This marvel of skinematography was the brainchild of movie mastermind Howard R. Cohen who's other brainchildren include Barbarian Queen II, Deathstalker I, Deathstalker II, Deathstalker III and Deathstalker IV.
One thinks to themselves before watching Barbarian Queen I that they are in for a showcase of bad acting... and indeed they are. Now normally when women make their appearances in swords and sorcery type movies they usually have a second grade level acting skill and delivery slightly worse than the United States Postal Service. There was Monique Gabrielle in Deathstalker II who redefined bad acting with a performance that would give the golden oscar man a migraine headache.
Girls in these type of movies are generally selected for two reasons. 1.) Good looks and 2.) Willingness to expose themselves. Reason number two is usually more important than number one but both are necessary before a woman will be cast in a role.
Lana Clarkson possesses both of these qualities in abundance. She is extremely attractive and very willing to show her breasts five or six times a scene... whatever it takes. So far everything seems in order but there's only one strange thing about her... she can act! And she can act very well! She sticks out like a sore thumb amidst a cast of dozens, none of which can act.
Imagine watching a movie of this caliber and seeing Jodie Foster in the lead role. What would you think? What would you do? How would you react? Nothing can prepare you for something like this happening. You're trying to watch the movie and focus but you are continually distracted by the acting (dare I say) talent of the female lead.
Her performance would be a brilliant one if it weren't for the crap she had to work with. It is still difficult to recognize this talent with lines like: "I'll be no man's slave and no man's whore, and if I can't kill them all, by the gods they'll know I've tried."
You can find more information about Lana Clarkson from her website: livingdollproductions.com. Strangely lanaclarkson.com is a redirect to the same site. In doing some research on the buxom blonde bombshell I discovered a rather interesting fan site at Movieman Productions dedicated to Lana. Well dedicated to part of her anyway.
So distracting is Lana's performance that one can scarcely recall any aspect of the movie. I remember seeing a lot of boobies, sure. I remember about 1/4 of the scenes being rape scenes, no doubt and I also remember the villain's acting skills being as poor as Lana Clarkson's were good.
The villain played by Victor Bo delivers lines in such a poor manner that it begs analysis. You know how when the Pope, or some other world famous dignitary, gives a speech in English, he is just reciting the English syllables that he has either memorized or has written down in front of him phonetically? The Pope doesn't speak English. He's just making noises that have been translated into easy to read segments for him so that he can make some English speaking Catholics very happy. (All of this research is unfounded. I just typed: "Does the Pope speak English" into Google and read over the two line descriptions for the pages. I gather from the 0.27 second search and even shorter reading period that he does not speak English. Damn, I hope I'm right.) Well this is exactly how Victor Bo delivers his lines. It's as if he has just been handed the syllables to say and he just barely says him. The only thing is that really hurts him is that he doesn't have an accent at all. And don't get me wrong, Victor Bo is no Pope!
So imagine this movie, if you will, as a grotesquely deformed fist with two sore thumbs on either end. The sore thumb sticking up would be the beautiful and talented Lana Clarkson and the thumb sticking way down would be Victor Bo, the horrible actor that plays the villain Strymon. Do you have that pictured. As unpleasant as it might be, keep it in mind if you ever wish to see this movie.
Wheels of Fire
After this movie is finished and you sit in stunned disbelief as the credits roll you will be delighted to find a special preview after the movie for another movie called Wheels of Fire. Buying advertising space at the beginning of a movie of this quality, I'm guessing, is pretty cheap. Buying advertising space after the credits of a movie like this, I'm guessing, is nearly nothing. Nothing, coincidentally, looks like about the budget of this movie.
This movie looks to me like about eleven drunk guys who had just watched Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome taking some old crappy beat up Chevy Novas, motor bikes, dune buggies and Nissan Sentras out into the desert and driving them over sand dunes.
Needless to say I immediately began looking for this movie. But my quest to find it has yet to be completed. Damn. I have a thirst to see some dune buggies that can only be fixed by seeing Wheels of Fire. Come on! Dune Buggies! Do they still make Dune buggies? They seem to me something that were completely forgotten about and left to the 1980's and isolated episodes of the show Gidget.
I did however find a lovely site about a clown who calls himself "Dune Buggy." Some call the clown named "Dune Buggy" strange. I call him a visionary.
The beginning of Barbarian Queen is reminiscent of Return of the Jedi's climax where there are three simultaneous plot lines going on. Just replace the Ewoks with a Girl with her breast exposed fighting a guy who's kind of chubby. Then replace Lando Calrissian's struggle to destroy the Death Star with a Girl with her breast exposed fighting a guy who's kind of chubby. Then replace the lightsabre duel between Darth Vader an Luke Skywalker with a Girl with her breast exposed fighting a guy who's kind of chubby.
The Burning Hut
At one point in the movie when the bad guys invade a village, Amethea holes up in a hut. The evildoers quickly set fire to the hut and when Amethea doesn't come out everyone fears the worst. When they all approach the smoldering hut, Amathea pops out from underneath some dried grass where she was hiding. This is the best place to escape a fire as we know from the Daffy Duck fire safety commercials of our youth where Daffy instructs children to "...hide under some hay," in the event of a fire.
Rape is Wrong
The message of this movie is: Don't rape women. This doesn't have anything to do with raping women being wrong but instead has a lot to do with the fact that anyone who rapes anyone else in this movie gets killed shortly thereafter. So don't ever rape anyone because you never know if she's friends with Lana Clarkson. If she is, you will soon be dead. It's not worth the risk.
The Torture Guy
The master of the torture lair in this castle is played by a guy who looks like he should have been in Tank Girl. His torture psychology, like most torturers in this genre, is to spend more time talking about torturing people than actually torturing people. It doesn't work very well when Amethea ends up kicking him into a previously unmentioned pool of acid that was inconveniently located right behind him.
Fu Manchu Guy
This man's role is unimportant. I forget what he was doing or why he was there but this role was executed with an effeminate flair previously unseen in any movie. This actor just took his role and ran with it and for that I salute him.
This is a "no nonsense" swords and sorcery type flick. They don't waste any time skirting around issues or leaving out important elements, they just get right down to business. The ending is no different. Amethea is engaged in a mighty struggle of swordplay versus the evil villain Strymon. Then all of a sudden she quickly kills him. The castle (which is--SURPRISE--being attacked by angry peasants) then immediately erupts into a boisterous cheer of "YAY!" As the syllable is still coming out of their mouths the credits begin to roll. Then we are bombarded with a ton of character names that could easily be dot coms. Here are all the characters in the movie: