I'm currently watching another iteration of Conan the Barbarian (actually, Conan the Destroyer) and I'm loving it. The producers never intended it, but it's so chock full of campy goodness.
Governor Arnie Schwarzenegger's sincere though hammy acting and dialogue still bring a nostalgic smile to my weathered face. Mako, late of Seven Years in Tibet and playing Akijo --Conan's wizard sidekick-- in this movie, is always a welcome sight in any role. Two pillars of heartfelt hammy acting with memorable accents: go figure. God knows I haven't seen Grace Jones scare the bejeezus outta me since the eighties. She's also a welcome sight here, as dear as any old friend, in my book. As Zula the bandit, she's the quintessential African Goddess: big, scary, yet attractive in her feline grace and ferocity.
The lay of the land: Conan is apparently like me, mourning mising or dead loves. He misses his warrior-lover Valeria, introduced and killed off in Conan the Barbarian. The Evil Queen (Sarah Douglas, Superman II) cuts a deal with him: Bring her neice (d'Abo) on a quest to retrieve a powerful artifact and Evil Queen brings Valeria back to life. Conan makes a quick stop to pick up some questing companions and the adventure begins...
The little gay guy in me loves the muscles and the revealing costumes. Meanwhile the big lummox macho guy in me loves the women in them: especially the young princess Jehnna (Olivia d'Abo). He also salivates at the opportunity to judge the swordwork, as this is a film of the swashbuckling variety.
As this is a De Laurentis film, the special effects and set design, though dated, do not disappoint. The musical scoring, with its dependence on chimes and traditional wind intruments is refreshing after having viewed films with today's in-your-face electronica.
Lines from a scene I've gotta love--
d'Abo: "How do you attract a man?"
Jones: "You grrrab him!"