Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Original Title: Conquest
Year: 1983
Director: Lucio Fulci
Writer: Gino Capone (screenplay), José Antonio de la Loma (screenplay), Carlos Vasallo (screenplay), Giovanni Di Clemente (story)
Genre: Fantasy Adventure

imdb synopsis: A young man, armed with a magical bow and arrows, embarks on a mystical journey through a mystical land to rid it of all evil and joins forces with an outlaw to take down an evil witch bent on claiming the magic bow for evil.

While exploring fantasy films that might be interesting to review, I came across this little flick directed by some guy name Lucio Fulci.

Fulci doing a Conan the Barbarian clone.... How can I possibly pass this up?

I had not heard of this before, but I went in a bit weary since the general consensus seems to be that Fulci pretty much lost 'it' once we get into the 80s. After watching this... well, I may have to agree. BUT, it was definitely better than The Warrior and the Sorceress! Sorry, Mr. Carradine.

The film opens with a stylized scene showing our hero Ilias, donning his leather armor, getting a speech from his father that looks more like his grandfather, and receiving the legendary family bow that is said to have given its original owner the power of the sun to shoot down enemies... or something. Our fluffy haired Ilius here is in semi-transparent mode! It's meant to represent an event in the past, as it fades into a once-again empty landscape as Ilius floats off, but to me it really came across as more annoying than anything. The voices are echoy and the synthy music is loud (but feels oddly Fulci-esque)

Ilius is on his way across the ocean in a shitty canoe to find evil and defeat it. Mmmkay

Our villain is the evil sorceress Ocron, who is plagued when she gets high on a drug injected into her nostril by a wolfman with a small blowgun (yep) by a vision of a faceless warrior slaying her with a magical bow.

All the poor woman (?) wants to do is have a bunch of poor cavemen believe her magic makes the sun rise every morning, eat some brains from severed heads, and get wasted on nasal powder injections, but no, this mulleted douche has to come and ruin everything with his lazer bow!

Some may find it distracting that the sorceress wears this cheap looking golden mask the whole film, hiding any emotive acting she may produce, but I gotta say... when she is not slurping brains, being nude the whole time with that fucked up mask, writhing, and her spiky rubber thong was kinda sexy. Well, the nudity does most of the work there I suppose. The thong has to be uncomfortable...

The is played by the sexy Sabrina Siani (credited here as Sabrina Sellers), although I think just her body was needed as there is no evidence it is her speaking in the role. She was also in 2020 Texas Gladiators, another film I will have a review for on here eventually.

Awkward... BUT HOT!

Well, poor, skinny Ilius has been wandering around for awhile evidently looking for some hot, evil action. But it isn't until Ocron has her stoner visions that she sends the action looking for him. After coming across a crusty but sultry young lady, he is attacked by a gang of men in hockey masks and others in what appears to be man-boar costumes, but we later find out they are canine. He only brought 5 arrows with him for some reason, so when he runs out, the group tackles him.


Now we're talking! Enough with this skinny excuse for a hero. Now we have a mysterious beefy man in furs, wagging around some prehistoric set of nunchuk like a giant shlong while the bad guys cower away. And just to be sure we get the point, the camera slowly zooms in on Mace's crotch while he twirls his weapon a couple times more.

"Who are you?"
"My enemies call me Mace."
"And your friends?"
"I don't have any friends."

Mace kinda looks like a Fabio version of Conan with a Charles Manson-like brand on his forehead. He tells Ilius that the sign on his forehead means every man is an enemy, and that he saved Ilius' bow from the attackers, not Ilius himself.

We finally enter the main plot of the story now as the two new companions journey together, teaching one another really... Mace teaching Ilius about this more prehistoric and violent land of his, and Ilius teaching Mace how to be close to another person.

Don't be shy!

Ocron is getting more worried and sends out the big guns. She doesn't want to get sunburned as she owns no clothes, you see. So she sends out Zora who is some sort of god I guess to do the dirty work her hockey/wolfboar masked henchmen could not.

Which gets me to the special effects.

Zora is the golden armored baddie on the poster above. He looks quite menacing there, but isn't nearly so cool in the film itself. However, I still like his look with what appears to be woven strips of metal. His face is hidden like Ocron's, but I'm OK with that. Ocron's mask we already discussed. It looks cheap, but I liked the effect well enough.

There are some other interesting costumes and effects in the film. The wolf men don't look bad, but it did take a closeup for me to realize they were canine as opposed to porcine (their noses even look wet like a little pooch!). There are some cool zombies, and for a low-budget, early 80-s film, I suppose the blue powered bow was pretty neat.

The bow reminded me instantly of the leader guy's magical bow from the old Dungeons & Dragons cartoon from the 80s. I LOVED that show as a kid, and I wanted that goddamn bow!

We are treated to some trademark Fulci gore. I mentioned the zombies - they appear to be wearing sheets or robes, but they are grimey and crusty and well done, as is the par for Fulci.

There are some pretty gross effects with oozing pustules/boils, some nice blood squirts, and some cheap stuff like waxy, tearing skin, entrails (cool death scene there near the beginning) and fairly fake looking but entertaining beheadings, which to me in a film like this add to the effect. We're here for the gore and some smiles... we can't take this one seriously.

The nice, wet sound effects that I love in Fulci's films are present as well. He turns the volume up to 10 on blood oozing and such.

Unfortunately, the positives end here. There are some real issues with the film that made it a slight chore to watch at times. The visuals are ALWAYS hazy... there is either smoke obstructing everything, the sun is directly behind someone speaking, the scene is so poorly lit that I had trouble telling what was even happening... I suppose it was all done for effect, but the softness and haziness and darkness got old very quickly.

The music here was atrocious as well I thought. The synthy opening made me smile because it felt like Fulci's other films from the same time, but it goes on and on and on, and it is very loud next to the vocals. It dates the film horribly I thought.

The acting was par for what this was... nothing too hideous, and the story felt a little boring at times, but again, nothing overly offensive there either. At least the story stays simple and easy to follow, as some of these Italian knock-offs can just go around in circles and confound a story completely.

All in all, despite its flaws, I thought this was a solid entry into the genre. I didn't feel as though I had wasted this time like after watching The Warrior and the Sorceress The two closely compete for nekkid sorceress screen time, but Conquest comes out ahead in story, effects, and overall fun.

I would recommend this to anyone looking for a decent (albeit low-budget) fantasy film or how to overuse a fog machine.

5.75 out of 10

Watch out for the dangerous film scratches!

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