Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Other Projects: Filmgoer's Guides

It's easy for those who've read the Howard stories to know just why Conan the Barbarian was such a massive divergence from the source material. Crom knows I've talked about it on this blog all the time.  I've tried doing analysis of the Howardian content via synopsis to discussions of Milius/Stone's origin story, and whatnot, but it feels like I'm preaching to the converted, so to speak.

So, since I've been a bit on fire as of late with the Newcomer's Guide and Encyclopaedia, I feel I may as well strike while the iron's hot, and get The Filmgoer's Guide to Conan the Barbarian out on the 'Net. Technically this project's still on the backburner, and it won't take any time from my two other projects, but I've completed much of it already, I've considered posting it over at the Newcomer's Guide. The problem is, it's huge: I'm only partly done, and it's 6,600 words already.  Therefore, I'm of two minds with how to proceed.

 - Write the whole thing up as a complete page
 - Do it in installments

The latter seems like a good choice, since it would allow me to do parts of it without having to wait until the whole shebang's finished.  What do you think?

I haven't really done anything on Conan the Destroyer or Red Sonja, mostly because... well, what's the point?  With Conan the Barbarian it's important to point out the divergences so that those unaware can understand why we might respect or appreciate the film on its cinematic merits, and yet decry it as an adaptation.  Why even bother to point out how Conan the Destroyer and Red Sonja make a hash of the original works, when they don't have the cinematic qualities going for them?

I've been working (a bit) on a Kull the Conqueror one, but it had been taking a lot longer, due to a) the new Conan film coming out, meaning discussion and comparison to the 1982 film will follow, b) because I don't want to put too much effort into even destroying that ungodly film, and c) because the film is painful for me to watch.  I mean it.  No other adaptation has made me froth with rage like Kull the Conqueror.  A Solomon Kane one is another I considered, but since Bassett was gracious enough not to stripmine REH for his story like the other films, it'd likely be something of a short article.

Again, these will all be background material secondary to the Newcomer's Guide and Encyclopaedia.


  1. Do it in installments. That way you can listen to the (valid) criticisms/comments on the various parts, and incorporate them into the mix. You can then revise the whole shebang top to bottom for the "one volume edition."

    Afterwards, you can incorporate it into the Newcomer's Guide.

    (worth what ya paid for it)

  2. i do think installments may be better for you, dont burn yourself out tackling all of these cool projects. as far as the movies, as far as i remember I always felt the first conan movie ( which like many of us i saw before reading the stories and such) was john milius's conan, not REH. some kind of interpretative tribute i guess,but after i had first read REH's conan it's easy to see the difference.I didn't mind that at all,because i loved the movie and as a 007 fan i knew how far something could be stretched from it's source( at least 80% of those flicks do not even resemble the character up to and including craigs, though he is closest since the first 2 connery flicks).now conan the destroyer', thats arnold's conan,and his charisma is one of the things that makes it watchable period, aside some names i dont think it had anything to do with conan at all. Coming to red sonja, as a movie it's up there at least in the 10-20 worst i've ever seen, i dislike it more than kull(like you kull leaves a bad taste in my mouth).I do not count it though as an REH adaptation anymore because it really isnt his absolute character ,however it is an atrocious adaptation of roy thomas's comic book amalgamation of howards female characters(red sonya,dark agnes) set in hyborian age(i dont remember if the move was though).As for Kull I remember being 19 or 20 when it came out,and found it laughably bad then,a little miffed cause i really enjoyed the Kull stories I had read and there is no trace of them aside the last line in the movie. I also suspect ( and am still convinced ) that with a good script, sorbo couldve made a decent kull.which annoys me cause i hate waste.now as time passed and ive seen the movie more on tv i've come to dislike it even more,it holds no charm for me at all. While i do think red sonja is bad both of these movies make moonraker (read the book and you'll understand even more why the movie sucks) look like the dark knight-Mario

  3. Do it in installments. That way you can listen to the (valid) criticisms/comments on the various parts, and incorporate them into the mix. You can then revise the whole shebang top to bottom for the "one volume edition."

    Afterwards, you can incorporate it into the Newcomer's Guide.

    That'll work!

    Mario, I'm not going to make the Filmgoer's Guide a "Conan the Barbarian is bad and you should feel bad for liking it" exercise: the main point is to show the differences. I might comment on the things that I didn't like, or I felt were unsuccessful, but it isn't going to be that confrontational.

    As for Red Sonja... oy, that film.

  4. i know it wont be confrontational and thats a good thing. i was just expressing what i had thought of conan the barbarian .i 've now in the past months read arguments on the various blogs and chats for and against the movie so i dont think anyone should really feel bad for liking ,hating or even indifferent.I also tend to compare the potential success of a conan movie series to what james bond is in film, while mostly entertaining they do stray very far from source( especially roger moore's and pierce brosnans flicks) and they even take titles from the books! As for red sonja and kull, i really really find red sonja unwatchable to the point i look away when i see the movie poster. Kull pisses me off cause i do remember the producers and director in various articles at the time saying they were gonna stay close to Howard , using Frazetta as an influence....sound familiar? Cheers!-Mario