The XXX-Factor: THIS AIN'T CONAN THE BARBARIAN (2012)

You know how guys are. Always screwing around, trying to get each other into trouble. When you're kids it's "I dare you to lick the frozen flagpole"; when you're in your twenties it's "dude, you could totally kick that biker's ass"; and when you're middle-aged movie nerds it's "you should totally do a review of that new Hustler porn parody!" Yep, that's why I'm here today. It's not bad enough that I sat through that crap-even-by-modern-remake-standards CONAN remake with Jason Moma posing his way through an embarrassingly dull and idiotic film, now I have to sit down and watch one of Hustler's grueling parodies that, as usual, is neither funny, nor erotic. To paraphrase Mako, while the manacled children were hauled from the village, "this is a tale of sorrow."

Opening with an admittedly cool Poledouris-esqe brass/percussion score that could easily fool the casual viewer, THIS AIN'T CONAN, tromps from A to Z in workman-like fashion, re-envisioning a handful of scenes from the film in totally budget-starved fashion. Actually, that's doing a disservice to workmen.

This ain't Conan

Do I make you hooooorny?
No? Ok, how about now?
The first scene introduces Conan (Lee Stone) in his slave cell, looking like Harvey Kitel and Gerard Depardieu's love child. When the jailer throws a slavegirl (Jayden Cole) in the cell to mate with Conan, he continues to play with his scimitar leaving the slavegirl to attempt to get his attention by fondling herself and eventually getting into some multipositional masturbation. This actually goes on for a full 15 minutes before Conan realizes the sword in his codpiece needs to be sheathed as well. Taking a cue from the Jason Moma remake, Conan shows his tender side and after delivering the money shot, wraps the slavegirl in a faux fur for a little cuddle time. Kill me now. Amazingly this scene actually delivers the best production values of the entire movie. Someone actually made some bamboo and leather bars for the cell and hauled in a real hay bale in a spray foam stone-wall set. Heeeeey, did Hustler hire Ann Perry?


Once Conan is freed, he stumbles out into CGI weather that makes Sid & Marty Croft look like masters of exorbitant production values. While Conan slogs through a snowstorm and subsequently a sandstorm, the droning narration (that doesn't even try to parody Mako) tells us that "he headed out in search of adventure... unfortunately, he forgot to pack a lunch." Oooof! Did that hit you right in the gut too? Yes, that's the level of the joke writing here, if you can call it that. Fortunately the uncredited screenwriter(s) frequently forgets all about joke writing in their hurry to get this mess over with.

Sean Michaels as James Earl Jones...
or Rick James.
If you were to go about selecting scenes from CONAN THE BARBARIAN (1982) that would be good for a porno, there are plenty, but the obvious choice has to be the witch scene. Here we get a sloppy rendition where Conan bangs away at another average-looking wannabe pornstar (who really should be more gothnasty if she's going to use the name Asphyxia Noir), before discovering that she spilled oatmeal on her face and wants to hug him with a dagger. Or she's a witch and is trying to kill him. I'm not sure. One thing I am sure of is that I've seen better sets on Gilligan's Island. Though, I guess I really shouldn't complain, because that is one of the last real sets we are going to see! From here on out it's mostly CGI backdrops that makes TALES OF AN ANCIENT EMPIRE (2010) look spendy. I mean, if Joe D'Amato, who admittedly made a couple of stultifyingly dull movies in his day, could make porn with enthusiastic, attractive performers on real sets with some effective results, why can't Hustler. I'm pretty damn sure they have pockets and connections far in excess of Senoir D'Amato.

The dagger, as it turns out, is the same one used by... well, the guy who is never named, but slaughtered Conan's village and sold him into slavery (Sean Michaels desperately trying to do a James Earl Jones impersonation). So Conan, vaguely annoyed, sets out on his path of revenge, running into a thief-y type, Subotai (Tommy Gunn) and a, uhhhh, Sandal Bergman type, Valeria (Jazy Berlin). They run across a merchant's wife, whose large breasts are strangely marked with scars around her nipples, no doubt from some pre-matrimonial gladiatorial contest... or something. Next up is the temple of the snake cult, or rather a badly rendered CGI hallway with CGI torches that would have looked lame in one of those awful SOV PC games from the early '90s. Suddenly a golden image of a cobra pops up for something like two frames and we're done. This is where I start cursing at my TV. I mean, seriously, Hustler has gotten so fat and lazy, they can't be bothered to even compete with all of the really impressive productions that have been coming out lately. It's all about cranking 'em out as fast and cheap as possible and reelin' in the suckers.

This ain't Max Von Sydow

The follow-up scene in the tavern, includes the famous face-pant in a bowl of... something, and we are then treated to a rendition of Max Von Sydow's speech that goes on way too long, contains nothing remotely amusing and in general makes me wish for something with some sort of production values, like say any DEATHSTALKER sequel. Oh, and Conan schtupps Valeria in another by-the-numbers, uninspired sex scene, where are the positions are rotated in the same order as the scenes before. This actually makes me feel really old. Not because the performers are younger than I am, but because if I was a teenager, the bland, passionless sex scenes wouldn't have bothered me that much at all. Now it's just tedious, particularly when they have nothing else to offer other than an hour rental of couple of horses for two shots in someone's backyard.

In the final scene in which our unnamed Thulsa Doom gets it on with the princess (Missy Maze), only to be busted in on by the trio, we get the final insult. Valeria is killed, but while our Thulsa is making his "I made you" speech, Valeria's ghost pops up and shouts "just finish him already, so we can finish this movie!" Yep, if you needed proof of their desire to just get it over with, there it is. Definitely an example of screenwriting from the gut. As if to add injury to insult, Conan takes a swing at Thulsa and we cut to credits. Not even going to give us a lame decapitation? Seriously, you guys suck.

It'll be a very long time before I give Hustler another shot. If I'm going to sit through shitty, no budget porn parody, I'll take the Arentinian porno parody LAS TORTUGAS MUTANTES PINJAS... No, really, wtf is growing out of that pizza?

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