"Hoo boy. You guys gotta see this one to believe it."
Fresh from the Corman camp comes Barbarian, yet another faceless entry in the previously-thought-dead subgenre of Mega-Low-Budget Swords & Sandals. If this movie were any more hilarious, I'd start a nationwide petition to make sure video vendors plunk this one down on the Comedy shelf.Rare is the turkey this meaty.
When a film has its hero bed down with two bare-breasted total strangers within the first 25 minutes....
When a film features a stunningly bizarre little sidekick (named "Wooby"!) that looks like a cross between a baby bear costume and an Ewok on Percodan..
I digress. Barbarian is a dream come true...if what you dream of is Direct-To0Video schlockfests so astonishingly amateurish that they inspire incredulous pulses of giggling.
3-time Mr. Universe Michael O'Hearn plays the titular...barbarian...and he brings an onscreen presence that only a lifetime spent lifting weights can yield. Those interested in giggling at Martin Kove overacting to a biblical degree should have a ball, as the former Karate Kid villain is relegated to the 5th ring of has-been Hell: evil sorcerer in a barbarian movie. Based on Kove's performance, he's right where he belongs.
The plot is your standard 'collect the magic items, gather some sidekicks, kick a lot of ass, rescue the princess' schpiel, only this time the onus is on hilariously clangy action scenes and two truckfuls of naked hooters. The last time I saw this many bare breasts on my television, I was watching Porky's and Showgirls on picture-in-picture. That in and of itself is sort of an endorsement of Barbarian, but if you buy your movies based solely on the breast content you're probably better off sticking with pornography.
As far as the action scenes go, they're amateurish to the point of hilarity. And frankly I don't care if a movie entertains me by accident. I laughed more AT this movie than I did WITH most studio comedies of the past two years.
The voice dubs are comedically bad, the special effects border on tragic, the dialogue sounds like something scraped off a boot... but did I mention all the topless and very attractive women?
This one instantly earns a spot alongside Deathstalker, Barbarian Queen and Amazons. And if you're familiar with the quality of those movies, then you have a good idea of what this newcomer is all about. If you love truly bad movies, I DO recommend this one. Those who wisely steer towards quality should of course stay far away.If this one didn't already have Roger Corman's name on it, I'd call the filmmaker the next Roger Corman. Worst of all is the fact that the Mystery Science Theater guys aren't still around for this one. They could build an entire season around Barbarian.