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Movie of the Day – Conan the Barbarian (1982)

Posted on the 04 April 2012 by Plotdevice39 @PlotDevices

Hell Yeah!  This is what I am talking about, the classic 1982 flick that pits Arnold up against some equally huge dude in a film that, honestly, captures the spirit of Conan better than the 2011 remake, Bronan the Brobarian.  Don’t get me wrong, the remake was entertaining except for the extreme bro-ish parts like when Conan frees those slaves by the port and then it turns into a weekend at the Hard Rock Casino pool.  Not really the Conan I remember but it’s made for the Redbull chugging crowd nowadays.  To me, this will always be the superior version of the series and that is what’s best in life.

Movie of the Day – Conan the Barbarian (1982)

The story begins when a horde of rampaging warriors massacre the parents of young Conan and enslave the young child for years on The Wheel of Pain. The Wheel of Pain seems to have as its only purpose the building up of Conan’s muscles, so it’s no surprise that one day Conan grows up to become Arnold Schwarzenegger. As the sole survivor of the childhood massacre, Conan is released from slavery and taught the ancient arts of fighting. Transforming himself into a killing machine, Conan travels into the wilderness to seek vengeance on Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones), the man responsible for killing his family. In the wilderness, Conan takes up with the thieves Valeria (Sandahl Bergman) and Subota (Gerry Lopez). The trio comes upon a weird snake cult, linked to Doom, and Conan wants to trek off to Doom’s mountain retreat to kill him. But he is prevented from doing that by King Osrik (Max Von Sydow), who wants the trio of warriors to help rescue his daughter who has joined Doom in the hills. (source)

The one thing that stand out most about this film is the Wheel of Pain.  To no end, does that thing seem to invoke some sort of wonderment and general confusion as to what the hell the purpose of that thing is.  I mean I rationalized at the age of seven that this wheel would eventually give you the God like physique of Arnold and I totally wanted to get me one.  The Wheel of Pain is the first thing that comes to mind whenever anyone says anything about Conan and that is a cool testament to the film.  Conan is really the complete 80s experience of fantasy and action, with the lead pretty much being the perfect fit for a movie like this.  It was captivating to see a film with such scope and story (not the greatest story), that you are transported in the film to the world of the wandering Cimmerian.

Movie of the Day – Conan the Barbarian (1982)

I know what some people are thinking and yes, I do like Conan the Barbarian.  How can I like a muscle showcase and over the top violence?  Well I am a guy for one thing, but the film does have some merits for the theme and tone of the film while also pitting Arnold up against some menacing threats.  If you have watched the movie before, you will notice that Arnold isn’t the biggest guy in the film.  I mean he should be right?  The director ended up casting villains who were taller and mass wise, bigger than Arnold himself.  It adds to the world and the scenes when you realize that there are villains and those that oppose Conan who are bigger and menacing towards the hero.  It makes for a better film dynamic instead of watching one guy slay 90 pound dudes.

Conan the Barbarian is an enjoyable fantasy action film.  Just taking it at face value is enough to get me to enjoy it, but I can see if the fans of the pulp series would be offended since there are some changing to the story or even characterization of Conan.  For me though, Conan embodies a lot of the 80s mentality of the action hero by keeping him silent, making him noble in his cause and ultimately a killing machine.  There is one thing though that makes this movie amazing and it is easier if you just watch the below video.  Cheers!

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