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Of Swords, Sorcery, and Sagas
by the Grinch

A.K.A. "Only a third and final Conan movie can resurrect your career, Arnie!" If you're dying inside every time a crap movie like 'First Knight' is passed off as a 'swords and sorcery' epic, I've written this feature especially for you! Consider this less a feature than a grovelling heart-to-heart (no, not the show!) from me to Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Ok, Arnold. I love ya', boobie, don't think I don't. We've seen that you can act and do comedy (Twins)... We've seen that you can direct (Tales from the Crypt series)...and we've seen that you can blow it at all of the above (Jingle all de Vay, Junyah, Batman und Robin). But what we all REALLY want to see is that *other* story...the story in which Conan rules his own land...the one where Conan the Wanderer becomes Conan the "ooh, my back hurts, where's my colostomy bag, I need a nap, time for me to settle down" King. And what better time than now, my transplanted Austrian adonis? Because, frankly, the plot of your new film reeks like Johnny Rotten's plaque. Cmon, who honestly wants to see Arnold get into a slapping match with Satan? Ok, yeah, I'm a bit morbidly curious myself, but it ain't no Conan movie!

Even Robert E. Howard's lesser known 'Kull' character got a new movie for the 90's in that bomb with Kevin Torso, or Sorbet, or whatever the hell his name is - that Hercules guy. And those of us who are cringing in pain at the trailers for the heavily anticipated 'Dragonheart 2' and the t.v. movie 'Leprechauns' are secretly crying out inside "Please, oh Cimmerian of rippled muscles and iron will, please save us!"

All homoerotica aside, some of my fondest memories were searching the old book shop in my hometown for back issues of 'Conan Saga' and 'Savage Sword of Conan'. Ishtar! Those were the greatest things a 13 year old kid could get his hands on, by Crom. Actually, Conan books would be the THIRD coolest thing you could get your hands on...your older brother's cache of Hustler mags would rate 2nd, right after the 1st coolest
thing a 13 year old can get his hands on, although after "reading" Hustler, numero uno was seldom "cool". But I'm getting off track here...

There have been rumors of a third Conan film. Arnold himself has expressed interest in doing it. But that's often all you hear: talk. Cinefantastique and several other mags would have you believe that 'What's Happening Now: the Musical' is on the drawing boards at some major studio. It's kind of like Spiderman. You'd like to see them make a kick-ass adaptation out of it (disregarding those sideburns'n'bellbottoms 70's Spidey films that Ted Turner loves), but when you hear rumors about what they might DO to the film, you get wheezier than Mrs. Jefferson. And while I will admit that 'Conan the Destroyer' did have it's moments of genius along with nubian queen Grace Jones, let's face it: 'Conan the King' needs to aim higher.

So, this is my plea, O' Ahnuld. And this is my promise. A celebrity death match with the Prince of Darkness ain't gonna resurrect your career. I'm not even sure that a third Conan movie would either. But I'll wager that it would make you an assload of money and enough residuals to import a Cuban cigar factory and its employees into your backyard. This film is just beggin' to be made. Can you imagine the other 2 Star Wars movies without Return of the Jedi (Phantom Menace excluded on purpose)? No, annoying ewoks or not, neither can I. Just like slasher flicks and 'Scream', the Swords and Sorcery genre is going to bounce back when studios start running out of ideas for megabudget action flicks (It's arguable that they ALREADY HAVE run out of ideas). 'the 13th Warrior' was the calm before the storm. The tidal wave's a comin', brer Arnold. You can either be riding pretty on the first wave, or standing in the unemployment line with Joel Shumacher.

What? You'll be back? You better, and in Conan 3 to boot!

Love,

the Grinch


link directly to this feature at http://www.efilmcritic.com/feature.php?feature=131
originally posted: 11/10/99 00:30:17
last updated: 11/11/99 22:16:17
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