Conan the Destroyer (1984)

conan the destroyer poster 1984 movie arnold schwarzenegger
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Grace Jones, Wilt Chamberlain

Weaker story and look

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Conan the Destroyer

Studio:  Dino De Laurentiis Company

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure/Comic Book/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  June 29, 1984

MPAA Rating:  PG

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You ridin’ with me?

Conan (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is still mourning the death of his love Valeria.  When Queen Taramis (Sarah Douglas) comes to him and offers him the return of Valeria in exchange for escorting her niece Princess Jehnna (Olivia d’Abo) to find a stone to awaken Dagoth, Conan and his sidekick Malak (Tracey Walter) take the offer.  Teamed with Princess Jehnna’s guard Bombaata (Wilt Chamberlain), Conan finds allies in a warrior woman named Zula (Grace Jones) and a wizard named Akiro (Mako), but Queen Taramis might have other plans for Conan and his crew when the stone is found.Directed by Richard Fleischer, Conan the Destroyer was the follow-up to 1982’s Conan the Barbarian.  The movie was largely panned by critics, but still has a cult following among fans of Schwarzenegger and sword-and-sorcery films.

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The ugliest Red Riding Hood ever!

While Conan the Barbarian felt like a smaller movie that looked bigger, Conan the Destroyer feels like a bigger movie that looks smaller.  Both movies are obviously cheap, but Conan the Destroyer feels cheaper.

The story in Conan the Barbarian just goes more directions.  In Conan the Destroyer, the “escort mission” of Conan feels more limited (and intentionally toned down violence doesn’t help either).  It does lend itself to more monsters than Conan the Barbarian with Toth-Amon in the temple and the cool mirror fight (it’s no Enter the Dragon however), and the ending monster Dagoth also is good.  I like that aspect of the film, but it doesn’t carry the whole movie.

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I wish they were Storm (with a Mohawk) and Colossus instead…

Arnold Schwarzenegger continues to be Arnold, but he plays himself so well that he’s worth watching.  I do like the addition of Grace Jones and Wilt Chamberlain for some fun.  Neither are great actors, but they do add some spice to the movie which feels a bit blasé.  It is also fun to see the young Olivia d’Abo who went on to other things like The Wonder Years.

As mentioned, the movie does have more monsters than the previous one, but they did look better in the first film.  The movie suffers from a lot of chromakey shots and cheap looking matte shots (I like the base across the lake when they are looking for where Princess Jehnna could have possibly been taken to…maybe that giant palace right next to where you camped?)  I know the movie had a low budget, but I wish it had been utilized better like the first film.

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Come give Dagoth a hug!!!

Conan is such a rich character, and it sucks that he was treated with such cheapness for this follow-up sequel.  Conan effectively “died” with this film though there were plans for Conan the Conqueror but the film was scrapped (though Schwarzenegger did appear as a very Conan like character in Red Sonja).  The proposed script for Conan the Conqueror became Kull the Conqueror in 1997 with Kevin Sorbo.  A new Conan the Barbarian was released in 2011, and there is new talk of a King Conan movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Related Links:

Conan the Barbarian (1982)

Red Sonja (1985)

Conan the Barbarian (2011)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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