I don’t think there is anything more iconic than early Arnie.

Most of us knew and accepted he couldn’t act, but we loved that beefcake regardless. Well long before he was the T-800 Arnie was Conan the Barbarian.

After that was a success he became a Destroyer, which was the same year as his rise as a Terminator. My god the 80’s really was Arnie’s domain.

Conan the Destroyer

Anyway, with a fancy new Bluray releasing I figured it was time to check out Conan The Destroyer again to see if it holds up. After all, some of those 80’s movies are much better in our heads than they ever actually were. The good news is this one kinda is.

Conan the Destroyer kicks off with Conan kicking it with his pal Malak.

They get attacked, so Conan kills a whole bunch of them with some swordplay and a whole bunch of Arnie charisma. This is when Queen Taramis emerges. Turns out this was just a test of his strength.  Having passed the test she tries to enlist Conan for a quest. Conan being Conan, promptly declines the offer. That is until she offers something he can’t refuse, the opportunity to have his wife being brought back from the dead.

Conan the Destroyer

Push comes to shove and they go on the quest, picking up some other peps to buff out their numbers with different combat skills and magic.

All to go find a gem and a horn. What results is a whole lot of crazy combat, plenty of cheesy action dialogue, and plenty of comedy. Conan the Destroyer is much funnier than Conan the Barbarian, intentionally, and it really gives a fun comic book vibe. It’s a silly movie with an out there and mostly coherent plot. It jumps around at times, then slows to a halt at times, but on the whole it’s fun.

But much of it has become really dated. Believe it or not Arnie did learn to act, but he hasn’t yet in this role and the whole cast has varying levels of acting skill. It was the 80’s, so it seems like a lot of the acting credentials required was “Are you beautiful?”.  I mean look at Arnies biceps, who needs to act when you look that good holding a sword?

Conan the Destroyer

The costume design and set designs on the other hand hold up really well after all this time.

Everything around the acting looks amazing, and even Arnies screams and grunts can’t take away from that. The other area the movie excels in is the soundtrack.

There were multiple times I felt like it sounded and looked far too epic for the time.

One of the cool parts of a lot of these re-releases is the extra features that get included.  One of them is a 15 minute documentary that has Gerry Conway and Roy Thomas.

Conan the Destroyer

Roy Thomas was one of the early writers that brought Conan to comics, and Roy Thomas was also a comic book writer. They both wrote this movie, so it was really interesting getting a slice of history on the rights to the Conan story that was acquired for the comics, and how their views influenced the movie. Another excellent one is a 17 minute documentary going into the music. As I mentioned, the music is truly incredible, so this made for an excellent watch about how this got created. Then you add to this the beautiful hardcover box and the art cards inside, and it’s a damn fine release.

Conan the Destroyer might not be the best action movie you can watch these days, but there is a lot to love about it. Whether you want to be an aficionado of old movies, or just want to enjoy some classic Arnie, this is the best way to watch it and I love seeing this edition on my shelves.

Conan the Destroyer
Conan the Destroyer – Limited Edition (Bluray) Review
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