Sunday 6 December 2009

Triangulation: Turtles All The Way

After a veritable hurricane of posts (by my standards anyway), I've kinda burned out a bit, so only one this week, about the upcoming Discworld fan film.

I really dislike shallow parodies. They bug the hell out of me. Now, I like Terry Pratchett's work, even if I've only read the first half of his ouvre (and The Last Hero), but to be frank, certain aspects kind of rear their ugly head. One is Hrun the Chimerian: a big, dumb barbarian with a magic sword from a Land of Mists which "only exist to produce heroes" who is involved in much derring do. Now one could make the point that Hrun is a parody of pastiche or movie Conan, or the poorly-disguised Conan clones who transplant only the surface elements, but it's pretty evident Hrun is meant to be Conan himself. Thus we get lovely phrases like "The strength of twenty men, the speed and agility of a black panther and the intelligence of a garden snail."

Honestly, if you're going to go to the bother of parodying Conan, then at least parody him right. Musclebound, hulking numbskulls just doesn't cut it: that could describe dozens of half-price barbarian protagonists. Luckily, Pratchett got more involved with his next Conan-alike in Cohen, though there are still a few annoying things like the permanent loincloth.

I don't know, maybe it's iconoclasm for the sake of iconoclasm.

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