Barbarian Queen-In an Age of Ancient Gods, Warlords, and Boobies
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No secret to anyone who has known me most of my life: I am a HUGE Xena: Warrior Princess
fan. Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
was good too, but Xena took the cake and had a lot more of the characters my best bud and I loved: Xena and Gabrielle (of course), Joxer the Mighty, Ares, Aphrodite and Autolycus, King of Thieves.
So imagine what I’m thinking when I delve into the fantasy flicks of the eighties and discover this…gem.
The cover looks great: a group of half-naked warrior chicks ready to kick the hell out of an army of thugs and goofballs who want nothing more than an evening alone with these beauties, and film promised to be loaded with more topless fun than a buffet at the Men’s Club.
What I got was a cheap burrito packed full of s**t from the back of a pickup truck.
A young barbarian girl is picking flowers by the river when she is attacked and raped by a group of Roman soldiers and their leader. Turns out, she is Taramis (Dawn Dunlap
), the sister of Amethea the Barbarian Queen (Lana Clarkson
The village is raided by the Roman troops, and most of the people are killed off. Amethea escapes and watches as her husband-to-be, Argan (Frank Zagarino
), is hauled off to be a gladiator in the city. Amethea, joined by her two best warriors, vows vengeance and to save Taramis and Argan from the Roman leader.
Okay, a combat sequence. Let’s see if it’s better than the acting and dialogue.
I’ve seen kids with sticks and garbage can lids do better choreography than this mess. It literally looks like a self-defense class in an old-folks home full of retired cosplayers
. It’s bad when I can sit there and watch them break character to think about what the next move is.
Just to bring you up to speed, I’ve now seen Dawn Dunlap, Lana Clarkson, and Susana Traverso
topless. Not complaining! But, just so you’re aware, even in 1985, there were movies with more nudity than friggin’ True Blood.
There’s even a drinking game. Awesome.
Aaaanyway, our three stooges…I mean, “Warrior Women of Great Valor” set off to the Roman encampment to see if Taramis and Argan are being held there before they are sent to the city. They find a topless girl tied to a pile of brush being raped by a goon. They save her.
The guards in the camp attack with powerful, gut-wrenching lines like: “Wanna fight? Alright!” More bad dialogue, more gore, and more boobies later the girl dies and our trio searches the camp.
They manage to find that Taramis is still there, but Argan has been carted off to the Roman city to be a slave for the gladiator circuit. Taramis is out of it, and acts like she’s about 10 years old, even though she was 24 when the movie was filmed.
In fact, that’s how she acts the entire movie. Kinda creepy. WTF.
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The group finds themselves in the Roman city (Not Rome. The Roman city. Jesus) after meeting a young boy…well they keep calling it a girl. But it…I mean he…but she…
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Let me back up here.
The group finds themselves in the Roman city after meeting a young transgender who is the son-daughter hybrid of the rebel leader. The leader is reluctant to allow them to enter their ranks but is convinced when Amethea explains their cause.
More violence and bad acting later, the group is captured after Taramis runs off and pulls Stockholm with the Roman leader. Amethea is put on the rack, which is supposed to be the prime reason for watching this movie at all since she spends the next chunk of the movie topless while being tortured by a one-eyed pervert.
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After several attempts by the Roman Leader to make her disclose the location of the rebel base (I guess Howard R. Cohen
was a Star Wars
nut), the torture chamber dude begins to rape Amethea. She quickly takes advantage and traps him with her…
She locks down on his member with her vagina.
Where does a guy sign up for that?
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The torturer begs her to let him go (wimp), releases her, then screams as she lets him go and kicks him into a tub of acid.
The Roman Leader has organized a gladiator battle in the city square, not knowing that Argan has recruited his fellow slaves as rebels against the tyranny. One of them turns, and Amethea shows up with the other rebels and signals all-out combat.
Remember when you were kids, and you would get your group of friends who liked sword-fighting to charge on your other group of friends who like sword-fighting? And you would have a battle in the back yard that had the same epic scale as the Battle of Minas Tirith from Lord of the Rings
(read: a bunch of kids spouting off the same bulls**t they heard in the latest episode of He-Man
and swinging sticks because the school football jocks weren’t there to slap them around)?
This grand finale Battle Royale is the same thing, but with half-naked women.
Amethea fights the Roman Leader but doesn’t realize that he has had actual stage combat training. He is about to kill her when Taramis runs up behind him screaming and stabs him in the back with a knife that it bigger than her.
The rebels rejoice in their victory, and the credits roll…wait, what?!
So I guess the guys behind this movie decided that a Victoria’s Secret Catalog or a subscription to Playboy wasn’t enough for their 15-year-old sons who were too busy with Dungeons and Dragons
anyway, so they made a movie set in ancient times and filled to the brim with naked chicks.
First thing you’ll notice, if you choose to ignore my warnings and watch this turd nugget, is that that acting AND the dialogue are absolutely horrendous. Yup, this is one of those movies where you get a two-fer. Typically, the bad acting is caused by the somewhat lacking dialogue. But when the dialogue is utter gar-b**ch you can’t help but wonder if maybe the actors are also substandard since most would’ve looked at the script and laughed.
They’re called “contractions,” Howard R. Cohen. Use them.
While I’m not complaining in the slightest about the level of nudity in the movie, it does get to a point where all the movie is about is putting the girls in situations that will render them topless. Some of the situations get downright laughable, and I actually began to liken them to the death traps in the original Batman
series from the 1960s.
The costumes weren’t bad, though some of them were a little half-a**ed. More efforts were put into the costumes that were easily removable than the more complex stuff. Frankly, there was better costuming in the failed Mortal Kombat
Not to say that this was a bad movie, it wasn’t. IT WAS AN AWFUL MOVIE. But, apparently, it’s part of an entire subgenre of 1980s fantasy movies that feature pretty much the same thing: ancient times, ancient creatures (in some cases), and boobies galore.
Sure, I’d watch it again. I’d have to take about 3 Tramadol with a beer or twelve, but I think I could manage. Otherwise, I’d rather be topless on the rack at the mercy of sadistic circus midgets than watch this calamity again.