Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Project Terrible 10: The Barbarians

Let's end with something Terribly awesome.  Actually, this film is just alright, but it should be awesome.  Where do I begin?  It stars The Barbarian Brothers aka those dorks from Double Trouble.  I guess this was Bob's revenge for that movie.  The result: The Barbarians.  This 1987 film is really hard to find, despite being made by a controversial Director.  The man: Ruggero Deodato.  Apparently the punishment for gutting that Turtle on-screen was making a film with The Barbarian Brothers.  Fun Fact: I'm actually watching Cannibal Holocaust as I write this.  So why is this a movie?  Because of Conan The Barbarian, of course.  Without that iconic film, we wouldn't have such classics as Beastmaster 2, The Cave Dwellers, Lucio Fulci's Conquest, Barbarian Queen 2 and Deathstalker III.  This was yet another film to join this bunch of film gems, coming out three years after Conan The Destroyer.  It tells the tale of two young men who offend and wound a conqueror, leading to him keeping them alive to later get revenge on him.  This does sound like a pluralized version of Conan, but you're...kind of right.  There are some notable differences in the tale, as it also steals from other films as well.  To see why this film is only available on YouTube with Romanian Subtitles burned into the print, read on...
Our heroes are orphans raised by a group of former Entertainers who happen upon an evil Warlord in the Desert.  It also looks like a lot like Gor, another film that came out in 1987.

Oh and that is not Emo Phillips in the middle.  I know- I thought that too.
The group is captured by the Warlord- Richard Lynch- and one of them bites two of his fingers off.  He agrees to let them live if their make-shift Mother stays with him...so he keeps them around for twenty-years in order for them to just kill each other.

Kudos for a long-reaching plan, Richard, but maybe you could be a bit less obtuse.
Lynch's two main henchman are The Dirtmaster (Michael Berryman) and a lady Wizard, who plans to get him a magic ruby to make him invincible.  You know you're in a low-budget film when you can't afford a diamond.
The pair- now played by the HGH Twins- fight each other in a fight set up to make them kill each other.  It fails when they realize who they are and flee...without their swords.  MENSA Members they are not.
Holy shit- George Eastman is in a trashy, Italian film.  Alert the press!

He plays Jacko, a man who eventually gives the pair weapons for the eventual- and underwhelming- uprising.
In a rather freaky scene, the pair sneak into the Warlord's Camp and find their 'mother.'  As they go to leave, one of the Brothers gets them pulled into a pile with Lynch's Harem, presumably-leading to an off-screen orgy.

Guys, she's not really your mother...but could you not do that in front of her?!?!?!?
At some point, this happens.  No context will help, so just enjoy this silliness.
A sort-of dragon is guarding the Ruby and our heroes manage to kill it.  All I can think of is just how silly it looks.

As it turns out, the feisty girl- who is presented a bit like Grace Jones from Destroyer at first- is the Princess, since the Ruby fit against her belly button.
In a bit of anti-climax, our heroes face Lynch is single-on-double combat.  They have a 'Mexican stand-off with Lynch, who's crossbow jams...somehow and they both throw their swords through him.  They ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after.

Well, until they made Twin Sitters.  It all went downhill after that.  The End.
Damn, is this film orange!  I blame most of the color issues on the source, which for all I know is a beat-up VHS tape from 1988.  Aside from that, I should probably judge the movie as a whole, not the shitty Transfer I got.  It's really, really dumb.  I love Ruggero, but not every film is Cannibal Holocaust.  He did, after all, make a knock-off of The Road Warrior called The Raiders of Atlantis.  Seriously, that's a film.  It is interesting to compare the film to all of the Barbarian films and see what's right and what's wrong.  The tone is all over the place here, including jokes, violent deaths and an implied orgy scene at one point.  What was the market here?  It's not as gory as Conan, so I guess it was going for a middle-of-the-road market.  The fact that we have no readily-available U.S. DVD of it should tell you how well that plan worked.  Is it better than the Ator films?  Well, it's less accidentally-silly- see the 'Ator makes a glider and lobs hand-grenades at a Castle' scene for proof of that.  Is it better than the Deathstalker/Barbarian Queen films?  Yes and no.  Nearly every film is better than Deathstalker IV, so that's kind of cheating.  I do enjoy Deathstalker II more, since it knew that it was utter shit and went with it.  Seriously, it's the best Audio Commentary Track ever!  The biggest flaw is, naturally, the leads.  They can't act and often do this weird grunt/laugh thing that I just don't get.  They suck- plain and simple.  You want to make this film better?  If so, then dub them over a la Lou Ferrigno and you've got a laughably-bad piece of Italian cheese.  As it is, it is about as deserving of a DVD release as my bootleg Shaolin Dolemite (Hi, Bob) DVD.  Sorry, Mr. Berryman...
Next up, let's take a look at something fun before we get dark.  It's a film about some guy name John dying in the End...or something.  Stay tuned...

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