Saturday, June 24, 2017

#2,370. Thor the Conqueror (1983)


Directed By: Tonino Ricci

Starring: Bruno Minniti, Maria Romano, Malisa Longo



Tagline: "He Was The Ultimate Warrior"

Trivia: In the Philippines this movie was released as Beastmaster 2









“It was written in the stars, and in the dust of the dead, that from the seed of Ganz the Annihilator would come the greatest of all chieftains, Thor the Conqueror” 

As if on cue, the above bit of narration leads directly into a scene where we witness the birth of the individual who will become this movie’s main character. In it, Thor’s father, Ganz (Angelo Ragusa), and his wizard sidekick Etna (Luigi Mezzanotte) march through a field, while the woman pregnant with Ganz’s child (her name is never revealed) waddles behind, in labor and in extreme pain. After reaching a “sacred spot” (marked by a stone that represents one of the Gods), Ganz and Etna perform a brief ceremony, after which Ganz’s wife staggers into the woods to give birth. A few minutes later, a baby’s cry is heard, and a proud Ganz hoists the infant high into the air, as if to alert the heavens that his successor, Thor, has been born.

But the scene doesn’t end there. Several well-placed arrows interrupt this touching father / son moment, and Ganz is soon after attacked by the army of his arch-enemy, Gnut the Archer (Raf Baldassorre). Etna uses his magical powers to save himself and the infant, leaving Ganz (and, of course, Thor’s mother, who never really does much other than give birth) to fend for themselves.

Thus begins 1983’s Thor the Conqueror, a movie that desperately wants to be Conan the Barbarian, but in the end doesn’t even measure up to Ator, the Fighting Eagle

Watched over by Etna, Thor (Bruno Minniti) grows to manhood, and before long sets out on his own, intent on tracking down the sacred sword that belonged to his father (a weapon that, once he possesses it, will make him the supreme ruler of the land). But the journey won’t be easy: Thor battles many foes during his travels, one of which, a warrior virgin named Ina (Maria Romano), eventually becomes his bride. When his quest is near its end, Thor encounters his father’s old nemesis, Gnut, who uses every ounce of his evil power to ensure that Thor will never claim the throne that’s rightfully his.

So, where does Thor the Conqueror go wrong? For starters, its story is as trite as it is perplexing; Thor’s mission is a simple one (find the sword and become king), but the enemy tribes he encounters along the way will nonetheless have you scratching your head, wondering what the hell is happening (each new tribe looks exactly like the previous one, and often attack Thor without provocation or reason). What’s more, the film is incredibly misogynistic; Etna flat-out tells Thor that women are “stupid”, and good only for sex and bearing children. Thor takes his guardian’s advice to heart: after defeating Ina in battle, he rapes her, then immediately makes her his slave (she seems to like it, however, and at one point even saves Thor’s life). Also, much of the dialogue in Thor the Conqueror is ridiculous (“Many moons times ten have passed”, Etna says in his dual role as narrator, though we’re never sure if he’s actually narrating Thor’s tale or just talking to himself) and it looks as if the entire movie was shot in the same forest (practically every scene is set in the great outdoors).

More than anything, though, Thor the Conqueror is… well, weird! During a dream sequence, Thor is haunted by (among other things) a ghostly, floating chicken head and a giggling skeleton; and in an early scene, Etna helps Thor defeat some of his foes by magically launching a rock into the air (an effect so clunky that it made me laugh out loud).

One thing this movie is not, however, is dull; there is always something happening, whether it’s a battle or an unusual bit of magic. You may not have a clue what’s going on, and some scenes are so ludicrous that the guys from MST3K would have a field day lampooning them, but from start to finish, Thor the Conqueror is non-stop action. I’m not recommending you check it out (it is a very bad film), but if you do, I promise you won’t be bored for a minute.

You’ll be confused, and maybe even a little angry, but never bored.







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