Conquest – 1983

© 1983 Clemi Cinematografica

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.

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© 1983 Clemi Cinematografica

I still don’t know how I feel about this movie. The plot is simple: A man travels to another land to show his bravery and finds a tyrant to defeat. He has a magic bow and meets a bone nun-chuck wielding native who joins him on the quest. Easy, right? The banter between the characters is kind of fun but it’s not the greatest and you don’t get any deep insights into their characters, but the film shows enough to get their personalities to come out, and in the end, there are some surprising moments that make the movie unpredictable. Yet the movie also felt slow at times. Now, I’m not one to get bored with a movie quickly, but there are quite a few scenes that just seem to move at a snail’s pace and I can’t say what causes this as I have nothing to point out, there are just times when I pull out of the movie and look at the clock to make sure time is moving. It could just be that I’m confused by the tone.

The tone of the movie is the hardest part to pin down. While it has elements of other 80’s fantasy with its shameless heroes, goofy fight scenes and bland villains, it’s combined with editing decisions that I can only describe as strange. The camera is always zooming in on people’s faces until all you can see are their eyes. The landscape that the movie takes place in is dull and foggy. Some of the set pieces are so dark you can’t tell what’s going on at all. The music is harsh and almost hypnotic. There are scenes where the sun is directly behind the character talking and the glare obscures everything. And the slow parts that I mentioned earlier don’t help in distracting you from these elements. Did I mention that the camera zooms in on faces almost every scene? Sorry, those parts just bugged me.

I don’t want to spoil anything, but I just have to say that the best part of the movie is the McGuffin/deus ex machina bow. As with all the special effects, it looks terrible, but its power is just amazing. And that is something that this movie does: it makes weird things awesome; or not, I don’t know you. The bow is awesome, the poison effects are way too real, the way the villains’ story ends is so unexpected. It was such an unusual experience. And I think experience is the only word that fits this movie; so go watch it if you want a different experience.

 

Runtime: 93 minutes
Director: Lucio Fulci
Starring: Jorge Rivero, Andrea Occhipinti, Sabrina Sellers (Siani)
MPAA Rating: Not Rated (P.S. It’s an R)

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