CONAN THE BARBARIAN
MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
With the remake of “Conan the Barbarian” in theaters, it’s the perfect time to re-release the original “Conan the Barbarian” on Blu-ray. It’s the role that made Arnold Schwarzenegger a star, and looking back on it, you can see where he owned the film.
The movie is based on the Robert E. Howard character from other media. In the film, he sees his family slaughtered by the villainous Thulsa Doom, and after being enslaved and taught the way of the barbarian, he goes on a quest to destroy Doom and his religious cult.
This movie is essential 80s cinema with some amazing elements, including the unflinching violence for the time and the brilliant score by Basil Poledouris. It’s the kind of movie like “Scarface” that is beloved by college students and other young men fueling up on machismo. It’s not crafty dialogue, but it has some awesome scenes and impressive set pieces for a 30-year-old movie. The movie has plenty of silly moments, but for the most part it takes itself seriously. And it is one of the films that helped galvanize the landscape of sword and sandal adventures.
The Blu-ray includes all the DVD extras, including deleted scenes, a feature commentary, plus a spotlight on special effects. There’s also the featurettes “Conan Unchained,” which is the making of the film, as well as “The Conan Archives.” New features exclusive to the Blu-ray include “Art of Steel: Sword Makers and Masters” about the crafting of the weapons and “Conan: From the Vault” which features vintage footage of the stars and filmmakers being interviewed.