Barbarian Queen (1985) Review

Runtime: 71 minutes
Director: Héctor Olivera
Starring: Lana Clarkson, Katt Shea, Frank Zagarino
MPAA Rating: R
Final Score: 6.5/10

On the eve of her wedding, Amathea sees her world dissolve – her groom imprisoned, her village razed, her friends attacked and slaughtered. Becoming the Barbarian Queen, she vows revenge and retribution, enticing and then destroying her adversaries.

Revolting against a tyrannical ruler to free your people is a staple in fantasy. You can’t go wrong with it. When multiple parties band together to free themselves, it’s even better. Barbarian Queen sets up the plot at the very beginning and does not deviate from the path.
Score: 1/1

We don’t get to spend nearly enough time with the characters in this movie. Each character felt different from the others and some were quite unique. Amathea is a strong warrior who loves her people and wants to free them. We don’t get to learn much about her, but we see her react to the people around her and shows she cares for them. While each character is different, they do not change much by the end.
Score: .5/1

The one romance in the film is not shown until the end, but I would have liked them to develop it just a little more. Most fantasies have romance that is built upon throughout the movie, but this one has it as a background element. It is used as part of the reason for the quest, but it isn’t highlighted. They did not try to force any romance into the movie. Most movies would have the main character find someone else, or have one of the supporting characters fall in love. Not so in this movie. Everyone is focused on freeing their friends, they aren’t worried about love. It is a little strange to not have anyone get infatuated with anyone else, but it also would not have fit in well with the story and certainly did not hurt not being there.
Score: .5/1

Nothing stands out in the movie as great or bad. Some cheesy lines are scattered throughout, but most of the dialogue is good. The biggest problem is that the sound was off from the film, so it almost looked like it was dubbed. It doesn’t ruin the movie, but it does distract you occasionally.
Score: .5/1

The fighting in the movie is mixed. On one hand, it’s quick and the swords look solid and sound real. But certain parts of the fighting look fake. The worst in when someone would block multiple attacks without moving their sword an inch. It goes back in forth, sometimes in the same fight, from good and bad. There will be moments when it flows smoothly, then suddenly it will look like a play. And there is a lot of fighting in the movie, so it does get noticed. Overall the fights are exciting enough that the few bumps are quickly left behind.
Score: .5/1

Most of the music was kept to the background. But the music that is played when they first get horses and set out on their quest is just amazing.
Score: 1/1

Set Design
There are only a few different sets in the movie, but they all look good. We switch from interior sets to outside sets but we don’t get confused as to where we are. Each set has a unique design that sets it apart. The castle design looks good and the courtyard scenes feel real.
Score: 1/1

All the costumes are well made. But this doesn’t help when the main characters are from a tribe that does not wear much. The rest of the designs are great. There are multiple groups throughout the movie, and each one has distinct clothing that makes them easy to identify.
Score: .5/1

Special Effects
There is no magic in Barbarian Queen. The only special effects are from any fighting that happens. Blood is not shown throughout most of the movie, and when it is, it sticks out.
Score: .5/1

The movie had more of an adventure feel than it did fantasy. No magic or anything supernatural appears in it. We are kept away from anything that connects us to our world, so it still feels separate enough to escape into.
Score: .5/1

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