Tag Archives: 1982

Review of Conan the Barbarian (1982)

11 Sep

Conan the Barbarian (1982) is an adventure/fantasy/action film, based on the stories by Robert E. Howard.

Directed by John Milius (Red Dawn (1984), Dillinger (1973)).

Written by John Milius (Evel Knievel (1971), Farewell to the King (1989)) and Oliver Stone (Platoon (1986), Savages (2012)).

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Max Von Sydow, Sandahl Bergman, Mako, Gerry Lopez and others.

It opens with a narrator telling us about Conan, but the way he talks, you don’t really care to listen, because it won’t really matter anyway. Then the movie finds it important to randomly show us some blacksmithing, just before kid Conan’s village is attacked and I wonder if I should care for these people I see for the first time.

Then James Earl Jones arrives on the scene and you know what? He looks ridiculous, even his epic voice (why couldn’t he narrate the movie instead?) doesn’t change the fact, that his wig of long, straight, black hair doesn’t look awesome at all. Yes, even after he decapitates Conan’s mom. And he doesn’t say a word during the whole scene, so he talks for the first time somewhere in the second half of the movie, when he appears again.

So the attackers kill everyone, except the children, which they take with them, because they’re pedophiles… or slavekeepers, I’m not sure. They make kid Conan push some rotating thing and a couple of years later he’s Arnold fucking Schwarzenegger and it doesn’t take long for Arnie to make his classic guttural “argh!” sounds.

Then we spend some time watching Conan killing people in arena fights. After becoming this champion fighter, he’s almost a celebrity, he gets whores and is allowed to read, which isn’t very barbarian-like thing to do, but don’t worry Conan isn’t smart. He just has the best possible life a slave can have, he lacks some freedom, but in every other way his life is much better than it would have been in his native village. Being an unappreciative bastard he uses the first opportunity to run away and be free, only to be instantly chased by a pack of wolves and falling into a cave to struggle with making fire and shit. If you ask me, being a slave was way better.

25 minutes into the movie we hear the main character speak for the first time and, oh dear god, where did he develop this thick Austrian accent? To think of it, 80s were a weird time, when people actually accepted his accent, this would never happen today.

He stumbles on some chick, they chat for a bit and then we get to listen to her moan out the rest of her lines, while they both are having sex. After that she turns into a horrible witch-monster, so Conan throws her into the fireplace. Who hasn’t had this first date, am I right? From this point on, it’s just Conan having various shenanigans, while searching for the man, who killed his parents. He meets a thief guy and then a  chick and they form a party of D&D characters and proceed on their adventure, which includes among other things, stabbing a huge rubber snake through the head and Conan punching a camel. There was once a time when a snake could look at least somewhat realistic and not like a CG piece of shit.

The movie is often very slow-paced. You get to see quite an amount of naked breasts. These were just two facts about the movie that sort of negate each other. The dialogue is often very clunky and not only when put into Arnold’s mouth. Some people, like Sandahl Bergman, deliver it quite well, with this rhythm, like it’s from Shakespeare, but you only half-listen to what is said. Later on they use Jones’ booming voice and he gives easily the best performance in the movie, but it doesn’t take back his absurd appearance and not having aged a day in the time when Conan became Mr. Universe.

To give credit to Arnold, he might be the only actor that sort of can pull off the Conan look, but when at one point in the movie he is disguised as a monk, he does look ridiculous, the robe failing to hide that he is a muscle-bound freak. Often I got the feeling that the script had lines, but they opted for Arnold just to stay quiet and scowl or not emote at all.

The movie has some nice gore and it’s actually kind of odd, the movie is a solid R, but it clearly appeals most to teenage boys, younger than the allowed age. Also it made me think if we really see any R rated adventure flicks nowadays. I don’t think so.

Overall, a decent, but really predictable movie for adolescents. I didn’t find it as entertaining as some later Schwarzenegger flicks, but if you’re a fan give it a watch, nothing remarkable about it. Not recommended.

Between your villain looking like a drag queen and your protagonist looking like this, I’m really not sure which side to root for.

Review of Friday the 13th Part III (1982)

14 Feb

Friday the 13th Part III (1982) is a horror/slasher/thriller film and the third entry in the Friday the 13th franchise.

Directed by Steve Miner (Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), House (1986)), that’s right, he also directed the previous one.

Written by Carol Watson (Meatballs Part II (1984), South Park (1997 TV)) and Marti Kitrosser (Meatballs Part II (1984), Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker (1991)), who later on wrote the fifth entry in the series.

Starring: Dana Kimmell, Paul Kratka, Tracie Savage, Jeffrey Rogers, David Katims, Larry Zerner and others.

We start of with an idiotic title song, that doesn’t fit the movie at all.

And then we get the usual flashes of the previous movie and then we also get a little intro, so that’s 15 minutes before seeing any of the main characters.

They were really going for the 3D effects. I love this sort of gimmicky 3D, but if the shots don’t make sense when you strip them of the 3D, then you’re really forcing it. I mean, it really is ridiculous, when there’s a yo-yo going towards the camera or the camera is looking straight into some popcorn popping or an interesting instance when a weed joint is passed from hand to hand right past the camera so it sort of would seem like it is given to someone in the audience, but to me it just looked like a badly done and pointless shot of passing a joint. Of course there’s some good ones too, like when Jason takes one guy’s head and presses it so hard his skull crushes and an eye pops out towards us. That was awesome.

It’s painfully cheesy at times. A lot of those times thanks to that annoying nerdy kid, who wears masks because he’s… well, ugly and does some practical jokes with fake blood. So it seems to me that it’s what the filmmakers think horror fans are like.

Then there’s a few too many jumpscares that turn out to not to be Jason. It’s like „Yes, here I am just standing around naked and I hear some rustling leaves, so I quickly turn around [blasting music cue TA-DAH!], oh, it was just a midget lying in a huge bowl of corn flakes. Ok, back to being naked.”

Jason Voorhees this time finds a hockey mask and an icon is born. And I really liked Richard Brooker’s Jason, he’s tall, lean and fast. I like Kane Hodder and all, but I didn’t mind this Jason either. And he really seems to enjoy himself.

Of course the acting is mostly bad, but at least the lead actress is really hot.

Again the ending is some contrived and absolutely stupid crap. It only accented my feeling that I’m watching just a rehash of the first two movies. I understand that there’s a sort of a formula, but it doesn’t do anything new, except having harpoons fly outside of the screen, of course, if you’re watching it in a theatre in 1982 and not on TV 30 years later.

Overall, I didn’t find it very good, the kills are nice and it’s more or less entertaining, but I don’t think I’d recommend this to anyone, except to the kind of people who probably have seen it anyway.

"Ah yes, you've got the old 'crush skull - out comes the eye' syndrome."

Review of Halloween III: Season Of The Witch (1982)

1 Dec

Halloween III: Season Of The Witch (1982) is horror/sci-fi/mystery film, it is the third entry in the Halloween franchise and the only one not to feature Michael Myers.

Directed by Tommy Lee Wallace (Fright Night Part 2 (1988), Vampires: Los Muertos (2002)), who hasn’t had the greatest career.

Written by Tommy Lee Wallace (Amityville II: The Possession (1982), It (1990)), many consider It his best work and that’s based on Stephen King’s novel, so that’s not really a compliment for a guy who usually writes his own movies.

Starring: Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelkin, Michael Currie, Dan O’Herlihy and others.

Sure, they wanted to make Halloween an anthology series, but how could they not realise, that if they made two tightly connected movies already, they had already basically established a franchise and releasing a sequel would have everyone assume, it is a continuation of the series. Also, I could understand if they did something like this if Halloween II had bombed horribly, so they tried to fix what wasn’t broken. And failed. I can’t imagine how many people in the age of no internet went to see this expecting Mike Myers to show up, but all they got was frustration and one of the most annoyingly catchy jingles ever.

Although it isn’t a Halloween (franchise) movie it is a Halloween (holiday) movie. And as that it isn’t a bad film. It has a creepy atmosphere right from the start. And has that overall Halloween-like feel to it. It actually felt like a remake of a cheesy 50’s sci-fi/horror flick. And of course that damned song.

The romantic storyline seemed a bit creepy, I thought “Oh, ok, they’re now staying in a motel, they will probably bond and have this father-daughter sort of relationship.” …and then they have sex. I mean, I like Tom Atkins too, but he’s literally twice Stacey Nelkin’s age.

The script is really a cheesy B-movie material, but the movie does improve on it, by somehow playing it very straight. They must have known that it is ridiculous. Although, I doubt Tommy Lee Wallace did. Some of the scenes are legitimately scary, like there’s this knitting grandma scene, which creeped me out and then scared me. Fun times. Also there was some nice eye-gouging with fingers. Another fault of the script is that the villain’s motivation is unclear, his plan is to kill all the kids. Why? Because fuck kids, that’s why. I don’t know, maybe they just wanted to have a villain who has 60’s looking headquarters with huge computers, blinking lights and robot-people.

Speaking of kids, first of all, why would you brainwash the kids, just to later melt the masks on their faces? What’s the point? Although, I get why they had to brainwash all the kids. Because, why else would all the kids buy masks from their huge collection of …3 types of masks! And are all those parents really that jaded that they’re like “Oh, those silly kids. They’re watching the same annoying commercial for the hundredth time. Today. And look how they sit so close to the TV as if they have reversed peripheral blindness.”

To be fair, most people consider it the worst Halloween movie, because it isn’t one. It isn’t as bad as it is made out to be, I quite enjoyed it. And I would recommend it for people who want something spooky and not too serious for a late october’s evening. And try not to focus on that it has “Halloween III” in the title.

Choose between the masks of a skull, jack-o'-lantern or Sarah Jessica Parker.