As a child, Conan is orphaned and sold into slavery. When he grows into a big, strapping lad, he uses his gladiatorial skills to seek out and destroy the warlord responsible for his fate.
It's easy to criticise Conan. Cheesy. Dated. And ever-so-slightly fascist (Conan is the ultimate Aryan: punishing the weak and defending the strong, while looking great in thigh-high boots). But while all that's true, for Arnie fans, the film still rocks.
There's Basil Poledouris' strong score. There's bone-crunching violence from vintage Arnie. And there's a script so bizarre it could only have come from Oliver Stone's 'whoa, man' phase. There's nudity (yet strangely for a movie made by two prominent Republicans, no bush). And, of course, there are midgets wrestling with pigs. And you can't say fairer than that.
Conan The Barbarian
Released: 06 May 2002
Whatever Arnie bagged for his commentary with director John Milius, it was worth it to hear him guffaw at his own movie (“You’re sick, John. HA HA HA!!!” he bellows at one point), while Milius patiently explains the plot to his bemused Austrian chum.
There’s also an excellent documentary in which love interest Sandahl Bergman says that she had a finger severed during a sword fight, Milius admits he would rather be a general than a director, and Stone complains that his original script, featuring three-headed mutants, was jettisoned (it’s a conspiracy). Throw in great deleted scenes, and you’ve got a disc worthy of Conan’s God, Krom, himself.
For everyone else though, this is probably best enjoyed with friends. Of the tinned variety.