Weekend flashback – boots of revenge and high adventure

To set the tone just right for the first non-meta post at the new digs, I offer you possibly the best cheese of the early 80s:

General: We have won again. That is good! But what is best in life?

Warrior: The open steppe, fleet horse, falcon on your wrist, wind in your hair!

General: Wrong! Conan, what is best in life?

Conan: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!

General: That is good.

Is that some portentous cheese or what? In past weekends I have highlighted the cheesiness of scifi, but scifi really can’t compare to high fantasy for cheesy (although the boots are generally better). The movie Conan the Barbarian got me started on my guilty politically incorrect crush – the early cinematic action Ahnuld.

While I admire his career savvy in doing his comedy films, I don’t actually love any of them. And the less said about his appalling sexism and conservative politics the better. But Conan, Terminator, Predator, Commando – sigh. Not just for Arnie, but for all his bodybuilding/pro-wrestling/pro-athlete mates who got roped in to wander around looking buff. I also loved the women in these early films – kick-ass babes, every one. Sadly, apart from Sharon Stone, none of these women went on to become megastars. I wish it had been Sandahl Bergman who got those breaks.

The Conan films were so successful, with Arnold’s stoic not-quite-wooden delivery finding a place in the heart of teenage boys worldwide, that he made it big, although wasn’t until Terminator that Arnold became a one-name megastar. A huge advance on just being the body-building guy with the surname no-one could quite pronounce!

Anytime I’m channel-clicking and I find one of the early Arnie oeuvre, I settle in for a visit with an old friend. I have to wait for them to be broadcast, as the guilt means that I don’t own any Arnold on DVD, apart from Terminator 1&2, widely regarded as one of the best scifi film series ever (I like to pretend #3 never happened). I may one day succumb to Predator, and of course, who can forget The Running Man and Total Recall.


P.S. Here’s a great gallery of conan pics.

Categories: arts & entertainment, fun & hobbies, Life

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4 replies

  1. Conan is a great film, and the first two Terminators, and Total Recall. I think you’re right about his choice of comedy films, they were great piss-takes on his earlier tough-guy image. Isn’t ‘Junior’ the one where he takes the part of a pregnant man? I think that’s a great concept, though only having seen part of it on TV, I don’t think it was carried off well. And didn’t he play the part of the Tooth Fairy in one film? So yeah, he’s a savvy businessman who puts his image as an actor across pretty well.
    As for the politics, well, he’s probably a liberal Republican, though I think he did veto some gay marriage bill they had. Then again,
    “I think gay marriage should be between a man and a woman.” – Arnold.
    Well, that could mean just about anything!

  2. Fave Arnold quotations:
    “Don’t drink and bake.”
    (After female protagonist says “You are so strong nothing hurts you!!”) “No, only pain”.

  3. As a politician he’s a huge opportunist. He would never have made Governor when he did without the peculiarities surrounding a gubernatorial recall vote.
    Most of the Californians I read online reckon he’s mostly out of his depth with most aspects of finance and policy, but he gives good press conference.
    Be interesting to see if the next Republican president offers him a Cabinet position.


  1. I forgot the blogiversary! at Hoyden About Town
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