Directed By: Héctor Olivera
Starring: Lana Clarkson, Katt Shea, Frank Zagarino
Tag line: "No man can touch her naked steel"
Trivia: This movie was shot in Argentina
Barbarian Queen sure doesn't waste any time. Before 45 seconds have ticked off the clock, we're watching the sexual assault of a young maiden (Dawn Dunlap), whose clothes are torn off by a couple of goons as she's picking flowers in the forest. This first minute or so pretty much sets the stage for the entire film, in which gratuitous nudity is employed time and again to draw attention away from a series of lackluster battle scenes and some truly laughable dialogue.
The girl attacked in the woods is the sister of Amathea (Lana Clarkson), a respected warrior who's engaged to be married to Prince Argan (Frank Zagarino), the leader of their village. The wedding is set to take place in a few hours time, but the preparations are interrupted by the raiding army of King Zohar (Tony Middleton), which burns the village to the ground and carries off its citizens, including Prince Argan, to be used as slaves. With the help of her trusty sword, Amathea manages to escape capture, and vows revenge against Zohar and all who follow him.
There's no shortage of nudity in Barbarian Queen; even Amathea gets her top ripped off once or twice, and with a large cast of gorgeous beauties in attendance, such moments are certainly a pleasant diversion. Too bad there isn't much more besides. The battle sequences, whether it be two armies slugging it out or a mono-et-mono showdown, are borderline pathetic. The initial raid on the village is shot almost entirely from a distance, generating more confusion than excitement, and though beautiful, Lana Clarkson and her army of bad-ass babes aren't the least bit convincing with a sword. In fact, the only good thing about the battle scenes is nobody's talking during them. Even for a low-budget fantasy film, the dialogue in Barbarian Queen is both painful and hilarious. For a while, I was trying to make a game of it, writing down each and every line that caused me to chuckle. I think I finally stopped somewhere around the half-hour mark, not because the dialogue improved, but because I couldn't keep up with it any longer. My poor hand was throbbing. After raping Amathea's sister, one of the assailants blurts out “Nothing like a virgin to brighten a man's morning”. Then, as they're marching Argan and the others out of the village, another goon shouts “Move faster or we'll cut your legs off!”. But it's Amathea who gets all the best lines. Through clenched teeth, she tells one of her maidens, “Today was my wedding day. Now the only thing I have left is what might have been. I'm going to get it back!” This is seriously funny stuff.
Ultimately, I'm torn on Barbarian Queen. Make no mistake; it's a bad film, but there's an earnestness about it as well, a sort of innocent charm that, at times, kinda got to me. At the very least, I was hoping to recommend it as another “so bad, it's good” sort of movie, but I don't know if I can even go that far. Barbarian Queen has the “bad” down pat; it's the “good” I'm having a hard time justifying.