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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    Quote Originally Posted by EggKookoo View Post
    I admit to never having read the original Howard books, so Barbarian was my intro to the character. I liked the organic feel of it, and the personal journey angle.
    Gosh not here or there, but just how you said those two sentences made me have a reverie memory remembering how Howard died so young and how his life is very much entwined with his books. Pretty much instead of rock stars martyrs with music think a person who died young who was broke writing short stories, and he never had a childhood for his family moved 10 times before he was 12.
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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranxerox View Post
    I remember liking Flesh+Blood with Rutger Hauer quite a bit. It wasn't a very ambitious film, but it did a good job delivering on what it set out to do.
    No magic, but a movie worth the time when I rented it (VCR).
    Quote Originally Posted by Saintheart View Post
    I get to contribute Dragonslayer - one of Disney's most terrifying films "for kids" - and Ferris Bueller's Level 1 Rogue AdventureLadyhawke!
    Both enjoyable, the former was IMO a better one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ramza00 View Post
    I feel the need to watch She (1935) aka She Who Must Be Obeyed, which takes place in the Allan Quatermain / H. Rider Haggard universe. H. Rider Haggard who started the pulpy adventure fiction romances of the lost world sub genre, aka the template for Indiana Jones (which is based off Allan Quatermann and 1930 serials much like Star Wars is based off Flash Gordon and 1930 serials)

    Also Ö She Who Must Be Obeyed is the inspiration for the X-Men villian SELENE, aka an immortal mutant witch. Also the 1935 movie is done by the legendary King Kong guy Merian C. Cooper (producer)
    OK, I need to see She.
    Quote Originally Posted by EggKookoo View Post
    I admit to never having read the original Howard books
    I read them all. The movie when I first saw it was a bit jarring, since at the time in the US people running off to join cults was a big social issue overly covered in the news. Juxtaposing that RL issue into the movie worked, yes, but it changed the tone of the film from the books. But good job on the team who put the movie together. They way they put the cult together, and the good job James Earl Jones did in portraying a villain (Thulsa Doom; whom I don't seem to recall from any of the books) fit together quite well. It worked.
    The scenes from the movie right after his escape from slavery - when ends up in an old ruin with spooky monsters - does come from one of the early Conan stories.
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2024-01-30 at 02:56 PM.
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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    Thulsa Doom was an enemy of Kull of Atlantis, which is an entirely different, though distantly related book series by Howard.
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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Someone should do a DM of the Rings style comic about Conan.
    Yes, please.

    Though semi-related, have you seen Conan: The Musical?
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  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    OK, I need to see She.
    Make sure to listen to the Cerebro Podcast (an X-Men podcast) on the psychic-vampire witch Selene

    https://podtail.com/en/podcast/cereb...x-abad-santos/

    for in the 1980s, Chris Claremont used his vcr and watched She*, and then did a New Mutants character arc in 1983 for 3 issues. Well Claremont had so much fun with the character he brought her back for other arcs, and now she has like 120 issues of comics over the last 40 years. And since Selene (which borrows so much from She) is so much fun, the Cerebro podcast host Connor, and Vox Culture Critic Alex Abad-Santos literally spent 5 hours talking about how over the top and theater camp Selene is. [ and Selene is pretty much lifted from She but made a mutant as her origin, a 17,000 witch from Conan times. ]

    *this line is Cojecture, we know from Claremontís own words he often gets inspiration from movies and books he has written. That is part of the fun of 70s and 80s X-Men, to take a thing and put it in new situations.
    Last edited by Ramza00; 2024-01-30 at 05:36 PM.
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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    Destroyer is PG, for me that's pretty much 'nuff said; those restrictions means it's going to be lacking as a Conan story. It pales in comparison to Barbarian, but is still among the better fantasy films of the era. It's a decent swords & sorcery adventure. That thief character who replaces Subotai is just the worst, so annoying, and he's there for the entire movie. He drags it down, but not enough to make it truly a bad movie. The score is still by Poledouris, so of course it's good, but it doesn't approach what he accomplished on Barbarian, which is one of the finest film scores ever, imo.

    I've enjoyed watching some pretty bad 80's swords & sorcery. "Ator" was a favorite, me and my buddy found it on video back in the 90's, and it was one of the most fun nights I can remember, getting wacky and MST3K'ing the crap out of it.

    Anyone mention "Hawk the Slayer" yet? That one is approaching the "so bad it's good" range. Same with "Barbarian Queen", with the added bonus of a ton of gratuitous nudity.

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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    My tour of Roger Corman barbarian schlock hasn't gotten to Barbarian Queen yet (or its completely unrelated sequel Barbarian Queen 2) but in terms of so bad it's good I find Deathstalker 2 really hard to top. Everything is awful, and the result is something utterly wonderful, I'm not sure I've ever laughed harder at a movie.
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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    Quote Originally Posted by Catullus64 View Post
    Conan the Barbarian is a fine enough film, and definitely a more subtle one, but I actually feel that Destroyer comes closer to capturing the feel of Robert E. Howard's original stories, especially insofar as it has more of a sense of humor, and is less ponderous in its philosophy. Howard's stories aren't lacking in philosophical themes, but they're red-blooded action tales first and foremost, and Conan is as often as not more of a visitor to the stories, while supporting characters and villains make a lot of the decisions that drive the plot. The first film tried to make itself a lot more about Conan's interior struggles and motivation, especially the death of his father at the hands of the main villain, which to me always felt like an odd, if understandable choice for adapting this material to film.
    I respectfully disagree. There are absolutely elements of Howard's Conan in CtD, but I think there is more dissonance than in CtB. CtB does feel a little more fatalistic at times, but that matches the tone in some (not all!) of REH's Conan stories.

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    I read them all. The movie when I first saw it was a bit jarring, since at the time in the US people running off to join cults was a big social issue overly covered in the news. Juxtaposing that RL issue into the movie worked, yes, but it changed the tone of the film from the books. But good job on the team who put the movie together. They way they put the cult together, and the good job James Earl Jones did in portraying a villain (Thulsa Doom; whom I don't seem to recall from any of the books) fit together quite well. It worked.
    The scenes from the movie right after his escape from slavery - when ends up in an old ruin with spooky monsters - does come from one of the early Conan stories.
    Curious about the role of the Satanic Panic in what you're saying. I didn't recall any pushback against the movie from that, particularly as early as 82.

    Doom is a Kull character.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrudd View Post
    Destroyer is PG, for me that's pretty much 'nuff said; those restrictions means it's going to be lacking as a Conan story. It pales in comparison to Barbarian, but is still among the better fantasy films of the era. It's a decent swords & sorcery adventure. That thief character who replaces Subotai is just the worst, so annoying, and he's there for the entire movie. He drags it down, but not enough to make it truly a bad movie. The score is still by Poledouris, so of course it's good, but it doesn't approach what he accomplished on Barbarian, which is one of the finest film scores ever, imo.
    Malak is the thing about CtD that I hate the most (by far)...followed by how Malak reduces The Wizard (yeah, Akiro) to a lesser state...then some exceptionally bad acting. But frankly the PG element isn't an issue (it certainly wouldn't be now), because you can maintain the visceral nature of the character without the gore, withotut the non-plot-centric nudity/sexual content. Just consider, for instance, Tower of the Elephant. Very little human-on-human violence, most of it in the dark. Set the scene with some skin, sure, but nothing requires the R rating.

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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    ...Loved, loved, loved Ladyhawke when it first came out. Michelle Pfeiffer was perfect, the color palettes were beautiful, and at the time the music was cutting-edge.

    Sadly, in later years Iíve come to believe the movie has two fatal flaws, namely Matthew Broderick and Rutger Hauer. If it could be remade with not one, but three competent actors in the main roles, it would be the rare remake that surpasses the original.

    (Also with a proper orchestral score, rather than trendy electro-synth-whatever.)
    I agree with you on the score, but I thought the casting was great. I thought both Hauer and Broderick were excellent in their roles, especially in the transformation pit scene. Plus, I love Leo McKern in anything.
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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    wonders if Destroyer would have gotten PG-13 if it was released a month or year later? (it was released the year they were trying this new rating out, a week prior to it becoming official)
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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramza00 View Post
    Make sure to listen to the Cerebro Podcast
    That's not gonna happen. I find the X-men tedious. But thanks for the offer anyway.
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2024-02-01 at 10:58 PM.
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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    Not that I've seen it, but I remembered (from the posters in my video store - more about that in a bit) there was also The Beastmaster with Marc Singer, from 1982. My only experience with Singer is watching him as Mike Donovan in the original (and tremendously superior to any rubbish remake) of V. Anyone seen it, was it another B-grader like many of them were?

    Onto my wider point: does anybody else love the style of the posters they often did for these films? They just don't seem to do that kind of gorgeous oil painting anymore, and sometimes it really feels like the paintings were better than the movie. I'd see the posters up in my local dive of a video rental place. I'll just copypaste links seeing as the forum continues to splutter:

    Ator the Invincible: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/f3/d8...46c91e9cfd.jpg
    The Beastmaster: https://media-cache.cinematerial.com...g?v=1456190781
    Fire and Ice: https://th.bing.com/th/id/OIP.n6DLsP...pid=ImgDetMain
    Ladyhawke: https://th.bing.com/th/id/OIP._JIIBV...pid=ImgDetMain
    Dragonslayer: https://th.bing.com/th/id/OIP.LFYaTK...pid=ImgDetMain
    Krull: https://cdn11.bigcommerce.com/s-yzgo...623835.jpg?c=2


    And I don't care what anyone says about Krull, the Glaive was the coolest ****ing weapon ever put to film, superior to lightsabers by a wide margin. Fight me.

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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    Originally Posted by Saintheart
    Öthere was also The Beastmaster with Marc Singer, from 1982.

    ÖAnyone seen it, was it another B-grader like many of them were?
    I saw it, several times, a year or two after it came out. Only in its wildest dreams could it struggle to lift its gaze to the tantalizing heights of B-grade status.

    I enjoyed it when I was a kid, but it was a complete mess. The one image that stands out the most wasÖ

    Spoiler
    Show
    Öthe bipedal bat-men who enfolded victims in their wings and digested them down to the bone.

    It was a lot goofier than it sounds.


    The fight choreography was ridiculous, and if there was a plot I canít remember the first thing about it. Quite literally forgettable.

    Originally Posted by Saintheart
    Onto my wider point: does anybody else love the style of the posters they often did for these films?
    That Dragonslayer poster is in a class by itself. Most of the others are fairly schlocky, but with Dragonslayer thereís an elegance to its simplicity. Loved the movie when I first saw it.

    The Krull poster is just awful, but then I re-watched the movie a few days ago and I still canít get over how bad the creature design was for the Beast. The poster version is somehow even worse.

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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    Quote Originally Posted by Saintheart View Post
    Not that I've seen it, but I remembered (from the posters in my video store - more about that in a bit) there was also The Beastmaster with Marc Singer, from 1982. My only experience with Singer is watching him as Mike Donovan in the original (and tremendously superior to any rubbish remake) of V. Anyone seen it, was it another B-grader like many of them were?
    Beastmaster is goofy, but it's got some stuff to like about it, particularly all the bits that actually involve the animals. The weird man-eating bird-creatures are cool.

    Your real, premium-grade cheese is Beastmaster II: Through the Portal of Time. (Technically a 90s film, but I feel that it's grandfathered in by virtue of being a sequel). They decided to take this fairly self-serious fantasy film, and have the sequel involve the hero and villain stumbling through a portal to then-present-day Los Angeles. It has just about every hack fish-out-of-water gag you can imagine, and the bad guy's main plan revolves around stealing an experimental thermonuclear device. Frankly, I can't think of a better way to contrast 80s and 90s pop culture than by watching these two films.
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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    I was rather enjoying the original post until it described Hawk the Slayer as awful. Really one of very few films in the genre that didn't go in for the whole rippling muscles and chain mail bikinis shtick. It has also had some first rate actors (Morgan Sheppard).

    Admittedly it has some awful scenes and dialog but it remains a firm favourite of mine.

    My absolute favourite fantasy output of the 80s was the show 'Robin of Sherwood' which while made for television used astronomical production values and compares favourably to many movies of the era. Movie wise? Well Ladyhawke was great and I think could well be classes as an 'accidental B movie'

    Finally, to undermine my above opinions I would like to add that Deathstalker II is the ~best~ Deathstalker movie.
    Last edited by Irongron; 2024-02-02 at 11:02 AM.

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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    Quote Originally Posted by Irongron View Post
    My absolute favourite fantasy output of the 80s was the show 'Robin of Sherwood' which while made for television used astronomical production values and compares favourably to many movies of the era.
    You dreadful gentleman, there I was sitting peacefully and now I've got Clannad's theme tune for that series stuck in my head on repeat, like it was for years after I saw the series on TV.

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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    Quote Originally Posted by Saintheart View Post
    Not that I've seen it, but I remembered (from the posters in my video store - more about that in a bit) there was also The Beastmaster with Marc Singer, from 1982. My only experience with Singer is watching him as Mike Donovan in the original (and tremendously superior to any rubbish remake) of V. Anyone seen it, was it another B-grader like many of them were?
    Beastmaster got a lot of love from my game group and was a regular watch, both on cable and from the VHS rental store. It was a nice 1-2 with Deathstalker, despite significant tonal differences.

    The Cloakers rocked. Don't bother me with your "How can anything digest something equal in size and potentially exceeding in mass so quickly?" irrelevant questions!

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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    Quote Originally Posted by Mordar View Post
    Curious about the role of the Satanic Panic in what you're saying. I didn't recall any pushback against the movie from that, particularly as early as 82.
    Don't recall any, since the big deal about the movie was Ahnuld, who had won Mr Olympia about 5 times as a body builder. His previous movie (Pumping Iron) was about body building.
    Doom is a Kull character.
    I guess the movie borrowed him.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mordar View Post
    Beastmaster got a lot of love from my game group and was a regular watch, both on cable and from the VHS rental store. It was a nice 1-2 with Deathstalker, despite significant tonal differences.
    Yes, both were fun.
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    Gosh, 2D8HP, you are so very correct!
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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Don't recall any, since the big deal about the movie was Ahnuld, who had won Mr Olympia about 5 times as a body builder. His previous movie (Pumping Iron) was about body building.
    Yeah, it just clicked in...the "cults" commentary was related to Doom's cult, not a D&D thing (which was a conversation thread elsewhere linked to Mazes and Monsters).

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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    Just watched Dragonslayer for the first time in many years, and I absolutely loved it. Great little movie with a well-crafted atmosphere, and a bit more depth than I realized when I first saw it as a kid.

    But I don't know that I'd call it a sword-and-sorcery movie. It came out the year before the first Conan, so it takes no inspiration from that genre; instead it has its own distinctive tone and style. There are a few swords and an abundance of sorcery, but the hero is about as far from the rippling-muscled swordsman as possible, and there are plenty of other idiosyncrasies as well.


    Spoiler: Departures of Dragonslayer
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    The story is fairly basic, but thereís more than one hero involved, and the dragon is finally defeated by the combined efforts of four different people, working together but not always as a team. Galen is the nominal hero, but Valerian saves his life twice over and gives him a vital key to survivalóand itís through her determination that Galenís story is set into motion at all. This is the exact opposite of the slightly later Krull, in which the female lead is primarily decorative and plays no more than a nominal role in her own rescue.

    Dragonslayer has a bit of commentary about elites and politicians, which was probably unusual for a fantasy movie of the timeóin particular its portrayal of the king not as a wise and noble ruler, but as a cunning operator and propagandist. Unlike other movies from this time (e.g. Krull) thereís a firm sense of the unglamorous realities of early-medieval lifeóand again unlike Krull, magic is not so easily mastered.

    Also unusual is that the princess nobly sacrifices herself and isnít conveniently rescued just in time. The movie doesnít shy away from the consequences, and offhand I canít think of another fantasy movie where the princess doesnít make it out in one way or another. Meanwhile the primary warrior-antagonist, the captain of the guard, is a rough arrogant jerk, but heís not evil; heís motivated by a strong sense of duty and patriotism, and although he has to be defeated itís clear the movie takes no pleasure in it.

    The dragon itself looks a bit cheesy to the modern eye, but the stop-motion effects were excellent for the time and some of the flight scenes hold up very well. The movie is highly effective at building tension with fleeting glimpses early on, and in the theater the full reveal must have been impressive.

    The acting of the two young leads isnít the best, but theyíre surrounded by older and better actors who carry the movie, in particular Galenís master and the king. Supporting actors are far better than in comparable movies (again thinking of Krull), and in this case including a much younger Ian McDiarmid.

    The one serious complaint I have with the movie is the music, which is utterly awful. I donít know what they were going for, but itís a strangely screechy cacophony, without a recognizable theme and often poorly matched with individual scenes. It ranges from grating to forgettable, and I'm not sure how such a solid movie in most other respects was saddled with such an emotionless shambles of a score. If the existing movie could be remixed with a new score, ideally by Howard Shore, it would be close to perfection.



    I saw this when it first came out, but I hadnít remembered just how good it was, in its own earnest way. Stands up very well to a viewing today, and highly recommended.

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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    Oh, nice conversation!

    Barbarian is not only the first, but the most accomplished. The score is not only fantastic and evocative but so well used and integrated into every single scene. Milius writing and directing are simply superb. As many of you mention, the movie respects the audience and understands what it can do and what it can't in terms of visual effects, so it ages better than other movies after. And then I love the sub-text and endless discussions of whether Milius was hating on the hippies and Gerry Lopez' inclusion along with Conan moves with the sword was a reference to the Surfer movement and some obscure cultural war in the 1970's between SoCal surfers and hippies.

    In any case, it also helps that Arnold's physique in Barbarian is more nuanced, he leaned down for the role and looks more bestial with the sword. In Destroyer and Sonja he is too big, it's impossible to take him seriously when swinging a sword with that limited range of motion. Grace Jones is the best of Destroyer, and Sonja could improve if it was 30 minute shorter.

    However, Willow is the one I can re-watch many times. It is flawed, but has great pace and Madmartigan is the Fighter we all want to play when playing DND.

    And I really like Fire & Ice it is very accomplished and incredibly well animated. But yeah, that one takes the horniness and misogyny a bit too far.


    One I loved as a kid and has aged horribly is The Barbarians Geeez!
    Last edited by Auranghzeb; 2024-02-04 at 06:45 AM.

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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    Just watched Dragonslayer for the first time in many years, and I absolutely loved it. Great little movie with a well-crafted atmosphere, and a bit more depth than I realized when I first saw it as a kid.

    But I don't know that I'd call it a sword-and-sorcery movie. It came out the year before the first Conan, so it takes no inspiration from that genre; instead it has its own distinctive tone and style. There are a few swords and an abundance of sorcery, but the hero is about as far from the rippling-muscled swordsman as possible, and there are plenty of other idiosyncrasies as well.
    Interesting - I don't believe that I would have included "rippling-muscled swordsmen" as an S&S requirement, in no small part to the feel I have that the books that established S&S for me didn't have the physical freak specimen as a common, much less default, choice. Conan called for something different, and it is true that most (particularly the schlock) of the post CtB films did seem to lean toward the loincloth set...but I think I would still hold that to be a subset of S&S, maybe adding a third S for skin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saintheart View Post
    Do the Mad Max films count as Sword and Sorcery?
    Absolutely not. They lack both sides of the ampersand. However, like CtB they did establish their own sub-genre of film. Surely there were post-apocalyptic dystopian future kinds of movies before Max Rockatansky got mad, but MM and Road Warrior were pretty special.

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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    Nah, S&S has always had a lot of skin in its visual representations. This goes all the way back to the cover art for Conan stories in Weird Tales in the thirties. If they kinda look like lesbian bandage... that's because the editor had a fetish and if your story was a good excuse for some Editorially Prefered Smut, you had a good chance of getting the cover story and hence more money.

    But there's also just a lot of nudity and sexual content in the original stories. Shirts are very much optional attire, and while you can argue that possibly in-universe exposed breaststroke aren't coded as sexual, they definitely were to a 1930s American audience. C.L. Moore's stories are both not at all explicit, but extremely sensual to a degree I'd describe as "horny on main." There's a detailed description of how Jirel's thighs are exposed and naked between her mail shirt and her greaves, basically the nightie doesn't quite cover the stockings and garter belt look, but with armor.

    Now it is true that the full loincloth/fur bikini look isn't super common in the actual text of a lot of S&S, but it is very common in the cover art dating back to basically forever. Indeed I'd say the sensibly dressed protagonist appearing nearly naked on the cover is a very common trope of the genre. Rather like how if you judge them by the cover, most urban fantasy novels are entirely populated by fashion models who tragically can only afford like one ragged shirt and a lacy bra each, while the poor men are left so bankrupt by spending all their money on gym memberships and protein shakes that they own zero shirts, and can only stay warm by flexing their washboard abs constantly.

    It's almost like sex sells, particularly in the formulaic and lowbrow. The immediate conquest of the S&S film by buff dudes and Playboy models is, I think, essentially inevitable and quite in keeping with the genre's existing aesthetic. And thank heavens, trash is much more fun when it really does the trash thing.
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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    Nah, S&S has always had a lot of skin in its visual representations. This goes all the way back to the cover art for Conan stories in Weird Tales in the thirties. If they kinda look like lesbian bandage... that's because the editor had a fetish and if your story was a good excuse for some Editorially Prefered Smut, you had a good chance of getting the cover story and hence more money.

    But there's also just a lot of nudity and sexual content in the original stories. Shirts are very much optional attire, and while you can argue that possibly in-universe exposed breaststroke aren't coded as sexual, they definitely were to a 1930s American audience. C.L. Moore's stories are both not at all explicit, but extremely sensual to a degree I'd describe as "horny on main." There's a detailed description of how Jirel's thighs are exposed and naked between her mail shirt and her greaves, basically the nightie doesn't quite cover the stockings and garter belt look, but with armor.

    Now it is true that the full loincloth/fur bikini look isn't super common in the actual text of a lot of S&S, but it is very common in the cover art dating back to basically forever. Indeed I'd say the sensibly dressed protagonist appearing nearly naked on the cover is a very common trope of the genre. Rather like how if you judge them by the cover, most urban fantasy novels are entirely populated by fashion models who tragically can only afford like one ragged shirt and a lacy bra each, while the poor men are left so bankrupt by spending all their money on gym memberships and protein shakes that they own zero shirts, and can only stay warm by flexing their washboard abs constantly.

    It's almost like sex sells, particularly in the formulaic and lowbrow. The immediate conquest of the S&S film by buff dudes and Playboy models is, I think, essentially inevitable and quite in keeping with the genre's existing aesthetic. And thank heavens, trash is much more fun when it really does the trash thing.
    Concur with most (my readings of Howard through all of the wonderful Random House compendia didn't evidence nearly the level of wanton sex/naked moments as many might suggest), I had meant my response in regard to the size of the protagonist more than anything else. Of course, A.S. was a freakish size that couldn't have reasonably been replicated before him...so my comment was more male body size dependent. I recognize that I was misreading "rippling-muscled" as a statement on bulk mass rather than defined musculature, and was thinking that we had a lot of S&S heroes of the Gor/Krull sized and far fewer that would approach Mountain or Arnold.

    tl,dr: I mean the change in mass, not the change in nakedness, related to Arnold being the largest and most muscularly defined actor to take on major studio movie roles. I failed miserably in that expression.

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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    A word or two, then, on the subject of Fire & Ice, one of the few animated entries into the Sword-and-Sorcery genre.

    Directed by Ralph Bakshi, maker of such films as Wizards, Fritz the Cat, Heavy Traffic and The Lord of the Rings (1977), and drawing heavily on the talents of Frank Frazetta, whose artwork helped massively re-popularize the genre, it's a film bursting with gorgeous visuals and atmosphere. What lets it down, of course, is when it has to actually function as a story. (The same, frankly, can be said of most of Bakshi's filmography: lots of imagination and passion that falls apart when it has to actually cohere into anything more than a series of vignettes).

    The plot, loosely summarized, concerns a fantasy (possibly post-apocalyptic?) world under threat from the evil sorcerer Nekron (subtle) and his ever-advancing wall of ice. Nekron's minions capture Teegra, princess of a volcanic kingdom that stands in his way, at about the same time that the warrior Larn is escaping after the destruction of his tribe by Nekron's glaciers. Larn and Teegra meet while escaping their respective perils. A series of mostly disconnected perils and escapes ensues, culminating in a deadly battle with the sorcerer in his keep. All classic stuff, but with a lot of that unfortunate Bakshi incoherence muddling it up.

    The chief problem is that our hero and heroine both have the personality of overcooked porridge, and are exceedingly passive in the entire events of the plot. The villains are campy fun, but not in very much of the movie, and a supporting character, Darkwolf, seems at times to be the real hero of the picture. Teegra, though initially set up to be some kind of independent-minded scholar, quickly assumes the damsel-in-distress mold.

    The film has the fascination with nude or mostly-nude bodies, violence, and primordial savagery that you'd expect from a Frazetta painting. I tend to enjoy that stuff too, but I fully acknowledge and respect that the excessive cheesecake and occasional dodgy racial/homoerotic coding could be a turn-off for a lot of people. Even I find it tiresome in this form; I like Frazetta, but I wouldn't want to stare at his paintings for the entire length of a feature film, which is what this often feels like.

    If you watch it, it's best to think of it as primarily a fantasy mood piece rather than an actual narrative. In fact, I think the film would have actually been much better without any dialogue.
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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    Originally Posted by Catullus64
    If you watch it, it's best to think of it as primarily a fantasy mood piece rather than an actual narrative. In fact, I think the film would have actually been much better without any dialogue.
    This is a perfect summation of the sections that I watched. And it really would be interesting as an experiment in pre-verbal narrative. The sections I watched had hardly any dialogue anyway, just lots of grunting and cries of distress. Removing whatever dialogue is there might well be an improvement.

    Originally Posted by Catullus64
    All classic stuff, but with a lot of that unfortunate Bakshi incoherence muddling it up.
    I tried watching Wizards and gave up about 3/4 into it. I could barely make out a narrative, and the visual style included some really weird colored-shadow effects (canít recall the term) which clashed with the animation. The whole thing was jarring and discordant. It ended up being a struggle to watch, and absolutely zero fun.

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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    Amazon Prime is streaming "The Barbarians" for free right now. Its' gimmick is that it stars TWO weightlifters turned actors playing barbarian warriors who were taken into slavery as children and are now on a revenge quest.

    It's like Conan the Destroyer but with half the acting and twice the cheese.

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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    Just finished watching The Sword and the Sorcerer. I had to stop partway through due to cheese overload. The fight scenes were terribly bad, but the acting was average for the 80's.
    The story had a lot of potential, it just needed at least an hour more to tell the story, much better fight choreography, and better special effects.
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    Default Re: Sword-and-Sorcery Films of the 1980's

    Quote Originally Posted by Trafalgar View Post
    Amazon Prime is streaming "The Barbarians" for free right now. Its' gimmick is that it stars TWO weightlifters turned actors playing barbarian warriors who were taken into slavery as children and are now on a revenge quest.

    It's like Conan the Destroyer but with half the acting and twice the cheese.
    I recently watched this one on a lark and was very pleasantly surprised. The plot's silly, the leads are goofy (I've seen this pair in a number of movies and they couldn't act their way out of a paper bag), and the thief lady sidekick appears to have been only given 'do valley girl' as direction, but it's done earnestly, and I found that very charming. In addition, the costumes and sets are good, and I thought it kept the pace well. My biggest complaint was that our genre-staple evil sexy sorceress didn't get enough screen time because she was real fun when she was around. My final verdict was that the movie was silly but, if that's something you enjoy/can handle, it was very fun. It got good marks from everyone in the room when we had it on.

    My weird one that a friend and I dug up on Amazon a while ago was Wizards of the Demon Sword. It's pretty standard fare, but there's one particular scene that stood out where the big evil sorcerer looks like he's getting ready to punish one of his apprentices for using forbidden magics and it's like 'uh oh, she's about to die', but then he ends up just scolding her because they're dangerous and she could have been killed, the Hank Scorpio of of sorcerers.
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