Red Sonja (1985)
The third film in the Conan trilogy...well it pretty much was wasn't it. This film is directed by Richard Fleischer who also directed 'Conan the Destroyer', the same studio, Dino De Laurentiis Company, made all three films, Sandahl Bergman was in this film and 'Conan the Barbarian' and of course Arnie starred in all three.
I mean lets be honest here, Arnie plays 'Lord Kalidor', the character is virtually a Conan clone, I dunno why they didn't just make him 'Conan' and be done with it. I believe 'Sonja' comes from the Conan universe originally (I may be wrong) so why not?. I'm guessing there may have been copyright issues somewhere.
So its the same story again for this fantasy adventure, need I describe the plot?. A small band of goodies up against an evil baddie leader and all her baddie warriors who are all holed up in an intimidating fortress. Arnie rides around in his rather unattractive red sparkly jumpsuit (changes to a black number out of the blue half way through) whilst Nielsen sports a long red mullet cut, but she's still cute.
This is suppose to be the weakest of the Arnie broadsword adventures but personally I don't see it. Its no worse than the other two and gives you just as much visual sorcery. In fact there's more fantasy stuff going on here than 'Barbarian', giant pet spiders, giant skeleton bridges, a metallic sea monster thingy and a silly 'Flash Gordon' style baddie wizard. This film boarders more on other films such as 'Krull' and a bit of 'Willow' in my opinion.
Reasonable amounts of blood and limb chopping but not overkill. Everything looks a bit tacky later on in the film but again no worse than the other two films. Unfortunately there is an annoying kid in this film, kinda like 'Data' outta 'The Goonies' or 'Short Round' outta 'Temple of Doom' (same kid actor there), tends to give the film a more slapstick approach at times, 'Conan the Barbarian' was always the most grown up of the three.
At this point I reckon Arnie was possibly getting worried he may end up typecast as a barbarian meathead in fantasy films. I can see why this was his last as all three of these films are very similar and not overly wonderful frankly. Still the musical score was always in good hands with Morricone at the helm, how did they manage that?. As a kid I loved these films, nowadays the rose tinted shades can't quite save them, amusing and naff, oh and the baddie Queen is a lesbian. Oh yeah, the whole story is down to Sonja simply rejecting her advances at the start. fancy that haha.