Maybe it’s just me, but New Year’s Eve is kind of overrated. There’s all this pressure to make it some sort of ultimate landmark event when really, it’s just another day on the calendar. Happily enough, Boy feels the same way, so aside from the first year we were together where we, we’ve made a point of staying in for it and watching a movie.
This year’s New Year’s was marked with a viewing of the classic 1982 film Conan the Barbarian. Boy loves the stories of Robert E. Howard, so we picked up the double Conan disk at HMV to satisfy his curiosity. Unfortunately, the movie was so inaccurate to the stories he loved, it resulted in what I can only describe as nerdy hategasm.
Anyway, putting aside how the movie retained nothing but the Conan name, it was pretty awful. If you haven’t seen it, let me spare you the horror and give you the Cliffs Notes version:
The story starts out in a little Viking-looking village. Although it is supposed to be some primative time, everyone looks pretty clean and in fact Conan’s mom looks like she’s had some crazy lipjob.
The village is invaded by a bad army who torch and kill everything in sight.
At the center of the army is James Earl Jones. James Earl Jones is supposed to be the main badass, but instead he just comes off as ridiculous because:
a. He somehow decapitates Conan’s mom from like 10 feet away.
b. He is wearing the most horrible wig I have ever seen in my life. Seriously, it looks like they stole a wig from Cher’s tour collection and slapped it on his head, that’s how ridiculous it is.
The evil army takes Conan from his home into the desert where they chain him to some crazy turbine thing at a mill which then helps him grow up and turn into Ah-nuld who is crazy big and muscled. Now, never having owned a slave, perhaps there is some essential piece of knowledge I am missing here, but considering you are holding someone against their will, maybe it’s not such a good idea that you let them get so big and muscly that they could crush your windpipe with one hand. But then again, maybe that’s just me.
Ah-nuld is then sold to a dude who puts him in some Ultimate Fighting tournaments in which Ah-nuld slices up people so hard, they spray red paint (I know, amazing, right?). But even though he’s dominating in the ring, Ah-nuld’s ancient version of Mickey Goodmill isn’t happy with that so he sends him to the Far East where he learns to be a War Master by studying philosophy and poetry. Because, apparently, when someone is running at you with a spear, the best thing to do is quote The Art of War at them. Because that deflects weapons.
So, Ah-nuld’s master finally decides Arnie has paid his dues and releases him into the wild. While in the wild, Ah-nuld stumbles into a cave where he finds a sword all covered in rust. He then manages to bang the rust off in big chunks to reveal a pristine sword underneath. Does rust really work that way?
During his travels, Ah-nuld meets two thieves named Subotai and Valeria and together they steal this gigantic jewel from some cultists. Instead of leaving town and taking their loot with them, they stay in the town where they just robbed someone and the lady thief wears the jewel around her neck like a pendant. Good plan!
Although they have spoken a total of five setences to each other, Ah-nuld and Valeria make some magical love connection, so they hole up in some little shack where they writhe around and smear chicken grease on each other. I am not even kidding.
Sometime after their torrid KFC fuelled lovefest, Ah-nuld, Valeria and the other dude are spotted with the jewel (you think?) apprehended by the king’s men and are brought to the palace. Instead of getting in $h!t for stealing, the king commends them and offers them a quest to save his daughter from the cult.
Since Valeria wants to settle down and have a peaceful domestic life (women be crazy!), Ah-nuld sets out to do the quest by himself. Along the way, Ah-nuld runs into a crazy wizard whose name is Akiro in the movie but apparently Mako in real life. I didn’t think his stage presence was so powerful that he only warranted one name, but there you have it. Anyway, Akiro bobs along and cackles much like Rafiki in The Lion King and seems to serve no purpose until James Earl Jones pops out of nowhere and has his men crucify Ah-nuld on a tree. Ah-nuld’s thief companions find him there on the tree, bring him to Rafiki/Akiro and through some sort of crazy and poorly animated ritual, bring him back from the dead. Nice of them to give the dead guy another shot!
After Ah-nuld sleeps off the last of his being dead, the trio goes to track down the princess. Apparently, she is being held at a palace where an orgy is taking place, but the people at the orgy are so clothed, it looks more like someone’s basement during a high school party. Dry humping abounds! James Earl Jones spots them and turns into a giant Muppety snake which they manage to fight off, but in the fray Valeria dies . . . or at least we think she does because it was at this point things got a little wacky and the DVD stopped playing. Now, it could have been a disc flaw because we did buy it for cheap, but I choose to believe that the DVD took mercy on us and decided to spare us from having to watch Ah-nuld be emotional. Whatever the case, when we skipped to the next chapter, she was gone, so we assume she bought it.
After Valeria’s death, Ah-nuld takes the princess and sets up a Home Alone style trap for the bad guys in the desert. He uses the princess as bait and the baddies fall for it, splattering red paint everywhere. As is the case in all action movies, Ah-nuld has one close call, but ends up being saved . . . this time by Valeria who has somehow managed to return from the dead as a disco valkyrie. She kills the bad dude and asks Ah-nuld if he wants to live forever, but instead of breaking into a rousing version of Alphaville’s “Forever Young,” she vanishes into the breeze.
Sometime during the big fight, James Earl Jones ran away (perhaps to record his voiceovers for the last Star Wars movie?), so to get revenge for his lover’s death, Ah-nuld tracks him down at some crazy big temple. Instead of fighting back, James Earl Jones stands there lethargically and lets Ah-nuld behead him. You wouldn’t think that a beheading would be entertaining, but this one is pretty funny since the head they use looks like it was stolen from a mannequin in the Junior Miss department at Sears and makes the most hollow noise you have ever heard when it falls to the ground. I can’t say I totally blame the Foley guy though – it must of been a pretty sad flick to work on.
The movie then ends with a shot of a bored and hairy Ah-nuld sitting on a chair as the narrator explains that he goes on to be king in another more interesting movie. However, having also watched the second Conan movie (which features Grace Jones as an Amazonian bad ass and Wilt Chamberlain as the protector of Kevin Arnold’s sister’s virginity – IRONY!), I can tell you that this never happens and that that movie ends in the exact same way. Boo-urns!
Anyway, hope you enjoyed reading about our New Year’s Eve movie watching adventures! I watch plenty of other bad movies so I will be sure to write those up too to save you from having to watch them.
*If you have never experienced one in person, a nerdy hategasm is basically a cacophony of sighs, grunts and angry statements about accuracy and staying true to source material. I can’t tease Boy too much for having one though,since regular readers will probably remember that I experienced one when I watched the 4th Alien movie. HATE!