So there is this trend called “Throw Back Thursday” where people post old pictures of themselves on Facebook. Well in honor of that, I will watch an old movie of my childhood. Today I watched Conan The Barbarian (1982). I didn’t watch this movie in it’s entirety until I was 13. Before that, I had only seen bits and pieces of it when it was on TV.
The plot: As a child, Conan witnesses his family and tribe slaughtered by the armies of Thulsa Doom. Raised as a slave, Conan was trained in the art of war so he could compete in gladiatorial competitions. After earning his freedom, Conan joins up with some thieves and begins seeking out Thulsa Doom in order to get revenge.
This movie was the start for a number of things. First off, while this wasn’t Arnold’s first movie, this is the movie that started his career. If it wasn’t for this movie, you probably wouldn’t have seen him in The Terminator, Predator, True Lies, Jingle All The Way, etc. Aside from launching Arnold’s career, this movie also sparked a wave of fantasy films in the 80’s. Aside from the sequel, you also had Red Sonja, Deathstalker, Hercules and other films that had a flair for swords and sorcery.
I like just about everything about this movie, One reasonis that the movie so closely followed the mood of the books. The warrior ethos of the movie clashes with the almost palpable sense of doom that is prevelant throughout the movie. The battle scenes are dark and gritty without being overloaded with gore and blood which fits the serious tones of the film. Arnold was great in this role. When he uttered his famous line from the film, “Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women!”, you felt like he really believed that. James Earl Jones was also great in his role of Thulsa Doom. For me the main thing was because his voice really helped make him seem even more evil. The film’s score also helped with the movies mood by giving it a brooding but powerful feel.
So if you want to escape to a world of swords and sorcery, then there are few movies better than this one.
Rating: 4 out of 5