which seem to be 'Crom'). The film opens with Conan's village being destroyed and the young warrior being sold into slavery. The boy grows strong as he toils for his new masters and naturally seeks revenge against the warlord who killed his family and burned his home. After training as a fighter he is set free and soon he's running across the landscape as epic music plays or staring into the distance with justice and vengeance in his eyes...Will Conan exact the blood debt he so richly deserves?

You'll have to watch the film but suffice to say, this is one of the California governors best films, probably because, like The Terminator, he doesn't have to say much. He puts in a fine physical performance though, both in terms of the fights and as a frightening presence on screen. As a piece of mixed up big screen fantasy it's hard to beat; the setting is grim and the costumes, locations and atmosphere are pitched exactly right. The film steal liberally from Celtic, Norse and many other ancient traditions to create a believable barbaric world and the filmmakers use this set up to weave a classic fantasy yarn.
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