Saturday, December 18, 2010

Conquest (1983)

Forget Conan. Set Ator aside for a moment. Mace is the man! Jorge Rivero plays the hero, a muscular long-haired swordsman ready for adventure and cave-sex. Yes, this is Lucio Fulci’s Conquest, a movie I’ve read so much shit about I could build me a shit-castle and rent it to Glenn Beck. Of course every negative word about Conquest is just lies, lies and more lies – because this is probably one of the more unique, gory and fun fantasy-flicks from Italy.

I already forgot the story, but the IMDB plot is probably more or less correct: “A young man, armed with a magical bow and arrows, embarks on a mystical journey through a mystical land to rid it of all evil and joins forces with an outlaw to take down an evil witch bent on claiming the magic bow for evil.” – or? I have no idea, but the young man is there (pretty boy Andrea Occhipinti, nowadays a respected arthouse-producer) and Jorge is of course Mace, as stated above. And there’s something I guess is an evil witch and her henchman, a guy with a metal mask covering his face.

First of all, Conquest is always getting a lot of crap because of its visual style. I can agree to a certain point, maybe the cinematographer did overdo the filters, because the footage is often very soft. But on a good TV, for example a HD TV, this looks a lot better than an ordinary machine and the movie feels more beautiful than ever. Because the visuals is filled with either smoke, filters or just plain darkness, it’s a movie that will scare of the normal mainstream crowd, but I would say it’s a great looking flick with wonderful direction by Fulci. Some shots here and there feels a bit sloppy, but most importantly – the movie has one distinct style all the way thru. It never becomes Ator or Thor, where everything seems like it was thrown together in the last moment with the stuff they found in the studio’s prop storage. The monsters, the clothes, gore, music – everything fits together.

Yeah, the gore. It’s also one of the things that sets this movie in it’s own league compared to many of the more PG-friendly offerings from the same period. I can’t say it is a splatter-orgy, but it’s bloody, graphic and everything in between. Lovely.

One of the highlights in the movie is the excellent electronic score by Claudio Simonetti. It was probably tossed together in an afternoon, but it fits the movie perfectly. One of the best tracks is not released on the CD, which is a pity – but maybe it was some stock music and not owned my Simonetti? I have no idea, but I want it!

Conquest is a cool, awesome and gory fantasy-romp with monsters and mayhem and is recommended to all of you who wants to look further than Zombie Flesh Eaters and The Beyond.


Neil Sarver said...

I love, love, love Conquest. I've been meaning to write a decent review of it for a long time. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks highly of it.

Nigel Maskell said...

I like Conquest- I like the visual style, the whole thing has a certain Fulci rawness and is pretty brutal- I know this is a genre though that is famed for its linear yet episodic plotting- sort of a journey from a-b with things happening,so no problem there either- however I will stick my neck out here and say I much preferred Ator - found that one way too much fun.. Even with some silly wookie monsters and ocrans tits out/gold mask combo i felt the film took itself a little too seriously-

Its one I have watched a few times though, I will admit that, like it yes, but would go for Ator if forced to choose