Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Score Sample: Red Sonja (1985)

Originally we were supposed to get a trilogy of Conan movies back in the 1980s. But the poor reception of Conan the Destroyer and the fact that Arnold wanted to move beyond muscle bound sword swinging antics meant that a true sequel was out of the picture. But Arnold had a contract to make three films with Dino De Laurentis. So Arnold said he'd be a supporting character in the movie and they went ahead.

Thus Red Sonja was born. Brigitte Nielsen in the title role as an avenging warrior with red hair and a big sword. Arnold plays Kalidor who is pretty much a Conan stand in. The result is a movie that is pretty infamous for being really bad.

One aspect that is rarely criticized is the outstanding music provided by Ennio Morricone. Morricone is best known for his work on spaghetti westerns like The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly as well as a few Hollywood flicks in the 80s and 90s like The Untouchables and Once Upon a Time in America. Morricone has written a score for pretty much every type of genre, and we get a full blown fantasy adventure score here. It has a bit more of a classical feel to it, as opposed to the more medieval feel of Poledouris' work on the two Conan movies. But it works great as a solo listen.

One of my favorite tracks is Fighting the Soldiers which actually has the chorus chanting Sonja's name. Its kind of cheesy and yet so awesome all at the same time. So enjoy that track at the 2:23 mark in this suite from Red Sonja by Ennio Morricone.


  1. Another case of overconfidence, I think: “Hey we’ve got a scantily clad Amazon wielding a sword. Who needs a script?” For a still photo, no one. For a movie, it’s still a good idea.

    At a Chiller Theater convention I got Brigitte to sign a photo of herself in the part anyway, and got an unsolicited hug to boot.

    1. Nice. I will never naysay a photo of an amazon with a sword. But yeah a good script could have made her a popular character even if the acting was a bit rough.

      Way to go! I've never been hugged by an Amazon, but is on my bucket list.

  2. Morricone is hard to beat. I can still watch Red Sonja if in the right mood and it's a rainy day. It's silly fun. Brigitte might have had a brighter future, but man, she seemed to have fallen to excess. She had the looks, but a language barrier. That didn't hurt Schwarzenegger or Van Damme but then they starred in male action roles that didn't require much dialogue.