RED SONJA (1985)
Article 4885 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Richard Fleischer
Featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Brigitte Nielsen, Sandahl Bergman
Country: Netherlands / USA
What it is: Sword and sorcery
A female swordsmaster does battle with an evil queen who has acquired a destructive talisman.
Had the filmmakers been able to acquire the rights to the name, this would have been the third Conan movie; as it is, the Conan substitute is named Kalidor, and Schwarzenegger, despite getting top billing, is consigned to an awkward supporting role which was originally intended to be a mere cameo. As might be expected, there is much sword-clanging going on here, but the action sequences are merely adequate. The story is thread-bare and cliched, and much of the dialogue is written in a rather stiff and florid style that requires a certain aplomb from the actors; sadly, many of them aren’t quite up to the task, and it ends up sounding pretty silly. I also couldn’t help but notice that Sandahl Bergman’s scar make-up isn’t always there; usually, I don’t notice goofs like that, but they made such a big deal of it that you’d expect they would have taken more care. To me, the best thing about the movie was some of elaborate sets; as for the rest, I found it pretty forgettable.