Conan the Destroyer: Special Edition (1984)

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Released 13-May-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Menu Animation & Audio
Audio Commentary-Olivia D'Abo (Actor) & Tracey Walter (Actor)
Audio Commentary-Richard Fleischer (Director)
Featurette-Conan: The Making Of A Comic Book Legend
Featurette-Basil Poledouris: Composing The Conan Saga
Theatrical Trailer
Gallery-Photo
Gallery-Conan Comic Book Gallery
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1984
Running Time 96:51
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (58:43) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Richard Fleischer
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger
Grace Jones
Wilt Chamberlain
Mako
Tracey Walter
Sarah Douglas
Olivia d'Abo
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $36.95 Music Basil Poledouris


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
German
French
Italian
Spanish
Dutch
German for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Conan The Destroyer is the very poor sequel to a wonderful, cult classic.

    Conan The Barbarian is a wonderful, exciting, and intoxicating, classic movie. One cannot underestimate the impact of this movie on young men  As a schoolboy, I discovered that all of life's lessons are contained within Conan The Barbarian, and I watched the VHS video so many times that I came to know the dialogue intimately. Sadly, in the history of Hollywood's poor sequels, I cannot think of a more disappointing sequel than this one. Veteran director, Richard Fleischer, takes the helm this time, and he decided to play it for laughs. The combination of a crappy story, poor acting and direction, cheesy visual and sound effects, and some glaring continuity errors, results in a B-Grade waste of time and effort. Originally, there were supposed to be a series of Conan films, but Mr. Fleischer ensured that this was the last.

    Conan The Destroyer is a continuation of the story of Conan The Barbarian, which in turn was based on the characters created by Robert E. Howard. As in the Conan novels, and comic books, Conan (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a roaming barbarian, warrior, and thief. Conan is hired by Queen Taramis (Sarah Douglas) to escort the young and virginal Princess Jehnna (Olivia D'Abo) on her dangerous quest to collect a religious relic. On the perilous journey, Conan is joined by warrior-woman, Zula (Grace Jones), the Queen's Captain of the Guard, Bombaata (Wilt Chamberlain), a wizard, Akiro (Mako), and Conan's sidekick, and the movie's comedy relief, Malak (Tracey Walter).

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is surprisingly good for its age.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, which is close to its original 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The transfer is 16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness of the image is generally good, although it does become a little soft at times, such as the shot of the priest at 11:35. The shadow detail is also generally good, but it becomes very poor in some of the darker scenes, such as at 54:55.

    The colour is a little dark, but generally good. The flesh tones are fairly accurate, although occasionally people appear a little orange.

    MPEG artefacts were not a problem.

    Film-to-video artefacts were not a problem, but some very mild aliasing appeared in the form of a slight shimmer on some objects, such as on a belt buckle at 26:28.

    Film artefacts appear throughout, but they are generally very small flecks. An example can be seen at 30:40.

    There are seven sets of subtitles present, and the English subtitles are accurate.

    This is a RSDL disc, with the very obvious, and clumsy, layer change placed at 58:43.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The movie's English audio was originally presented in mono, and it has been remixed into Dolby Digital 5.1 for the DVD's default audio. There are also six Dolby Stereo tracks, which include two audio commentaries.

    The dialogue quality and audio sync are fine on the default English Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track.

    The musical score is credited to Basil Poledouris, and he effectively recycles the music and themes from the first movie.

    Due largely to the movie's mono source, the surround presence and activity is limited. The surround sound mix is quite front-heavy, but the rear speakers are used subtly for some effects such as wind at 24:12.

    The subwoofer is used very subtly but effectively to support both the score, for example at 94:26, and some of  the sound effects.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     There are a number of extras.

Menu

    An animated menu, presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, with PCM audio.

Theatrical Trailer (1:31)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, non-16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital stereo audio.

Audio Commentaries

    There are two audio commentaries, one by actors Tracey Walter and Olivia D'Abo, the other by director, Richard Fleischer. The former contains a lot of trivia and anecdotes, and the latter contains long silences, as Fleischer tends to discuss the locations and technical aspects of shooting.

Conan: Making Of A Comic Book Legend (14:06)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital stereo audio, the movie's authors Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway discuss Thomas' background at Marvel Comics and the adaptation of Howard's stories to comic book form.

Basil Poledouris: Composing The Saga (17:17)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital stereo audio, Poledouris discusses his score for the Conan movies.

Photo Gallery

    Photographic stills from the movie production.

Conan Comic Book Gallery

    A series of stills of comic book covers

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Conan The Destroyer was released on DVD in Region 1 in March 1998.

    The Region 4 DVD misses out on:

    The Region 1 DVD misses out on:

    There appears to be no competition here with the Region 4 version being the clear winner.

Summary

    Conan The Destroyer is a very disappointing movie, riding on the coat-tails of its very successful predecessor.

    The video quality is good.

    The audio quality is also good.

    The extras are plentiful.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Monday, September 30, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Vincent C

Comments (Add)
Poor Sequel... - Dark Lord (Bio? We don't need no stinkin' bio!)