Sunday, November 12, 2017

Red Sonja


*

Early this morning I realized I had never really watched most of this 1985 sword and sandals Richard Fleischer film. The Vikings, this is not. It isn't even Conan, the Destroyer. Italian locations are nice and it has a Morricone score. But Conan not being available for this was a blessing in disguise. High Lord Kalidor instead allowed Schwarzenegger to keep Conan from being attached to such a turkey. Swinging sword duels are plentiful. Some nonsense plot about an unstable bright green glowing talisman Sandhal Bergman's cackling villainess covets after its theft by her armor-bearing guards seems to produce earth tremors and men vanishing when putting their hands on it because only women can touch it. There are lots of candles and a lava pit. Ernie Reyes, Jr as a young prince ordering around Paul S Smith as he gets to use martial arts to combat adult foes while wielding an ox bone. Brigitte Nielsen is someone I remember at a young age being quite sexually attracted to and she cuts a fine figure although she had no business trying to carry a film such as this with such limited experience as an actress, rather embarrassing herself. Poor Schwarzenegger being top billed in this was a burden to a rising career he didn't need. I think he was smart enough to realize that going to the well one too many times left nothing remaining for him and this genre. Bergman was indescribably awful. It is the kind of performance that Grade-Z trash cinema lovers will undoubtedly treasure. I couldn't do anything but cringe, though. Schwarzenegger and Nielsen sword fighting as flirting sums up how corny this whole thing is. You'd think I would have rented this at some point on VHS, but I don't recall much of this at all. It has kitchy costumes and a serious tone so it might just appeal to those willing to embrace rancid cinema. To me, it had only the location and soundtrack to redeem it. When flying decapitated heads can't even help you know a film is in trouble of this genre...






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