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Fulci's Conquest

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Posted 17th May 2009 at 03:07 PM by Sam@Cult Labs

Another repost from... DVDisgo (RIP) and DVDresurrections


First of all a quick warning. I am about to give a semi-decent review of a really bad film. Fulci's Conquest doesn't even register on the quality film radar in comparison to his masterworks like The Beyond or Don't Torture A Duckling. It's A-Grade, No Nonsense Trash-ola of the murkiest, most slapdash variety. So, for anyone reading this who has yet to dip a toe into the wacky world of Lucio Fulci movies, this isn't the place to start. Fulci was a hack who would have a bash at pretty much any style of film if the budget was there and Conquest is a perfect example of director-for-hire apathy.

For die hard Fulci nuts and fans of trashy swords and sorcery hokum Ala Conan The Barbarian and The Beastmaster (the No.1 greatest 80s fantasy movie), Conquest is an hilarious exercise in how to get it
completely and utterly wrong. The plot goes like this, some young guy with fluffy 80s rock hair and a destiny gets sent on a quest to fulfil it. There's a naked gold woman with a rude snake; She's the bad guy, she wants to stop him when she isn't writhing around with the said snake. Everyone runs around shrouded in dry ice for a hour and a half. Monsters get smashed with swords and their brains come out...a lot! Then Fulci puts more Vaseline on the lens, things get more foggy, blurred and indistinct. There's a fight of some kind....Oh sorry did I miss something....Must have dropped off there for a second.

Yes...It is dull but stick with it, they'll be some badly made up Chewbacca style rip off monsters along any minute and you just know one of them at least is going to lose it's brains in a riot of red and pink slop.

Go Brains!

Fulci made this film at the height of the early 80s fantasy boom. The era's cinemas and early video stores were full of titles like Ator, Conan the Barbarian, Hawk the Slayer and Beastmaster. Other film makers were producing fantasy epics like The Time Bandits and The Dark Crystal, films which contains great leaps of amzing and fevered storytelling. Movies that inspired further reading, that captured my imagination and gave me a love of fantastic cinema. Others just shoved a guy in a loin cloth, made him look like a member of 80s Metal titans Manowar and had the guy walk around in whatever stretch of semi-desert was within driving distance of the directors house. I love those movies too but for all the wrong reasons.

Fantasy was huge and the Italian B-Movie industry, ever quick to cash in on a commercial trend followed suit with a spate of films sporting swords and sandals. Conquest, produced in 1983, was a the fag end of the trend and it shows. Fulci is at his laziest here, the confused plotting not a deliberate device to disorientate the audience as in the classic gothic horror masterwork The Beyond, just a case of having no script or plot in the
first place.

On the positive side there's a lot more gruesome than in other similar movies. Anyone disappointed with the bloodless sword fights seen in other heroic fantasy films will have their wishes granted here, as Fulci bring the same sensibility he showed on undead Gut munchers like "Zombie Flesheaters" to the fantasy screen. Heads are mashed and brains are spilt. Theres gore everywhere...if you can squint and see it through the hazy fogging effects.

The hammy, badly dubbed performances are a fractured joy, the wildly inconsistent plot is fun to try and fathom and although entirely too much time is spent wandering barren landscapes choked with mist, there's always a little more weird and confusing action around the next corner.

The Blue Underground, Region Free disc, is a bit of a limp effort on the extras side although the film itself looks and sounds OK considering the weird choice Fulci made when he cloaked everything in haziness. The only supplements are trailers, galleries and a directors bio. Still, it's a cheap disc and It's doubtful anyone would want to get together for a retrospective documentary as that would be an admission of guilt.

So, Conquest, a bad film for fans of the bad film. You all know your tolerance levels for this type of dreck so I will recommend this movie with caution. If your undemanding and you want a film to watch with a group of sarcastic friends or your a Fulci completest with a masochistic streak...The delights of Conquest await you!
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