Sunday, May 13, 2012

Thirty Years Ago This Weekend, We Were Told of the Days of High Adventure

Between the time when the oceans drank Atlantis, and the rise of the sons of Aryas, there was an age undreamed of. And onto this, Conan, destined to wear the jeweled crown of Aquilonia upon a troubled brow. It is I, his chronicler, who alone can tell thee of his saga. Let me tell you of the days of high adventure!

Conan the Barbarian, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, came upon the world this weekend, 30 years ago. I know for me it was a seminal moment, not only because I was a huge fan of the Conan stories (albeit the bastardized versions that were the only things then available), but also because this movie, with its serious tone and positively inspiring score by Basil Poledouri, really defined the fantasy genre for a lot of us impressionable young teens growing up in the 1980's.

Yeah, looking back on it the acting isn't that great. And it certainly isn't by any stretch a faithful adaptation of the original REH stories, but it's still a lot of fun. Movies like this, Hawk the Slayer, The Sword and the Sorcerer, and the Ralph Bakshi adaptation of the Lord of the Rings were movie fantasy back then, right at the heyday of the AD&D craze, and I can't help but look back on this movie with fond memories.