Friday, November 17, 2017

Barbarian Queen (1985)


Straight from the barbarian age of fantasy films in the 1980s comes this Roger Corman produced sword and sorcery extravaganza. I love this stuff: the awesome puppet monsters, the babes with blades, the fight choreography that ranges from decent to hilarious, the slave rebellions and the musclely heroes. Yes my friends it’s all here and it’s oh so bad and oh so good.


Amethea (Lana Clarkson) is in her barbarian village on the day of her wedding. Everyone is happy and celebratory so we know something horrible is about to happen. Sure enough Evil Lord Arrakur (Armando Capo) rides into the village with his soldiers. They promptly slaughter all the men and carry off the women they didn't rape right there.

Amethea survives with three other deadly gals and they vow vengeance. They pursue the army having topless adventures along the way. At the Arrakur's castle they are promptly captured, stripped, and tortured or flung into a harem. Of course they escape, gather a rebel army and attack again. And yes they are mostly nude while doing all this. I’m sure Corman wouldn’t have it any other way.

Good Points:
  • Clarkson gets into the role of the sword-swinging avenger
  • Some of the action scenes and handled well
  • Gets you cheering for the barbarians to take down the vile overlord
Bad Points:
  • Some of the acting is so painfully bad
  • Very misogynistic and exploitative
  • That torture scene goes on way too long and is pretty unsavory

I'm torn with this movie. On the one hand Lana Clarkson seems game not only diving into the battles but has no problem running around without clothes. She's not a good actress, but you can tell she's going all in. And that was the general spirit of the whole film, everyone seemed to be having a good time. The cast and crew knew exactly what type of movie they are making. But man is this movie misogynistic. Women get raped at the drop of a hat, women are tortured, women are sex objects. It gets a bit too much. The film is only 71 minutes and moves at a brisk pace, so that helps. In the end, Amethea doesn't need a man to save her butt, she does it all herself - and that was refreshing in a film like this. I got to admit I was laughing at all the ways director Hector Olivera  devised to show the maximum number of naked breasts on the screen at once.

Scores (out of 5)
Visuals: 3
Sound: 3
Acting:  3
Script:  3
Music: 3
Direction: 3
Entertainment: 3
Total:  3

Don't let the 80s hair fool you. She is still ready
to kick ass.
Curious about a full review, sent me an email and I’ll make additional thoughts to this review.

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  1. Roger Corman produced a movie with half-naked sword-swinging women? No, it can’t be! As you say, the people who made and acted in this movie knew exactly what kind of movie it was to the point of keeping it just a millimeter within the bounds of a commercially necessary R rating. If only taking this role this had been Lana Clarkson’s worst decision.

    1. Yeah that was another element of watching this movie that was a little tough. When you have an actor or actress who died tragically in the film it can take away some of the enjoyment.

  2. Replies
    1. Yeah give it a shot if you're in the mood from something from this barbarian age of fantasy. When it comes to 80s flicks, you and I are usually on the same wavelength. :)