Today's list looks at three barbarian women from the 80s. After the release of Arnold Swarzenegger’s classic Conan in 1982, movie studios we quick to follow up with female versions.
An Italian-American-Spanish movie in which an accomplished warrior, the last of her matriarchal tribe, sets out to follow her destiny and restart the line.
Barbarian Queen (1985)
An American-Argentine movie. On the eve of a wedding, a barbarian queen’s village is attacked and everyone, including the man she loves and her sister, is taken. A small group of survivors set out to save them and avenge the dead.
Red Sonja (1985)
A Dutch-American spin-off of Conan; in fact, Conan is the deuteragonist. A woman goes on a mission to kill the evil queen who tortured her and killed her family.
Three gender-flipped Conan rip-offs with tough, ass-kicking, sword-wielding barbarian women. Just like Conan, the inciting incident is an attack on the protagonist’s peaceful village that kills their family.
I find it curious that they are all movies described as a joint effort between the US and other countries. It’s an interesting link between them, and I wonder how much of a non-US influence they have, and how much it shines through. What do you think?
Warning: there is a lot of rape in all these movies; it seems to be a common storytelling device to manufacture sympathy for characters and set up revenge for it as a motivation.
Which actress, bodybuilder, or athlete would you get to star in a remake of these movies?
Do you think these movies are female empowerment or misogynistic titillation? Why?
If you could write your own movie of this type, what would the story be about?