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Gary Gygax review of Conan movie

Gary Gygax review of Conan movie
January 15, 2014, 10:26:58 PM
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A couple of fantastic flops by Gary Gygax

"Conan Meets The Flower Children of Set" might have been a better name for the film - and if there is any resemblance between the cinema version of CONAN THE BARBARIAN and that of Robert E. Howard, it is purely coincidental. The disappointment which began to grow inside me about one-quarter of the way into the film was not mitigated by anything which happened later on. In fact, bad became worse. I refuse to become involved in even a brief synopsis of the movie's story line.

The armor was good; the weapons less so, but passable. The muscular Arnold Schwarzennegger made a fine Conan, except - as all Conan fans know - the Cimmerian has black hair, not brown. More important, Conan can take out any opponent, even a muscular dude with a huge wooden maul. He doesn't need to resort to cheap mechanical traps versus anything less than the incarnation of a god, demon, or worse.

If you like special effects, the film is passable. If you have any respect for Conan as presented by Howard, then I suggest that you stay away from the theater or else be prepared for great disappointment. Pointless, excessive violence and gratuitous helpings of sex certainly don't help allay this impression. Director Dino De Laurentiis has a way of screwing up basically good material, as he did with his remake of King Kong. He really did a number on CONAN THE BARBARIAN, and L. Sprague de Camp should have been ashamed to allow his name to appear in the list of credits as "Technical Advisor."

from Dragon #63, Vol. VII, No. 1

The second review, the Sword and the Sorcerer movie, has been omitted from the original article partly shown here.

Re: Gary Gygax review of Conan movie
January 16, 2014, 01:25:35 AM
"Conan Meets The Flower Children of Set"

I would watch this movie in a heartbeat.

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Director Dino De Laurentiis

Usually, when you are criticizing something, it behooves you to get basic facts right.

Re: Gary Gygax review of Conan movie
January 16, 2014, 03:23:50 AM
I have as much respect for John Milius, the director, as I do for Robert E Howard. I think the film captured the authors ideas perfectly, despite not following the established lore all that well (though, all the actors were required to read the Conan stories).

I wonder what this critic would say about the remake, or any modern cinema.

Re: Gary Gygax review of Conan movie
January 17, 2014, 07:03:24 PM
Similar fare from approximately the same era:

The Beastmaster

Dragonslayer

Conan the Destroyer