Conan The Barbarian (1982)

I Missed the Boat.


Conan The Barbarian was one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s higher profile early roles. One of the first where they even let him use his own voice. It follows the story of a boy whose family gets killed by marauders. He gets sold into slavery and obviously, becomes a killing machine. Netflix Canada recently added this gem to their streaming service up here in the Great White North.  (I wonder whatever could have that idea?)  I saw this sitting there in the recently added section and realized that it was probably now, or never.
You see… I missed the Conan boat.  Repeatedly.  I was too young to watch it in ’83.  By the time our family owned a VCR, our local video store had already sold its copy for someone’s “Home Video Library”.  When I went to college, no one on the floor ever got drunk or stoned enough to suggest Conan The Barbarian.  If any of us did… we probably would’ve just watched Army of Darkness or Black Belt Jones again, anyway.

Oh, Conan… The times we could have had.


Regardless, when I heard about the Conan movie, I didn’t really give a shit. Shortly after that, I saw this trailer:

So… that really made me want to see the new Conan. But being a Fat Guy With Glasses, I couldn’t very well allow myself to see the high-profile remake without watching the goddamn original. So, despite all the men in my family practically chomping at the bit to go… we still haven’t seen it, because I’m an asshole.

Do You Want to Live Forever?

Why didn’t I watch this in the 80s? Or at University? I would have fucking loved this movie had I watched it then. The action sequences are simultaneously some of the best and worst in action movie history. The dramatic acting switches from bad to awful to shockingly great at the drop of a hat.

I know this image looks incredibly awkward, but this scene is seriously powerful.

But since I’m not a kid, nor did I watch this in a cramped dorm room with 20 other people, I ended up having to really watch it. When this movie is good, it’s fucking brilliant. Great cinematography, great action, great acting. But when it’s not… it’s utter shit. Terribly slow pacing (arguably even for 1980s standards), awful action, awful acting.

Say “It’s not a tumah” again! I dahble dare you mathu fakkah!

What is Best in Movie?

There is some excellent cinematography in this film. The outdoor scenery is gorgeous, for a ravaged wasteland, anyway. There are about half a dozen truly great moments in this movie. The first comes almost instantly. Hearing Mako as the narrator was absolutely epic. It excited me for what was to come. The moments after the opening action scene are amazing. And the final two action scenes were also fantastic. It’s really too bad it drags so much in the middle. In the 80s the good would have far outweighed the bad. At Uni, I would have had a blast lambasting the bad.  Either of those would have been good enough for me. If only I could trow open a portal in time.

3/5

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3 comments on “Conan The Barbarian (1982)

  1. That is the greatest screencap I have ever seen.

    Blogs need sig lines like the old Halls days, because I would INSIST you put that in a sig banner.

    CROM!!

    You know? Not being Canadian, I got to see this movie plenty growing up. I think the thing you might be forgetting is all the competition this movie had for the young brain. Star Wars, Indy, the A Team, there was a lot of stuff at the time that pushed this off of the top shelf.

    I think appreciating it as an adult with the childish heart MAY be the way to go.

  2. I think I would have been able to find room for this had I watched it then.

    Truthfully, though, I really regret more not watching it at Uni… we would have had some fun with that.

  3. I loved this movie growing up. I probably watched it 11,562 times. As an adult, I probably haven't seen it in about 10 years. I really need to sit down and check it out, possibly on blu ray. We'll see if it is the nostalgia trip I'm hoping it will be. Please don't be shitty, please don't be shitty, please….

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