Seeking revenge, a fiery redheaded female warrior sets out to retrieve a magic orb from an evil queen whose loyal warriors raped her and murdered her entire family. She finds unlikely allies along the way.
The wandering barbarian, Conan, alongside his goofy rogue pal, Malak, are tasked with escorting Queen Taramis' virgin niece, Princess Jehnna and her bodyguard, Bombaata, to a mystical island fortress. They must retrieve a magical crystal that will help them procure the horn that legends say can awaken the god of dreams, Dagoth. Along the way, Conan reunites with the wise wizard, Akiro and befriends the fierce female fighter, Zula. Together the heroes face ancient traps, powerful Wizards, plots of betrayal, and even the dream god, Dagoth, himself!Written by
Tim Harrison Snlmidgit@hotmail.com
Malak the cowardly thief was a nod to the character of Vila Restal from the TV series Blake's 7 (1978). See more »
(at around 1h 24 mins) When Malak falls from the waterfall towards the end of the movie, Conan has to catch him and save him. There is a harness attached to Malak's back as he's falling. See more »
Akiro 'The Wizard':
Between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the rise of the Sons of Aryas, there was an Age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world. Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, sword in hand. It is I, his chronicler, who knows well his saga. Now, let me tell you of the days of high adventure.
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A cheap, but funny and light-hearted sequel. Not inferior to Barbarian, just different
Being a fan of Robert E. Howard's short stories I must say that funny and light-hearted are definitely NOT the words I would use to describe Conan. Destroyer loses the poetic melancholy of Barbarian, but is more accessible (it was the first of the Conan movies that I saw as a kid). The PG rating doesn't harm the tone of the film much, it's still relatively bloody, but apparently Richard Fleischer shot it as a hard R before the producers cut it down.
The story this time has Conan go on a mission for the seductive Queen Taramis (she can be my queen ANY day, and look for a quick glimpse of her bush in the first Shadizar Castle scene). He must retrieve a gemstone which unlocks another treasure called the Horn of Dagoth. A treasure that will bring to life an Evil God. Conan doesn't care as Taramis (who was NOT a villain in Howard's short stories, her twin sister Salome however, definitely was) has promised to bring back his dead girlfriend from the first film.
And so with his ragtag group of companions: Malak (a comedy sidekick, but what happened to Subotai from the original?), Zula (Grace Jones, wearing no more than a couple of inches of leather floss), Akiro (Mako, the only returning cast member from the original), Bombaata (on a secret mission to kill Conan) and the virgin Princess Jehnna, Conan takes off on his mission.
The first film was serious but this one plays more like Labyrinth than Barbarian. The effects and sets are very typical of early '80s fantasy movies. Conan talks a lot more too, and has fun in a drunk scene. I don't have a problem with this as he is quite cunning and intelligent in Robert E. Howard's stories, and they kinda sold him short in the first film by limiting his dialogue.
Some scenes reek of cheapness. The Toth-Amon/Man-Ape scene is so ridiculously fake it makes you wonder how the filmmakers took it seriously. And the ending, featuring the resurrected Dagoth reduced to a sub-Godzilla demon is just plain stupid. Not silly. Even a few more minutes of thought put into this would have made it much better. But it is all very entertaining it really does is add to the kitschy hokum of it all. And hokum and weirdness is what Howard's stories were all about.
Basil Poledouris' music is the one part of the film that is totally up to scratch. It's not as heavy as his score to the first film but he does introduce new, stronger themes and lighter takes on cues from the first. Brilliant stuff.
It's a lot more formulaic and 'Hollywood' than the first. No new ground is broken and it's obviously a film made quickly to cash in on the success of Barbarian. Another way in which Conan has been sold short. You can tell with some gimmicks present in both films that they were trying to turn this into a long-running series. A shame that never happened. It really should have been like Bond, with a film coming out every 2 years.
Conan the Destroyer is guiltless fun with goofier characters, sillier dialogue, clumsier action, and loinier cloths. And, honestly, it's none the worse for it.
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