Most of the footage from Munkar's "orgy" is actually footage taken from the film Deathstalker. This includes all sequences including the chained girl and the pig-faced warrior. It's most noticeable in some of the faraway shots where the throne is visible and it is clearly not Martin Kove sitting there. See more »
On the first day of the tournament, Zigrid kills the hammer warrior. Yet, both at the end of the first day and at the beginning of the second day, the hammer warrior is standing among the other surviving champions. See more »
In the opening title sequence, several nonspeaking extras or bit players are credited as if they were principals simply because their English-looking names would be more easily readable by American viewers. See more »
Would you care for some 20-sided dice with your cheese?
You've seen this movie before. Don't lie, of course you have. You take a lone hero with a sword. Set him up against a dark sorcerer with monstrous servants. Make him run around a mythical backdrop searching for props to defeat said sorcerer whilst picking up a small party of comrades. For good measure, throw in a mysterious witch, concubines, a deposed noble, and lots of dry ice. This movie was made countless times in the 80's with slight variations: maybe it was "Conan The Barbarian", "Deathstalker", or "Red Sonja." There was probably a role-playing game tie-in. This grand tradition is continued into the new millennium by the laughably bad, Roger Corman-financed "epic" film "Barbarian."
In a land overcome by a dark, sorcerous tyrant named Munkar (Martin Kove), the people's last hope for liberation is a swordsman named Kane (Michael O'Hearn). Conscripted by a Witch (Yevdokiya Germanova) to collect some mystic artifacts needed to overthrow Munkar and in return win the hand of Princess Gretchen (Irina Grigoryeva), Kane battles stock villains while collecting his traveling companions. Furry and cute but indescribably annoying sidekick Wooby (Yuri Danilchenko)? Check. Hot amazon babe Gilda (Svetlana Metinka)? Check. Brooding, disaffected solider jealous of Kane's manly jaw and pectoral development Zigrid (Aleksandr Dyachenko)? Check. So where is Brigitte Nielsen in all of this mess?
This film has so many things wrong with it that it truly boggles the mind. One of the most noticeable flaws is the cast. The film was shot on location in the Ukraine, and presumably to keep down the budget, all but two speaking roles were filled by local Russian actors whose voices were then later dubbed over by uncredited American actors, often quite poorly. The producers try to hide this fact by placing all non-Russian names in the cast (including non-speaking extras) in the opening credits. Another major flaw is the design of the film, or lack thereof. The costumes and props, including weapons and armor, were culled from at least 20 different time periods and regions, from Bronze Age Greece to 15th-century Italy. Often, the film looked like little more than a second-rate Renaissance festival, complete with the amount of slipshod authenticity that generally accompanies it. That's to say nothing of the stultifying script and ridiculous story, which seems to be either a continuation or a rip-off of "Deathstalker" (and there are even clips from that film in this one), and the poorly choreographed, sloppily edited fight scenes.
Most of the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of one John O'Halloran, who wrote, edited, and directed the film (sometimes under the pseudonym of Henry Crum). The film plays out with all the clumsiness of an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons module from 1985, with O'Halloran being the awkward Dungeon Master who takes himself far too seriously. Characters appear and disappear with a randomness and lack of motive, but with perfect timing, that mimics a night spent rolling dice and comparing saving throws. In this case, the game goes on for far too long, the plot becomes far too ridiculous, and when the players get tired, the DM wraps the ending up with far too much haste and too little closure.
So what's good about this film? One thing, and his name is Michael O'Hearn. O'Hearn seems to be about the only person in this train wreck possessing anything resembling acting ability. He's not good by any stretch, at least good enough to get his own syndicated action series, but he far outshines the rest of the cast. In addition, he is pretty. So very, very pretty. One of the most successful fitness models in the world, and winner of several bodybuilding championships, O'Hearn has the awe-inducing physical presence to make you briefly forget about the schlock he's surrounded with. He's also got just enough stage combat ability to make some of the fights vaguely entertaining. He even makes some of the cheesy one-liners he's forced to say sound cool, and that takes talent.
Fans of low-budget (or no-budget) sword-and-sorcery fare like "Barbarian Queen" or "Ator" will relish this film in all of its ludicrous beauty. Virtually everyone else will be more compelled to watch the opening credits lovingly worship O'Hearn's form, then promptly return the film to wherever they rented it from. And fans of "Mystery Science Theatre 3000" will seek out this film at all costs for their next Bad Movie Night showing. 3 out of 10.
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