It is hard to argue that this wasn’t the best summer ever for super hero movies. Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and The Dark Knight all spent weeks at number one. In fact the past decade has been huge for super hero movies and don’t expect that to change anytime soon. Back in the 70’s and 80’s Superman held the top spot in the movies. But he wasn’t the only one to grace the big screen… at least temporarily. When I was at a friend’s house for a 4th grade birthday party we watched the 1980 super hero flick Flash Gordon. I remembered very little about the film other than I liked it. And who could forget the Flash Gordon theme song sung by Queen (if you’ve seen Blades of Glory you know what I’m talking about). Actually most of the musical score was composed by Queen, and it is a big standout of the movie. So I decided it was time to re-watch the movie and see how it compares to the super hero films of today.
In the days of my youth, my sister and I would rent videos every weekend. Some of our favorites were action/adventure movies, and particularly those that existed in the realm of fantasy – like Red Sonja, Conan the Barbarian or Beastmaster. We always scoped out which ones looked the worst, and thanks to just about everything being released on VHS those days, there were a lot of movies to go around. One movie I never got to see was 1987’s The Barbarians, starring the ridiculously well built Paul Brothers (David Paul and Peter Paul), aka The Barbarian Brothers, where they play the titular (I always wanted to use that word… Titular…) Barbarians.
Yor (Reb Brown), is a prehistoric hunter with an extremely bad haircut. Yor had always question his existence and he gets a clue to his origins one day when he saves some savages from a deadly triceratops. These savages recognize the medallion Yor has around his neck and they tell him about a desert goddess that possesses the same medallion. Yor decides that he must find this goddess and learn more about his people. On his quest to discover the truth of his people Yor encounters purple cave men, dinosaurs, space ships, robots, and a evil Overlord. Will Yor transcend time to become the savior of the world?
Directed by: Antonio Margheriti
Take one part Excalibur, throw in some Krull, a few scenes of Caligola, a touch of Dawn of the Dead, the choreography of Kung Fu Hustle, about 30 seconds of The Blue Lagoon, and you have our movie of the week… Golok setan, aka The Devil’s Sword! Director Ratno Timoer takes us for a wild ride in this sci-fi chopsocky fantasy from 1984, filled with swords, kung-fu masters, blood, sex, violence and men dressed like alligators. The best part is our old friend Barry Prima from Ferocious Female Freedom Fighters is back to kick some more ass!
The Devil’s Sword follows a quest to find an ancient sword that was forged from a mysterious metallic substance that fell to earth in the form of a meteorite. An old man who finds the meteorite creates the Devil’s Sword, and he hides it after it burns down his hut. Whoever wields the sword holds the greatest power imaginable in his hands. Banujaga is sent by the Alligator Queen to steal the fiance of a local village’s princess to keep as her own subject. During the raid on the village Mandala – a one time colleague of Banujaga – sees the scuffle and helps defend the village, and ends up helping the princess recover her husband to be. Mandala recovers the Devil’s Sword, but will it ultimately be enough to defeat the Alligator Queen and Banujaga?