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This action-packed fantasy takes place twelve thousand years ago, an undreamed-of age before recorded history filled with fantastic kingdoms across an uncharted world. An age of superstition and myth populated by mystical wizards and menacing creatures, this Hyborian Age spawned a true hero, Conan. With the aid of ragtag warriors Otli, Bayu and Zzeban, he quests to his homeland from the rule of an all-powerful sorcerer and deals with beautiful, fiery bandit queen Karella. Written by
Conan the Barbarian is toned-down for TV as expected, with sidekicks and a moralistic tone that should have been sublimated with erotic and S&M undertones.
All the episodes of this sword and sorcery series simply capitalize on the formula that made the HERCULES or BEASTMASTER TV shows successful; but a couple of these in syndication is enough. What was needed here was something more edgy with a fantasy/noir atmosphere. Bodybuilder Ralf Moeller is ideally cast, but his character is decidedly too friendly and heroic to be taken as a barbarian thug, which is the proper way to develop the Conan character. Where is the stimulating eroticism and fetishistic bondage situations that make a loinclothed hero satisfying. Even on TV, you can push the envelop to reasonable limits in these two critical areas. What we don't need are cutesy, self-righteous sidekicks or a little-man buddy (reminiscent of many a schlocky Italian peplum pic). Another thing that keeps this kind of thing interesting is a cool, sadistic villain, and this series fails miserably here, too. The key wizard villain is far from sinister and his bantering interludes with a "potted skull" slow down the proceedings irreparably. Not nearly enough bang for your buck here.
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