Prepare to be transported to the ancient times, times of swords and powerful sorcery, times when muscle bound warriors  ruled the lands with their savage might , times known  only as the- 80es! Obviously in the 80s everybody wanted to be new Arnold Schwarzenegger. As we all know there can be only one Arnie so people mostly embarrassed themselves by  varying degrees.  Barbarian brothers (also known as the Paul brothers) managed to be twice as big and (combined) almost half as smart! They even got to French-kiss each other for no apparent  reason- but more on that later.

The least gay cover of this film, coincidentally a German one!

Film starts with young, scrawny orphans Kutchek and Gore accepted by Retniks, a strange tribe consisting of clowns, jugglers and your general village idiots.   Also they soon adopt one more orphan, a small girl called Kyra.  Their leader was beautiful (we’re told) Queen Canary that wears the magic stone in her bellybutton.  Retnik, supposedly people with safe passage everywhere end up attacked by a gang od savages and then ambushed by devious King Kedar (played by B-movie alumni Richard Lynch).   Kedar has the desire to put them all in their place which he expresses mostly by random killing of the Retniks. When he threatens the orphans he finally breaks Canary’s spirit  and she accepts to be his slave.   Twins are spared but not treated very kindly, in fact they are thrown to the ruthless Dirtmaster (always fantastic Michael Berryman) to work long hours in “The Pit” and  train to fight as Gladiators. For years they are kept separate and thought to hate the person with the iron/ brass helmet, not knowing that one day they will face one another wearing those same helmets. Of course they grow up to be extremely muscled up, to the point of absurdity (but on the other hand I can’t think of a one thing not bordering absurdity in this film).

One day the evil Sorceress claims that it’s finally time for brothers to slay one another. Canary (who haven’t aged a day i a decade or so) protest but Kedar claims that he is keeping his promise by making them kill one another thus not technically participating. Brothers fight as only muscleman can ( clumsy enough to chop off some random dude’s hand) and when they finally loose the helmets one of them gets furious. He yells “what your doing with my face?” About as sharp as a marble that one! Kutchak, a less dumb one tries to calm him down and convince him that they’re brothers but almost dies in the process. Finally when Gor hears the Canary scream he comes to his senses and teams up with his brother for an escape. That produces the screaming/ laughing agony with Dirtmaster( but to be fair it seems that almost anything can produce that reaction with Dirtmaster).

The Barbarians (1987) Engl Dub VHS-Rip.avi_001300132

He is just so Goddamn awesome!

Barbarian brothers ride into the forest and menage to fool their pursuers but they run into a captured girl with big 80es hair. She tries to get them to help her and they oblige, but only by striking some silly bodybuilding poses. Than they figure out that they she is held captive by remaining Retniks. What left of the tribe fronted by the ugliest man alive appears and Gor answers with angry “Abar, what da hell is goin’ on” in your strongest Brooklyn accent. I would have to search far and wide to find one single worse line delivery in the history of cinema. Retniks capture them with a simple net and then decide to hang them just for the fun of it. To be truthful I would do the same. Unfortunately they are so big (?) that the rope breaks in both their cases and after making absolute imbeciles out of themselves they prove that they wear the mark of the tribe and are in fact the long gone orphans. They seek weapons for their rescue mission (they did leave Canary behind) but the Retniks admit that have nothing to offer. Than the captured thief girl Lemon offers her assistance and strangely they accept.Finaly their EPIC quest begins! They are suspicious but the girl guaranties that everything they need can be found in fantastically named) Bucket of Blood! Full of pirates and ugly belly dancers it seems like the right place. Brothers gamble everything on game of arm wrestling with certain Jakko  and predictably escalates into the idiotic bar fight (how could we live without one those)!Girl probably got some information because they set out to infiltrate the Castle straight afterwards. At this point brothers have to kiss one another to fool the guard roaming the area, of course guards we’re disgusted by the scene and practically run away. Level of stupidity of this is astounding. Also they menage to bump into some orgies and make funny faces.

Orgije

They also produce noises resembling the noises seals produce when they are hungry…

They menage to infiltrate the king’s harem but Canary doesn’t want to go. She sends them to find the magical belly stone obviously hidden all this time in the lime tree in the forbidden land. So their next stop is The Tomb of the Ancient King (sounds familiar) where they can find the sacred weapon necessary to defeat the mighty Dragon that guards the said lime tree (seriously how are they making up shit like that). Then just as they were about to go, Gor finally loses his restraint and start an orgy of his own with all the Kedar’s wives that he neglected because of Canary- yes the same Canary his adopted mother who had no choice but to watch that orgy being in a cage and all. Anyway they finish up by the morning, reunited with the now angry thief girl and head out for forbidden lands but the evil sorcerers figures out what happened and goes after him, accompanied by The Dirtmaster.

Barbarians find the secret cave and the tomb of the ancient king incredibly easy but the thief- girl Lemone. gets captured by incredibly large Werewolf creature. On the other hand Gor proves so strong that he easily rips the creature’s arm out.

I am officially terrified of their sense of humor!

Evil sorcerers finds the ruby stone before the Barbarians but most of her escort pays the ultimate price, the get eaten by Alien/ Gill- Man hybrids. King Kadar himself joins them and tries to fight the approaching Dragon but to little avail and they are forced to withdraw. Despite being the incompetent fools that they are with Lemon’s help they trap the dragon in the cave entrance and stab him to death. Then exploring his corpse they find the Evil Sorceres partially eaten but still holding the ruby- and all problems solved! Well, not quite yet.

The Barbarians (1987) Engl Dub VHS-Rip.avi_003704200

Oh, no the Dragon!

King Kedar finally confronts Canary after a decade of her bullshit. She tries to confuse him with her magic and almost succeeds but then gets stabbed through the chest. In the meantime Lemon reaches the Retniks guided by the glowing belly stone. The leader of the Retnicks, also the ugliest man alive* then tries the stone on all the females to find the successor for doomed Canary. It “shockingly” turns out that Lemon herself is the new prophesied Retnik  leader… and she’s also the orphan girl that they adopted at the same time as Barbarian Brothers.

The Barbarians (1987) Engl Dub VHS-Rip.avi_004654941

*just look at him!

What a coincidence?! Finally Barbarians confront Kedar and not even his horse and crossbow prove enough parry the brothers savage sword throwing abilities. He ends up dead in the dirt double stabbed to death. Retnik’s join the Barbarian brothers and end this abomination with another one of their trademark jokes that aren’t funny to the 3 year olds.

Verdict: Fascinating thing about this movie is that the fact that it  doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously doesn’t make it any better!!! Hell it  somehow menages to make it even worse! Serious scenes fail enough to get a good laugh or two, yes-  but those envisioned to be funny end up being just plain imbecilic. Combination of  Italian hack director (that pretty much sums up all of their directors not named Leone or Argente), stupid/ possibly mentally disturbed muscleman and accursed Cannon Inc (see Cannon) proved a little bit too much even for us.

The Deadly Trio!

Trivia: Some sources claim that this movie was in fact a tax write off, which sounds like a reasonable explanation for its existence if I ever heard one.

Also the actress who played Lemon/Kyra Eva LaRua can be later be found in only slightly less horrible CSI: Miami as Agent Natalia Boa Vista.

 

                               When man’s breasts are your main selling point instead of female ones it means that you’re doing the whole B- Movie thing wrong!
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Comments
  1. […] appreciated but always brilliant Michael Berryman (Hills Have Eyes, The Guyver, Weird Scinence, The Barbarians) The lead was played by Fred Kohler who says that he has the stranger relationship with the film […]

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