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Conan the Destroyer (1984)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 0



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Average Rating: 2.9/5
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Movie Info

Based on a character created by Robert E. Howard, this fast-paced, occasionally humorous sequel to Conan the Barbarian features the hero (Arnold Schwarzenegger) as he is commissioned by the evil queen Taramis (Sarah Douglas) to safely escort a teen princess (Olivia D'Abo) and her powerful bodyguard (Wilt Chamberlain) to a far away castle to retrieve the magic Horn of Dagon. Unknown to Conan, the queen plans to sacrifice the princess when she returns and inherit her kingdom after the bodyguard


Action & Adventure

Mar 31, 1998

MCA Universal Home Video

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All Critics (26) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (16) | DVD (6)

There's a goofy MST-3K quality about Conan the Destroyer that aims for family friendly but tries to be sexy as well, something we saw a lot of in the 80s.

August 26, 2013 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

Conan the Destroyer is a rather silly follow-up, with less raw emotion, less excitement and far too many dumb sidekicks.

January 29, 2012 Full Review Source: IGN DVD

What happens when you take everything that makes Conan the Barbarian memorable, and strip it down to a light-hearted, PG-rated version of itself... stupid and boring and generally unintelligible.

August 24, 2011 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

There are still enjoyable elements in it, but it feels as different from its predecessor as a Roger Moore Bond does compared to a Sean Connery.

August 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Three Movie Buffs
Three Movie Buffs

Pretty bad, but not as bad as people say it is.

March 27, 2003
Juicy Cerebellum

More jokey and less intense than the original.

February 27, 2003
San Francisco Examiner

Has some serious value as camp, but it's a lot less brawny than the original.

August 8, 2002


January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Conan the Destroyer

So we've had basic plot idea number one: family killed, take revenge. This sequel goes with basic plot number two: given quest by ruler to find something, but its a trick...yes I just blew a huge spoiler so sue me.

Yep, the rather devious and clearly untrustworthy 'Queen Taramis' asks 'Conan' to go off and find a sacred object so she can awaken a God, hmmm I smell something fishy. So 'Conan' agrees because the evil Queen says she will resurrect his lover from the first film 'Valeria' if he succeeds, oh come on 'Conan' don't be dumb!. Did I mention this was all a big trick by the naughty Queen?.

The main draw here is the cast really, Arnie's team are a much more interesting group this time with the insane Grace Jones, annoyingly crap acting of Tracy Walter, Mako back as the obligatory team wizard, d'Abo as the young virginal Princess and ex basketball star Wilt Chamberlain, a very colourful bunch. They are all up against the gorgeous and stunning Sarah Douglas who as usual is doing what she does best, being a sexy evil villainous bitch, oh my!.

The main problem with this sequel despite its better looks, fancy titles, a bigger Arnie and overall slightly sexier production values, is the fact it was watered down. The film aims for more comedy, slapstick and visual buffoonery over blood n violence, nothing wrong with this I guess but for me its a thumbs down. The first film was more adult and gave the film a grittier nastier feel, this just feels like a kids adventure at times. Even with Basil Poledouris booming musical score (first films sounded like 'Total Recall', this sounds like its been extracted from 'Robocop') it doesn't make much difference.

I must admit to enjoying these films much more when I was but a mere sprogling. The fact its Arnie in the main role as 'Conan' saves the film from doom in my opinion as there isn't too much more on offer. There isn't much action of note, not much blood, set pieces are drab and the adventure a bit dull, the only thing to lift you is the nice monster sequence at the end (head looks a bit like the 'Brundlefly' creature from the Cronenberg film). That and Sarah Douglas being all sexy n evil (oh my Queen!), for me these films haven't aged so well and I still prefer 'Beastmaster'.
March 9, 2013

Super Reviewer

This is a great sequel and fantasy adventure film. I really enjoyed it. The story wasn't too predictable, but it wasn't confusing either, it was good and had humor, romance, and surprises as well as action and swordplay. A lot of fun.
December 6, 2012

Super Reviewer

Toning down the violence of its predecessor, and injecting "comedy" is not a recipe for success. This film borderlines on "unwatchable" (and I've seen Good Luck Chuck). I know De Laurentiis and company wanted to make Destroyer a PG film in order to broaden its appeal, but this certainly isn't the way to go about it.

On the bright side, I was surprised to find out that legendary cinematographer Jack Cardiff shot this film (The African Queen, Black Narcissus, and The Red Shoes among his career highlights). Just when you thought a Powell-Pressburger/Conan connection couldn't be made, there you go.
September 10, 2011
Jonathan Hutchings

Super Reviewer

The first Conan film is a great one, I honestly felt like I was there, in the dark, bloody and barbaric ancient world of thieves, warriors and wizards. The sequel on the other hand is not the same experience, it's something less. The story goes a little like this, the mighty Conan is assigned by the Queen Taramis to do something for her. That something is not a massive bloody rampage but rather a quest that is more boring and still with a lot of instructions, take a virgin princess to get a magic diamond and then to temple to get an ancient horn to fulfill a destiny that she never makes clear to our hero. So he does just that. First thing to say is that Conan, played again by Arnold Schwarzenegger, isn't quite the amazing character here as he was before. In the first film, he was an anti-hero, a brutal warrior and a killer with ambiguous morals even if he did ultimately do the heroic thing. Here he's just something of a do-gooder hero who's a bit more dumbed down. He's been promised that his lover Valeria will be brought back from the dead if he completes his quest, this isn't particularly bad, but it doesn't further the character besides the fact that he misses his girlfriend. The fact that this is such a driving force doesn't seem completely characteristic of such a hardened character.

Of course, the change in character comes with an overall change in tone. No longer a dark and brooding tale but rather a family friendly romp with the grand and bloody action sequences pushed aside for slapstick. Even the music has gotten a downgrade, no longer an omnipresent ambiance, it's very limited and more whimsical than moody. Everything just doesn't pack the same punch as in the first movie and that's what makes it suffer the most. The characters are well, a ragtag bunch for sure. The main sidekick is the not the archer Subotai, but instead an unfunny little weasel named Malak. He is supposed to be the comic relief, but he fails miserably like many characters of his kind and if anyone shows just how lousy the dialogue is, it's this guy. He doesn't do anything noteworthy through the entire movie. Sarah Douglas plays the treacherous queen who only wants the horn to resurrect an ancient demon. Wilt Chamberlain plays Bombaata, the also treacherous captain of of the guards who also double crosses Conan. The other characters are nothing special, Olivia D'Abo is out of place as the princess, Grace Jones is okay as the raider Zula, Mako is just along for the ride as the wizard from the first movie, he sounds like he's in it for a paycheck even in his opening narration, which of course sounded much cooler and theatrical in the first film.

There's really not much of interest here, the action is clumsy, the cinematography is very standard and doesn't really pop, the music is slightly above average and isn't very powerful and the characters are odd and uninteresting. The plot of Conan going on a quest with a bunch of ragtag adventurers is kind of cool, if only he was the tougher and more brooding character he was written as in the original stories and portrayed in the original film. Ultimately, while very cheesy, the movie is actually kind of okay on its own if you want a sword-and-sorcery fantasy adventure flick. But compared to the first film, it's quite a disappointment. The first film was big, bold and exciting and full of compelling characters and memorable moments its unfolding story of one incredible man. The sequel tries to be silly and campy, something never intended by any previous works. What's worse is that while it seems to lampoon itself and be something for the kids who prefer lighter fare, it still tries to pass itself as a genuine sequel, even including the same ending shot of an aged Conan on his throne. Not that bad but not that good either, just a standard popcorn flick with just enough entertaining moments to keep you watching but not nearly as powerful or unforgettable as its predecessor. If this movie and the first film were to have a gladiatorial battle, the sequel would be decapitated, disemboweled and left for the buzzards to feed upon.
May 6, 2011
David Ladd

Super Reviewer

    1. Conan: [punches horse] WHY THE LONG FACE?
    – Submitted by Jacob E (15 months ago)
    1. Conan: Enough talk!
    – Submitted by Adrian G (2 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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