STARRING: Kevin Sorbo, Tia Carrere, Litefoot, Karina Lombard, Thomas Ian Griffith, Harvey Fierstein, Joe Shaw, Roy Brocksmith

1997, 95 Minutes, Directed by: John Nicolella

kull.jpg (11647 bytes)
Description: Sword-and-sorcery tale based on the fiction of Conan the Barbarian creator Robert E. Howard starring Kevin Sorbo, star of TV's Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.

While switching off the VCR after watching Kull the Conqueror my wife (who watched it with me) remarked: "We've done worse." Sure, we have. However, being in a Mystery Science Theater 3000 kinda mood and having some liberal quantities of wine and potato chips (with dip!) at hand helped a lot . . .

You see, while Kull the Conqueror is no better or worse than your average episode of TV's Xena: Warrior Princess.  It is the sort of low-budget sword & sorcery affair that you'll probably feel more comfortable with watching on the TV for free late one evening with nothing better to do rather instead of dishing out the price of a rental.

The alcohol, of course, remains a prerequisite. With the success of shows such as Xena and the like, producer Raffaella De Laurentiis (who co-produced several celluloid sword & sorcery epics in the early 1980s such as Conan the Destroyer with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Red Sonja) no doubt thought that the time was ripe to revive the genre again. So she dragged out another Robert E. Howard (the creator of Conan the Barbarian) property, in this case a similar longhaired well-torsoed barbarian named Kull, to film. (It was also a short-lived Marvel comic book series in case you were wondering.)

"Kull comes across more as a knee-jerk liberal than the barbarian everyone keeps on calling him!"

Realizing that this sort of thing appeals mostly to kids, she toned down on the usual T&A and violence prevalent in these epics to ensure the sort of thing that you'd feel is okay for your kids to watch: bloodless sword fights mixed with enough strategically covered cleavage to maintain the interest of very young adolescent males.

However, right from the opening scene of a sword fight between TV's Hercules (Kevin Sorbo) with a Chuck Norris look-alike to the accompaniment of pounding Metallica-like guitars and drums you know this is the sort of thing that you kids had better watch without you. Unless you have lots of that wine and chips nearby . . .

Plot? Oh yeah, something to do with Wayne's (of Wayne's World) girlfriend (Tia Carrere) returning as an evil, yet sexy, witch to get rid of Kull (who hails from Atlantis by the way) who has just been throned king of some mythical kingdom. Some contenders for the throne aid her. Kull comes across more as a knee-jerk liberal than the barbarian everyone keeps on calling him. For starters he refuses to makes use of the old king's harem of buxom beauties and then insists on abolishing slavery.

In one scene I expected him to shout "but it's a good health care plan - give it a chance" to some of the gathered crowds. Needless to say this sort of politically correct "New Age" man type of sentiments quickly alienates the people around him who seems more in synch with the barbarian times in which they are living . . .



blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest Headlines

Most Popular

Copyright © 1997-forward James O'Ehley/The Sci-Fi Movie Page (unless where indicated otherwise).