Barbarian Brothers, The / I barbari (1987)

1.0 out of 5

How could the combination of American weight-lifting twins Peter and David Paul and director Ruggero Deodato go so wrong?

Once the chords from the opening 80s pop theme diminish, we're left with an interminable, groan-inducing, and wretched excuse for a Conan ripoff, this even on an Italian B-movie budget. Sadly, while being bludgeoned by scenes of ridiculous melodrama, courtesy of some "classically trained" thespos playing the straight parts, like wizards and trolls, it is the Pauls who must take the blame for this mess. The brothers' curious form of barnyard improv comedy, performed while waddling around in loin clothes that oblige us with endless shots of their humongous buttocks, clashes terribly with director Deodato's less than firm grasp of period material. Additionally, when the twins do actually fight, they pantomime medieval warfare tactics with such muscle-bound incompetence as to resemble drowsy, oceanic crabs. Thus, the only scene that offers some visceral excitement (see: gore) is when both men get to puncture the belly of a dragon, which proceeds to spew green discharge all over their lumpy forms.

Eva La Rue is a sexy companion to the barbarian brothers, but the audience isn't even allowed to see her boobies. This in a Deodato film? Unforgivable. The fact that a movie could feature a credit as promising as "Michael Berryman As The Dirtmaster" and still fail to entertain should provide ample proof that the film isn't worth watching, even for the end song's enlightening synthesizer pop ballad.

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