Genre Guesstimation – Conan the Barbarian (1982)

The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.

This month’s Genre has been chosen by Jeanette of The Mundane Adventures of a Fangirl and it is 80’s Fantasy Films.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of March by sending them to

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Jeanette!

Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of 80’s Fantasy Movies.

“There comes a time, thief, when the jewels cease to sparkle, when the gold loses its luster, when the throne room becomes a prison, and all that is left is a father’s love for his child.” – King Osric

Number of Times Seen – Between 3-5 times (Cable in the 80’s and 7 Mar 2018)

Brief Synopsis – A warrior seeks out the warlord and his henchmen who killed his parents when he was just a boy.

My Take on it – This is a film that I recall seeing a few times as a kid on able.

Upon rewatching it now, this is truly just an average comic book adaptation which stays mediocre most of the time. Casting body builder Arnold Schwarzenegger in the lead role was a great idea and I can understand how a role like this can catapult a a fledgling wannabe actor into the atmosphere.

He is actually quite ok here and this will never be considered one of his best roles because something seems a tad off the entire time.

He doesn’t have such great chemistry with his costar Sandahl Bergman and their love scenes seem quite unreal and comical instead of romantic.

The problem is that the story itself doesn’t feel powerful enough for what they are trying to show.

It mostly feels quite average in its storytelling method and in some causes it border on the silly side of things.

It is obviously much more understandable nowadays that there are better ways to hep a comicbook character and story in its transition to the screen.

It’s quite easy to see how poorly this film has aged in 35 years.

Bottom Line – The story itself feels quite average and in some cases outright silly. Arnie was definitely the right casting choice for Conan, but something seems off with his performance.  In the era of comic book adaptations, it’s easy to see how this didn’t age well at all and thankfully most adaptations didn’t use this film series as the mold on how to adapt a comic book to screen.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – When Oliver Stone wrote the script, he made Arnold Schwarzenegger read comics and fantasy novels to see how he handled period dialogue. Stone set the story in the future after the downfall of civilization; it was to be a four hour saga and had a whole host of creatures. It would have cost the studio $70 million (approximately $173 million in 2016, adjusted for inflation) to pull that off so they refused. John Milius wound up rewriting much of Stone’s script, which cut the budget by more than half, which also called for a change in location. He wanted the fantasy accurate in every detail. (From IMDB)

Genre Grandeur Worthy? – Not really close. This film doesn’t age well and in the era of live action comic book chracters this just doesn’t work well enough.

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)


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2 thoughts on “Genre Guesstimation – Conan the Barbarian (1982)

  1. Pingback: Movies Reviewed Index A-Z |

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1982 |

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