Conan: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.
- CONAN THE BARBARIAN dialog or Video Junkie mantra?
No, your eyes are not deceiving you. We are actually diving into another one of our patented Video Junkie theme week extravaganzas (and by “week” we mean a minimum of 14 days). We’ve officially done blind guys (Blind Vengeance), a horror author (H.P. Lovecraft), eye-popping cinema (Revenge of 3-D) and a nearly soul crushing, face melting Spielbergian journey (Dr. Jones I presume?). We think we’ve fully recovered enough from that last outing to once again dip our toes back into the cinematic wading pool of rip-offs. And, like Indiana Jones, we’ve settled on another early 1980s cinema icon that is known worldwide – Conan the Barbarian!
In addition to the Howard stories receiving mass publication, the Conan character got more exposure via the world of comic books. They are like books on steroids! Marvel Comics unveiled the Conan the Barbarian series in October 1970 and then parlayed that success into The Savage Sword of Conan, a more adult-oriented magazine, in August 1974. No doubt this popularity amongst the kids (and the rise of popular sword and sorcery role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons) convinced Hollywood producer Edward Pressman that this was a viable commodity and he bought the rights to the Conan the Barbarian character and stories in the mid-1970s.
Pressman officially began work on the Conan film project in 1976 as he recruited Conan comic writer Roy Thomas and Ed Summer to write a screenplay adapting some of Howard’s stories into a big screen adventure. The duo was unsuccessful so the duties fell to Oliver Stone. Stone’s work retained a lot of the Howard universe, but was deemed far too expensive to make. Soon newly-attached director John Milius was on to collaborate and the duo did not get along. Gee, a gun nut with a military fetish (Milius) not getting along with a guy who actually fought in a war (Stone)? Shocker! Anyway, Milius did a massive rewrite on the film, which was now a project for some scrawny geek who won Mr. Universe named Arnold Schwarzenegger. The rest, as they say, is cinematic history.