Conan the Barbarian

Bomb Rating: 

Very few Oscar-winning motion pictures start with a scene where a mother has her barbarian child cut from her womb on the battlefield while blood trickles from her mortally-wounded mouth. I don’t know why Conan The Barbarian decided to buck with tradition and just go with the whole "war fetus" motif, but if I were to venture a guess, I would say that it’s because director Marcus Nispel is all about artistic integrity.

That’s right. Nispel doesn’t care about your precious Hollywood hardware, your star-studded galas and benefits or concepts like "bankable franchises." This trail-blazing filmmaker who brought us such original remakes as "Friday the 13th" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" set his sights on destroying what was already a pretty shitty series of 80’s films originally helmed by right-wing maniac John Milius – and he wasn’t going to take no for an answer.

Conan The Barbarian is exactly what you would expect from a swords and sorcery masterpiece put together by the genius creative talents at the SyFy network. Everything about the flick is just so surreal, starting with Morgan Freeman’s absurd narration, moving on to a teenage Conan's profoundly uninteresting formative years, ridiculous ponderings on "the mysteries of steel" and of course action sequences that spring out of nowhere to service a plot that bounces from one poorly-choreographed fight scene to another like so many rats scurrying around the inside of an active pinball machine.

By the time Conan reveals to the audience that "I live, I fight, I love, and I am content," we are no longer shocked at the revelation that this particular turn of phrase is more than enough to get him into the pants of a girl who spent her entire life sequestered at a monastery with some white-bearded pervy cult leader. The resulting sex scene, and the fact that although Conan has undoubtedly impregnated her with his mega-seed her character is still considered to be "pure" enough to participate in some type of necromancy – yes that's right, necromancy – is just icing on a really shit-tastic cake.

The weirdest part of Conan The Barbarian, for me, was probably the implied incest between the main bad dude whose name I completely don’t care about, and his witchy daughter. Apparently, she was played by Rose McGowan, but given that McGowan had her face surgically removed, botoxed and then re-applied by doctors in Uruguay sometime between her time on “Charmed” and “Conan,” I didn’t know this fact until after the credits rolled. If their on-screen relationship had progressed past subtle groping and perhaps included some kind of split-screen full-on fucking alongside Conan’s previously-mention conquest, then maybe I wouldn’t have rubbed myself raw to original production stills of Arnold wearing his barbarian gear from back in the day.

But who am I kidding.

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