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Conquest (1983), Lucio Fulci’s utter failure into Swords & Sorcery

October 7, 2013

MY CALL:  I never thought I’d say it, but Deathstalker was much better than this. LOL.  MOVIES LIKE Conquest:  Like all the fantasy but don’t care for all the “bad”?  Let’s try Legend (1985), Beastmaster (1982), Conan the Barbarian (1982), Conan the Destroyer (1984) or Willow (1988) on for size.  Like the “bad”?  How about Flash Gordon (1980), Kull the Conqueror (1997), Krull (1983), Deathstalker (1983) and Deathstalker II: Duel of the Titans (1987).

Directed by Lucio Fulci (Zombi, City of the Living Dead, The Beyond), this film features loads of lame wookie-werewolf fights, some healthy of gore, a good bit of nudity and almost no discernible plot whatsoever.  This actually has less of a plot than a movie that dares to call itself Deathstalker.  I’m willing to call this Fulci’s biggest (and nearly only) failure.  But whatever, I laughed at it a bit.

Yup.  Wookie-werewolves.

So, this topless sorceress lady Ocran (Sabrina Siani; Aenigma, White Cannibal Queen) in a metal mask and her monkey-mask-wearing amazons summon a platoon of werewolf-monkey-wookie men to ravage a small tribe of aborigines.  To show that they mean business, these furry mongoloids rip a naked woman in half from the legs up and present her severed head to their bare-breasted leader, who then unceremoniously eats the brains right out of it before fornicating with a python…I think…it’s not very clear.  Within just 10 minutes of running time it’s apparent that the gore, completely pointless nudity and nonsense are set to an “11” in this exploitative gorefest.

Is this meant to remind me of a light saber? That’s Star Wars strike two.

Armed with his magical bow that shoots six magical arrows at once and penetrates stone, our hero Ilias is charged with ridding the land of evil…I think…it’s not very clear.  That’s about all the plot we’re handed.  Like any adventure movie, he finds an ally during his “quest.”  Along the way, he meets Mace (Jorge Rivero; Werewolf).  Mace fights some wookie-werewolves with stone nunchucks and some mean WWE moves.  Mace always seems to save Ilias’ ass during their frequent and regrettably lame confrontations with Ocran’s forces.  In fact, Ilias always seems to get his ass kicked unless he’s firing arrows at a distance.  Wuss!

Even firing six magical arrows that can pass through stone at a time, he’s not as tough as Mace with his goofy stone nunchucks.  SAD!

Throughout the film Ocran continues to sick her wookie-werewolves on Ilias and Mace, she periodically rubs snakes all over her body while dreaming about a weirdly faceless Ilias killing her, and she promises her body to some powerful warrior (Zora) if he can kill Ilias.  I have no clue why Zora and Ocran are in cahoots…or even where, who or what Zora is…it’s really not very clear!  We also encounter Mace’s evil doppelganger, some weird web-covered stone people, acrobatic troglodytes and some random swamp zombies–being that this is a Lucio Fulci movie, I guess that had to happen.  For whatever reason, it seems that Mace does just about all the fighting as if this was his quest…or is it…it’s really not clear!

This…just…doesn’t make any sense!

What’s really random about this movie is that Ilias is killed, beheaded, and his body burned..but “his soul lives”…WTF?  We only know because Ocran tells us.  So Ilias, speaking from the spirit world, tells Mace to smear his ashes all over his face to anoint himself with Ilias’ power.  But Ilias was a wuss, remember.  He really just should have said “Yo, Mace, enjoy the magical bow, bro.”  Mace was always fighting his battles for him and saving his hide anyway.  So he’s really absorbing Ilias’ worthlessness as a warrior.  Right?  That’s how I see it anyway.

Oh, right, and for whatever WTF reason everyone has the ability to teleport when it suits them.  Oh, and Mace shoots an arrow through a mountain to hit Ocran in the face.  Oh, and Ocran has a face like a zombie from Planet of the Apes under that mask.  Oh, and…well, it’s official.  Everything about this movie is stupid.

Why did this happen? Why does she have a weird zombie face?

They really went for it with the combat choreography, even though the fights were piss poor.  A lot of difficult moves are hilariously executed with God-awful technique in slow-motion.  The gore was fun, though presented inconsistently.  My favorite gore was when Ilias was poisoned and covered in pus-looking abscesses.

If you’re in the mood to be cynical and tear something apart to make yourself feel better, then this is the film for you!

14 Comments leave one →
  1. David Mitchell permalink
    April 14, 2020 4:34 am

    Deathstalker is just so tasteless and trashy. The folks at RedLetterMedia were right when they said the movie is 80% rape. Conquest is an awful, no doubt, but at least it has some imagination and ambition. I don’t feel ashamed that I have this in my DVD collection, along with Hundra. Now I would be ashamed if I had Deathstalker.

    • John Leavengood permalink
      April 14, 2020 7:48 am

      Never saw Hundra… never even heard of it.

      • David Mitchell permalink
        May 12, 2020 10:33 pm

        Then you have a great bad movie to look forward to.


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