Conquest (1983)

2.5 out of 5

A description of Conquest is quoted as referring to the film's cinematography as "eye-popping". If being unable to see about half of what's going on in the film because of an excessive use of fog machines is considered "eye-popping", then that statement would indeed be accurate, because it appears as though most of this sword-and-sorcery "epic" was filmed next to a brush fire. As for the plot of the film, it's quite simple: a young warrior named Ilias is given a special bow that shoots arrows made of lasers and is sent on a quest by his people to face the dangers of the outside world before he can truly be considered a "man". Ilias also teams up with the wise-cracking nomad Mace, and together they battle Ocron's army of hellish creatures, including dog-people and swamp mummies.

Directed by the Italian Master of Splatter, Lucio Fulci, and scored by frequent Dario Argento collaborator Claudio Simonetti, Conquest is a rather surreal take on the sword-and-sorcery genre, littered with nightmarish imagery and an interesting selection of creatures for the heroes to do battle with, but its obvious low-budget look and frustrating pace may prove to be too distracting for the casual viewer. An example of the low-budget look comes in the form of scratches in the film stock which are supposed to resemble arrows being shot at the protagonists. Fans of more traditional sword-and-sorcery films will more than likely find the action set-pieces predictable and underwhelming. Recommended to the Fulci die-hards and sword-and-sorcery completists only.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics