Friday 3 September 2010

Another Shield in the Wall

There's a bit of electricity in the air.  I think something's coming: a teaser, a poster, an announcement.  News about the Conan film has been trickling, but very little of substance.  And as more news about Conan comes up, so more discussion about its relation to Howard and Conan the Barbarian will come up.

So we come to Arnold Sucked As Conan.

In an introductory post, DC outlines his plans for the blog. He notes that he isn't sticking purely to Arnold's conception of the character, but the film in general.  Something I'm most interested in is his plan to address some of the more ludicrous elements: in addition to the divergences from Howard, DC will discuss the silliness of the Wheel of Pain, and how it would not, in fact, be a particularly good way to build a Nietzchean Superman.  Crom knows there are many silly bits of this ilk in the film - the preposterous weapons of Rexor and Thorgrim and the woefully inaccurate sword-forging, for instance.

The first proper post discusses one of the most famous moments in the film - as well as one of the least Howardian.

And... well, he did suck as Howard's Conan.  I foresee many angry posts by Milius/Arnold/Stone fanboys attempting to argue otherwise, but ultimately, DC has the facts - not to mention the Robert E. Howard Shieldwall - on his side.  The only way one could argue that Arnold Did Not Suck As Conan is to say that he played the role Milius wrote for him - but that's not the scope of the blog, and besides the point.  The point is to illustrate why Arnold Sucked As Robert E. Howard's Conan, which is the point of contention between Howardists and Conan the Barbarian fans - in those occasions when we're dealing with two opposing points of view. There are certainly many people who are both Howard fans and CtB fans.  As I labour to point out, I am a fan of Conan the Barbarian.  I'm also a fan of the film and novel Starship Troopers.  Being a fan of both doesn't mean I'm not going to take a side.


  1. Hi Al this is M off the Conan movie blog.As a fan of Howards Conan and Milius film I think the answer can be simple.I believe this debate will rage on as long as Conan exists in film and , as long as the adaptations are original stories not based on Howard's works directly or loosely inspired by the universe he built. You've mentioned it yourself that even hardcore howard fans are divided on many issues not just film. As much as I would love to see a flick based on say black colossus or hell I'll even take the vale of lost women, I seriously doubt it will happen.And I think Howard fans will disagree on the quality of those flicks, if ever made, too. But I've made a bit of peace with the fact that I have read the stories of Howard and know the difference between his work and the thousands of pastiches that exist after his death.I and I think many can differentiate between those of good quality and bad, as the fans i have spoken to and whose articles I've read convince me that Howard fans are very bright folks. And I think for a Howard fan to at the very least enjoy Milius' film for what it is(and any version of Conan that takes itself seriously , not like red sonja or conan the destroyer or hercules the ..I mean kull) is to know the base differences, realize this is more a take inspired by and based (loosely) on the character created by REH not based on the actual stories. I think making that separation and at least realizing whatever Milius knowledge and motivations, he does at least take this genre and applies a serious tone to it ( to show whatever he misses, at least he respect the material, and even though he cant remember howards first name today I do tink for thhis flick he respects it)can opened even the most hardened shell of a conan fan to say "it is definitely not howard, but for what it is it's decent."(unless you just hate the movie in general conan or not, and thats possible).Like any comic or painting or story people will always see something done right and something done wrong.

  2. well I don't see this ending well at all. I predict Rending, Gnashing of Teeth and a lot of bitching and moaning.

    That said, I can't wait... except for the nagging feeling that its almost like baiting the field.

    That said as some one who largely enjoys the 82 Conan movie.