Thursday, September 3, 2009

Conquest (1983)

Once upon a time there was this shitty land where you couldn't see shit through the perpetual mist. This land was swarming with all kinds of creatures; werewolves, cavemen, topless snake loving broads, barbarians, pseudo-gods, zombies, fake birds, etc. The land was ruled with an iron fist by this she-bitch named Ocron who must have been a pretty awful butter face since she wore a mask which she refused to take off. One day Ocron has a vision of being killed by a faceless man with sweet hair and a bow that shoots lasers. She orders her werewolves to search the land, find this man, and bring him to her. If they should happen to tear a few cavewomen to shreds in the process...well...she'll just look the other way.

Lucio Fulci (House by the Cemetery) fucked this one up when he made the stylistic choice to shoot it through a glass of milk to achieve a dream like atmosphere. Likely, this was his excuse after looking at the finalized footage. From what I saw, the opening was actually kinda brilliant. Werewolves storm a cave, brain an elder, grab a young woman by the legs and make like she's a wishbone. It's one of the greatest gore moments I've seen in a long while. I'm completely into the story at this point. Then we're introduced to the main character Ilias (who reminded me of Hamlin's Perseus) and Mace (looks kinda like Conan, acts like Beastmaster). These two meet after Ilias tries to use his bow, pathetically I might add, to fend off some werewolves in close combat. Mace comes to his rescue, swings his mace a few times, wins the battle and draws the ire of Ocron.

Well, I don't know, I liked the opening. Then, like so many movies from this era, the thing just got boring. Lots of walking across boring landscapes. We've got caves, we've got fields, we've got marshes, lakes, etc. All shit that's barely visible to the viewer. Ilias gets captured after meeting a cavegirl (a horrible instance of coitus interruptus), rescued (again), shot with a poison dart, and so on. He's not really a typical hero I guess. That would be Mace the Barbarian who preys to a god named Crom-os, but doesn't swing a broad sword. This movie is full of shit like magic that doesn't really seem magical (unless you consider rubbing plants on your puss-filled boils magic) and creatures that seem all too human (zombies, werewolves, cavemen, mummies, goats, etc).

I was intrigued by one scene. When Mace brutally murders a caveman who was just minding his own business and carrying home a lamb to feed his cave family. I guess it's easier for Mace to take a lamb off this dead bastard rather than to catch one himself. So, this Mace is not really a great guy, but I liked that shit. Makes him more real in a way. This is a harsh land with harsh rules. Kill or be killed, fuck or be fucked, eat or be eaten, etc. Mace is also interesting because he communicates with animals. He heals a hawk that's injured during his battle with werewolves, an innocent casualty. He kisses the thing and let's it fly off. "I thought you didn't have any friends" says Ilias, to which he responds "I said I didn't have any man friends". Then he banged a cavewoman and offered Ilias her sister. I can totally relate to this guy.

Alas, not really the type of picture where you might find a strong woman character. We got a girl that's torn in two, a girl that's brained after bearing her breasts. Ocron is pretty strong though. She walks around topless but you get the idea it's her decision. She tortures one of her creatures by twisting around an arrow that's been lodged in his leg. She wears a mask because we can guess underneath she's pretty god damned ugly. Nice tits though.

This movie has some other fantasy type elements (besides the breasts) like shape shifting in the form of a shape shifting character named Zora. He starts as a dog, then changes into a guy made of metal shingles. He can even turn into any one of the characters in this film. He's a pretty evil character. You'll just have to wonder if he ever uses that particular power. If he can manage to kill Ilias then Ocron promises he can have her body. "Forever?" he asks. Just keep that mask in place pal and you'll be alright.

Fuck, I forgot about the part where Mace gets saved by dolphins or where Ilias gets his head lopped off and Mace burns his body on a funeral pyre which slightly resembles a pig roast. I guess that's a bit of a spoiler. There's another part where an army of chirpy mummies kidnaps Mace and threatens to kill him if he doesn't reveal the location of Ilias but since we now know Ilias isn't long for this particular world, I guess the tension in that scene is pretty nil. Again, sorry.

I love a good sword and sorcery epic but this one was way too light on the swords (as in, there weren't any) and the sorcery consisted mostly of blue lasers shooting out of a bow (which admittedly, was fucking awesome). If you can forgive the way it was shot (through a haze of semen?) I guess it will give you a somewhat enjoyable 90 minutes. It's not as good as Conan the Barbarian or even The Beastmaster. Not as fun as Deathstalker. I can't think of a sword and sorcery epic this is on par with come to think of it. It's bad. Bad but watchable. I did get a laugh at the first line of the closing credits: "Any reference to people or events is purely coincidental".


elmo said...

What is "butter face"?

brian said...

Sorry, it's an insulting term I learned. Her body is great but-her face. Kind of a douchey term.

elmo said...

Don't apologize! I play a douche at BN- and I needs me material.

briankirker said...

I expect you to use that term with reckless abandon at work from now on.