Quotes by 19th century German existentialist philosophers!
Modern audiences will probably prefer the action-packed remake to the 1982 film, which lacked focus at times and has dated badly in the special effects department.
Still, we liked the 1982 flick better and here’s why:
1.) Quotes by Nietzsche over the opening titles. How many modern Hollywood Sword & Sorcery epics kick off with quotes by 19th century German existentialist philosophers? Not a lot I tell you. And don’t let the fact that it is the one most beloved by parents and drill sergeants everywhere put you off either (“That which does not kill us makes us stronger. “)
2.) We missed Basil Poledouris’ epic symphonic score. Sure it’s cribbed shamelessly off Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky, but it’s a hell of lot more memorable and better than 300 composer Tyler Bates’ generic score for the remake.
3.) Arnold Schwarzenegger. We never thought we’d say this, but we missed the Austrian oak and his heavy Teutonic accent, which is perfect for Conan’s mythical Hyboria. Or for a tour guide down Lake Lucerne . . .
4.) Orgies. There were some gratuitous nudity in the remake, but we missed those orgy rooms!
5.) This dialogue:
Mongol General: Conan! What is best in life?
Conan: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.
Mongol General: That is good! That is good.
6.) Director John Milius. Milius also wrote Red Dawn and bits of Apocalypse Now (it shows). Milius is a gun nut and actually serves as a member of the National Rifle Association’s Board of Directors. Chances are he actually believes in all the macho bullshit in the original Conan, which gives it all a whiff of authenticity – more than one can say of director Marcus Nispel for whom this is yet another workman-like remake for the CV.