Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Jorge Rivero, Andrea Occhipinti, Conrado San Martín, Violeta Cela, José Gras
Director: Lucio Fulci
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Wea-des Moines Video Release Date: 07/27/2004 Run time: 93 minutes Rating: Nr
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My 'Temple of Secrets' still aches after this one...
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 10/21/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Lucio Fulci...while many may not be familiar with the name or his work, he has developed a dedicated and even hardcore audience, mostly due to the extremely graphic nature of the horror films he made from the late 70's into the 80's. What some may not know are those films only made up part of his repertoire, as he also was involved in thrillers, musicals, comedies, westerns, and even a sword and sorcery picture, titled Conquest (1983). This Italian/Spanish/Mexican production (it states this in the beginning during the credits, and, for some reason, it didn't inspire a sense confidence in this viewer), directed by Fulci, stars individuals I've never heard of, including a fairly well muscled Jorge Rivero (Rio Lobo), the very effeminate Andrea Occhipinti (Bolero), and the very naked Sabrina Siani (sounds like a western...The Muscled, the Effeminate, and the Naked).
So what is the film about? I really wish I could say with a degree of certainty, but the plot, what there was, was pretty convoluted. There's a young warrior named Ilias (Occhipinti) who, prior to leaving his village (I guess to go off to become more manly), is presented with a magical bow, one that shoots arrows made of pure light, that is once the user figure out how to activate that feature. Until that happens, it can be used to shoot regular arrows. Anyway, Ilias goes off, and meets up with a nomadic wanderer named Mace (Rivero), whose main choice of weapon is a very poorly made pair of nunchucks, or, two harden pieces of wood attached by a length of rope. While they're running around bonding and stuff (ew), a local evil sorceress named Ocron (Siani), I thought it was Okra, as that what it kept sounding like throughout the film, learns of a man with a strange and powerful weapon (the bow...I find it difficult to believe few people in this world had not heard of a bow and arrow, probably one of the earliest forms of ranged weapons) and knows she must possess it for her own. Also, she's been having dreams regarding her own demise at the hands of a faceless warrior, one who shoots her with an arrow. In an effort to prevent these premonitions from becoming a reality, she sends her various minions to retrieve Ilias and his weapon, which leads up to a some what climatic final battle between good and evil...a common theme in the genre, a hero, or a group of heroes, suffers adversity to rid the land of a powerful enemy blah, blah, blah...
I've seen a lot of films, and I've seen a number of films within the sword and sorcery genre, and I have to say Conquest falls a bit short in comparison. It does meet a number of requirements within the genre (heroes, magic, good, evil), but lacks in the execution. First thing you'll notice is nearly the entire film is shot with a sense that someone smeared Vaseline on the camera lens, giving everything a hazy quality sure to induce headaches early on (the film runs 92 minutes). Also, Fulci must own stock in a company that sells fog producing machines, as nearly every scene also was inundated with a heaping helping of smoke, further obscuring the viewer's ability to see what's going on...the acting isn't horrible, but the dialog is...an example...Ilias and Mace are trapped in a cave and Ilias spots a snake, to which Mace responds, "He's harmless if he doesn't bite you." Well duh...if a ten-ton boulder was suspended over my head with a piece of twine, it would harmless unless the string broke...the characters themselves are goofy and lacking any sense of likeability. An example of this is Mace and Ilias (our two heroes) are traveling together, and Mace is learning how to use the bow. They come across a lowly, completely non-threatening hunter, carrying a dead animal, and Mace shoots and kills him and they take the dead animal so that they may eat it...how very heroic...oh yeah, Mace seems to have a psychic link with animals, and doesn't kill them, but has no problems killing others who've killed animals and taking their food to eat for himself. Ocron (the evil sorceress) sports a metal, horned bikini bottom and no top, and spends a lot of time having intimate relations with snakes (ew) and eating the brains of her recently killed victims (you see, the head is the `temple of secrets' and it's also quite tasty, or so I've heard). She commands odd group of henchmen, including wolfmen, regular men, and various animated zombie-like characters, all enabling her to lord over a relatively small group of savages. Most all the women in the film are topless, which helps, but is entirely gratuitous, serving no real purpose other than to take your mind off the fact the film is so weak in general. The directing ranges from passable to poor, including pointless POV shots, stupid slow motion that only serves to drag the run time out much further than needed, and ineptly choreographed fight scenes. I found the mostly electronic musical score to be highly annoying, monotonous, and inappropriate. Fans of Fulci's stylistic approach to visceral gore will enjoy the inclusion of a smattering of graphic scenes here (brains, puss leaking sores, gore spurting wounds), but it's nowhere near the levels in his horror films, so they may be ultimately dissatisfied. People not familiar with his penchant for splattery will probably be put off and find it hard to watch.
Blue Underground presents an exceptional widescreen print transfer on this DVD, despite all the funky cinematography. Special features include two theatrical trailers (U.S. and international), poster and still galleries with lots of good-looking pictures, and a fairly comprehensive and informative biography on Lucio Fulci. All in all, unless you're a Fulci completist, you might want to skip Conquest, as its' appeal is extremely limited, in my opinion.
The craziest of the Conan rip-offs....
W. Black | East Prairie, MO United States | 09/21/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"True, sword-and-sorcery is a particularly stupid genre. It was only done once well, and of course I'm talking about Robert E Howard, and then a few writers like Moorcock, Leiber, and Karl Edgar Wagner came along and created characters that transcended the genre. We had one truly good movie--the original Conan--and lots of imitations. And we also had sword-and-sorcery exploitaion flicks, movies that actually ADDED to the amount of gore and sex already in Conan. This, of course, is a good thing, and Conquest is the whackiest of the whole bunch. Hell, Fulci even throws in zombies. The evil wizard chick wears nothing but a gold mask--that's right, she's NEKKID the entire movie. And for Fulci fans, the main character has an inverted mark of Eibon on his forehead, from Fulci's horror flick The Beyond. This movie rocks."
Feel The Power, Accept The Challenge Of.......CONQUEST!
Stanley Runk | Camp North Pines | 08/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ever wonder what a sword and sorcery flick by Lucio Fulci would be like? Look no further than Blue Underground's recent release of Conquest. Ya know, I'd been looking for this movie since I was 12 years old for crying out loud! Thanks again to Blue Underground.
CONQUEST: We got our first hero who I'll call "Idiot", mainly because he is. Idiot is given a magical bow by some old mystic guy. He's not given any particular quest or anything, some claptrap about reaching his manhood. I guess he's just supposed to be an all around do-gooder. The bow is magical because once it runs out of arrows it's able to pull the sun from the sky and shoot really cool blue sun-power arrows. To me this is kind of a lame contraption coz personally, I'd just throw away all the regular arrows and just use the sun powered ones. Our hero doesn't do this coz he's not too bright. Our villian is a topless, masked sorceress who's job is basically to send out her army of men in cheap werewolf costumes to make life miserable for everyone in the land. After a successful raid and a shot of a fantasyland equivalent of LSD/cocaine(administered in the same fashion as launching a spitball), she sees a vision of Idiot coming to kill her, so she sends out her silly Chewbacca/werewolf things to kill him. Around this time we meet our second hero who I call Manowar-basically coz he looks like he may have tried out for the band once, but got the boot. Manowar's job for the rest of the film is to save Idiot's butt when ever he gets captured or in trouble. Manowar is the true hero of the film. This is the basis of our movie. Idiot and Manowar meet lots of perils and dangers while on the run and in pursuit of the masked naked woman until the final showdown. Who wins? You'll have to watch. This film is 100% heckle material. It's very entertaining if you like this kind of thing. Fulci brings his trademark gore to the film(which you kind of wish Peter Jackson would have done when he made a fantasy film), and a funky soundtrack! He also must have attached a fog machine to the camera coz this film looks like it was shot in a cloud. Highly recommended."
This ain't Lord of the Rings, but a great Cult Classic!
WatchOverMe | USA | 09/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Oh Fulci! What a confusing movie you made. The acting is bad! the characters are terrible! the plot.......what plot? Nothing made sense! If you're a long time Fulci fan you gotta see this one. If you're new to Fulci's film...wait for awhile and watch these titles:
The black cat
4 for the apocalypse
New York Ripper
Don't Torture a Duckling
City of the Living Dead
Just to name a few of the classics. Conquest may not be a consider a Fulci Classic, but it sure become a cult classic.