Friday, January 28, 2011

Red Sonja

By Master Swordsman Alan Trehern

Yep, I did it again. I ruined a completely good afternoon by watching another sh*tty movie. I was still up on my action/fantasy high from Krull, so I checked out another sword and sorcery film based on a character created by author Robert E. Howard. This is the same guy that created Conan the Barbarian. But after 89 minutes of Red Sonja, I was ready to cut my losses...and my throat.

Red Sonja (1985)
Directed by Richard Fleischer
Starring Brigitte Nielsen, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sandahl Bergman

Netflix educated me on the awards this movie received in 1986: Razzies for Worst Actress and Worst Supporting Actress (Nielson and Bergman, respectfully). That's pretty ironic since the movie is based around strong female characters, and they're the actors who sucked the most. Ugh...let's get started.

The story begins with a flashback to things that happened probably fifteen minutes prior to the flashback. Why not just show what just happened? It's not like you don't have the footage, because you used it in the flashback! Anyway, Sonja (Nielsen) is left beaten and abused outside her now burning cottage. Her parents are dead (I guess?) and some spirit gives her super-strength (I think?). Ghost is never mentioned again.

The film quality of a 70s movie in 1985...

Fast forward maybe 4 days.

We now find Kalidor (Schwarzenegger) riding to a temple where the great Talisman is about to be destroyed. This Talisman can create/destroy the world, so obviously, it's pretty important. Well, we only ever see it create some nasty storms and nothing else. Yeah, real powerful; the Chinese government does that in an afternoon.

The evil Queen Gedren steals the Talisman, the same Queen that killed Sonja's family (!), Sonja goes after it, meets up with a boy King and they beat the evil Queen. It's pretty elementary here; if you're really interested in the plot, just watch the movie. I'd be insulting your intelligence if I spoke any further on the subject matter.

Waiting for his career to take off...
Sonja is terribly acted by Nielsen. I mean just "nails on the chalkboard" bad. Not as bad as the evil Queen Gedren (Bergman), mind you, but almost unwatchably bad. Does her attractiveness cancel out the terrible acting? Probably, but I'm bias since I'm a dude. The acting is terrible all around, but you can't blame the actors! Whose idea was it to put Schwarzenegger and Nielsen, a native Austrian and Dane, in a movie together? It was like a fantasy movie produced by Hooked on Phonics!

And Nielsen looked like she was about to laugh throughout the entire film. She had this smirk whilst fighting that totally said, "I cannot believe the script calls for this! No one taught me how to fight! Why was there only one take?!" Of course, in her head, this is all in Danish. But I agree with her. The fight scenes looked to have been one take, cut and run. Sloppy and pretty comical.

The Hyborian Yankee Candle store. Buy 2 Get the 3rd 1/2 off.

The dialogue was atrociously laughable in every sense of the phrase. It was some of the most generic, useless and completely intolerable jargon ever produced by any type of cinematic production company. They actually didn't need to say much, but I guess Nielsen and Arnold were getting paid by the word (and groan).

Final Thoughts
The only real "good" part of this film was when they wrestle a mechanical crocodile in a water-filled catacomb. Pretty bad-ass idea, and since I have a thing with monsters in the water, I was kinda freaked out. Other than that, this movie was a total let down. I really dug the Conan movies, COBRA and Krull, so I think I may have placed my hopes too high for this movie. It's...worth one watch with some friends? MST-ing it is probably your best bet if you want to enjoy it. This is not one of those movies where you have to sit and be quiet. F you, people that tell me to sit quietly. I'll do my Crow T. Robot voice if I want; I'M A GROWN. ASS. MAN!!!!!

** Red Sonja on Netflix Instant Watch.

Bone club guy was great.


Ben Pearson said...

Entertaining as usual. Sorry you were slightly disappointed.

LaQuinta Sheeeeeeeit said...

Way to take one for the team, bra.

Anonymous said...

"Yeah, real powerful; the Chinese government does that in an afternoon"

Typical Caucasoid-man chauvinist comment, deflecting white man's own selfish and cruel exploits of native people and against Islam, and "New World (dis)Order". Always trying to make yourselves feel better by tacking-on the evils of the world against the Chinese. Sad.