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Barbarian Queen (1985), perhaps the worst and most breasty sword and sorcery movie ever made

November 29, 2013

MY CALL:  The only reason to watch this would be for your love of gratuitous nudity.  As an entertaining sword and sorcery movie, this fails on all account except for having nudity. There are no monsters, magic, rituals, sacrifices, legends, journeys, sinister plans or any of that.  Basically just medieval boobage.  MOVIES LIKE Barbarian Queen:  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), Conquest (1983), Deathstalker (1983) and Deathstalker II: Duel of the Titans (1987).  All of these movies are better than Barbarian Queen in every possible way except for amply breast-filled minutes of screen time.

Okay, listen.  I expected nudity–fine.  Any R-rated fantasy adventure movie is going to have it.  As I guy, I often…ummm…don’t mind it.  But I thought I was in for a cheap rip-off of Red Sonja (1985), which was released the same year.  What I got was a bit much and not in the manner I prefer.  In the spirit of exploitative classiness, this movie opens with sexual assault.  Thankfully, the scene is not followed through and is more insinuated than anything.  But rape seems to be something of a theme in this movie.

Amethea (Lana Clarkson; Deathstalker, Barbarian Queen II, The Haunting of Morella) and Prince Argan (Frank Zagarino; Waxwork II: Lost in Time, Cyborg Cop III) are getting married today.  But when their village is attacked by the bad guy (I never caught his name), the wedding is forcibly postponed.  Many of the villagers are killed, Taramis (Dawn Dunlap; Forbidden World) is captured, and Argan is taken captive.  There are also several incidents of sexual assault mid-battle. REALLY?  In the middle of a chaotic sword fight?  Thankfully this rapists gets his in the form of Amethea’s sword up his ass.

Why is it that sword and sorcery movies always include sexual assault?  Nude sorceress?  Fine.  Maybe the magic works better without the constrictions of cloth.  Nude cultists?  Fine.  Maybe their God wants them humble or pure or something.  Nude slaves?  Fine.  Can’t hide a weapon or steal very easily when you’re naked.  Nude sex scene?  Also fine for obvious reasons.  We like it when our heroes are “rewarded” for their dangerous adventuring.  But sexual assault?  Could you really find no other good reason to fit some bare breasts in this movie?  I just rattled off quite a few forgivable examples!

Furious over her village’s destruction and her groom’s abduction, Amethea swears that she will reclaim what was taken.  She rescues one her naked captive friends and goes on a man-killing rampage.  These fights are dumb, fun and poorly done.  Amethea and her friend fight a bunch of dudes, the swords appear to be way too heavy for everyone to handle, and the girls throw in some head kicks for good measure.

This movie is all about nudity.  So if you’re a teenager then you’d probably adore this.  Even when the abundance of rape isn’t at play, the filmmakers find a way to include a constant feed of nudity.  For example, there’s an extremely long orgy scene which is cut with other scenes to spread it out.  There’s also a naked torture scene (which, based on Amazon reviews, is largely cut in the R-rated version–from the unrated version).

This movie was so bad.  I never knew the names of most of the characters, and there were a lot of characters that we see consistently throughout the movie.  This may actually be tied for most poorly written sword and sorcery movie ever (tied with Conquest).  The entire plot was that Amethea’s groom and some other villagers were abducted for apparently no reason other than a local tyrant was simply doing tyrant things that day and he happened to come across their village.  Then Amethea goes to rescue them.  That’s it.  That’s everything.  There’s no special magical relic or sword or talisman, there’s no ritual or sacrifice, there’s no magic or monsters of any sort, there’s no legend or journey about, and there’s no sinister villainous plan.  Just a smash and grab job answered by another smash and grab job with an orgy, a naked torture scene…generally just a sea of gratuitous nudity in between the beginning and end.

I guess I smiled enough to say you could enjoy this movie with a few friends and a case of beer.  But just to clarify, guy friends only and very strong beer.  Given all the nudity and the media of their presentation you could probably come up with a very inappropriate drinking game to celebrate this movie while developing liver disease.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. davecrewe permalink
    November 30, 2013 4:04 am

    Sounds like the kind of thing that would never get made nowadays – simply because if people want porn, it’s easily accessible (certainly compared to 3 decades ago anyhoo).

    • johnleavengood permalink
      November 30, 2013 10:15 am

      Very true. And, I’m guessing anyway, the porn budget would allow for more convincing fight scenes and effects for a monster or two, a wizard and a magic relic.

  2. David Mitchell permalink
    April 14, 2020 4:43 am

    Agreed, it’s an utter failure. For a better bad Sword & Sorcery movie featuring a blonde female protagonist, I would heartily recommend Hundra.

  3. carl anderson permalink
    April 9, 2022 11:37 am

    yes the movie stiff but fun


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