Monday, July 9, 2012

Movie Review: Kull the Conqueror

This movie is Conan the Barbarian, but by a different name. In fact, it was originally intended to be a Conan the Barbarian installment but Arnold Schwarzenegger backed out. When they cast Kevin Sorbo he refused to play a character already defined by someone else, so they had to rename the character for his benefit.[1] It may seem like a little thing to replace all the instances of Conan with Kull, but after watching this you'll realize that even that small task wasn't worth the effort—much less the task of finding horses willing to appear in the film or forcing Styrofoam to help with the special effects.

My verdict: This is among the worst non-MST3K [2] movies I've seen. For a movie set on Earth before recorded history, the use of modern patterns of profanity is incongruous. The soundtrack was uninspiring, the sets were dreary, and I've seen better costumes on low-budget television fantasy programs (e.g. Sorbo's own Hercules: The Legendary Journeys). And since I've brought him up, Kevin Sorbo is a completely wooden actor; though the rest of the actors and actresses weren't far behind in their lack of talent. The writing only served to emphasize this. Furthermore, during Kevin Sorbo's lovemaking scenes, the only way to tell which one he is is by the scars on his back. Yuck! The film tried to define itself through the use of motifs, but the 'kiss motif' was rather sophomoric, as were the 'barbarian motif' and the 'free the slaves motif'.


[1] See the Conqueror. Ironically, the literary versions of the characters came in the opposite order, with Kull being the predecessor: Conan got his start as a rewrite of a rejected Kull story. See of Atlantis.

[2] MST3K is short for Mystery Science Theatre 3000. It was a television series that involved mocking or 'riffing' bad movies. Read some of my MST3K reviews here, here, and here.

Image attributions:

Labrys (Double-Headed) Axe is by Andree Stephan, available at Kultgegenstaende - Doppelaxt.jpg.

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