Wonderfully Horrible Netflix Instant Films: “Conan The Destroyer”

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bill-swift - May 13, 2013

I continue my quest to find the cream of the crap in Netflix Instant's library of streaming celluloid diarrhea with a classic tale of a magic and guys in fur panties. I'm talking about the classically awful 1984 sword and sorcery epic Conan the Destroyer. Arnold Schwarzenegger had rocketed to fame a couple of years earlier playing the mighty warrior in Conan the Barbarian. After the success of The Terminator it seemed like a sure bet that Destroyer would also be a huge hit. It was not. Mainly because it was bad, oooooh sooo perfectly bad. It lacked the seriousness and gritty edge of the first one. As silly as the idea of Conan is in general, in Destroyer he is a total clown. Still, it is a truly entertaining bit of Hyperborean crap.

At the beginning of the movie, Conan is praying for his lost love Valeria. Then an evil queen, (played by General Zod's girlfriend Ursa from Superman II), shows up and promises Conan that if he'll take her niece to retrieve a jeweled horn for some weird god, she will use her magic to bring Valeria back. So, Conan takes the young hot niece, (played by Olvia D'Abo aka Kevin Arnold's sister from The Wonder Years), to the magical fortress or whatever to get the horn. He also takes Wilt Chamberlain with him for backup, because of course. He later teams up with scary scary Grace Jones and Mako, who did the voice of Splinter in The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies. They get the jeweled horn from a goofy wizard that lives in a room of mirrors that looks not unlike the fitting room at an Old Navy. When they get the horn back to Ursa and she puts it on the statue of the god, he turns into a ridiculous rubber monster that Conan has to kill. The End!

The special effects are so bad that they make the cheesy scene when James Earl Jones turned into a snake in the first Conan look like friggin' Avatar. I've seen kid's Halloween costumes that are more convincing than the evil monster at the end of the movie, (although the guy in the bad rubber suit is the legendary wrestler Andre the Giant). I also have to question the director's casting choices. While Ursa (Sarah Douglas) and Olvia D'Abo make sense, why in the name of Krom was Wilt Chamberlain in the movie? I've always said that basketball players should never ever be in movies because it always ends badly, (Space Jam, Shazam, etc). I guess if you must have a scantily clad female amazon-type warrior Grace Jones is not a bad casting decision. It's more that she scares me and makes me feel an emptiness and dread in my stomach and scrotum. Still, Conan the Destroyer is terrible fun movie to watch with your nerd friends who can truly appreciate just how bad a fantasy film can be. It's no Beastmaster, that's for sure.

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