Tag Archives: sword and sorcery

Conan the Barbarian (1982) | John Milius



The setting of this fantasy-adventure based on Robert E. Howard’s literary creations is the Hyborian Age, a fictional period invented by Howard, around 10,000 B.C. It is a time of magic, madmen, and mercenaries, and barbarians who kill before they end up killed. The film starts with Conan (Arnold Schwarzenegger) as a young lad in Cimmeria, orphaned at the hands of an evil snake cult-leader and a black-magic sorcerer named Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones), and becomes a slave.  As he grows, he soon fights in an arena for sport and becomes very good at what he does.  Soon, he escapes and uses his freedom to seek revenge on the man responsible for the murder of his parents, with some help from new friends he meets along the way. Sandahl Bergman, Gerry Lopez, Mako, and Max Von Sydow co-star. John Milius directs. Milius and Oliver Stone script.


Fire and Ice (1983) | Ralph Bakshi



This animated story involves a fantasy world imagined before the last ice age, featuring human civilizations and exotic dinosaurs coexisting. It is a time where the lands are divided among two factions, the evil Ice Peak sorcerer warlords, Queen Juliana and her wicked son Nekron, leading an army of ape-like subhumans, and the goodly Fire Keep clan led by King Jarol. The ice clan’s Nekron is using his telekinetic powers to send giant glaciers out to freeze over the rest of the world, forcing the good humans to set up camp near the volcanoes.

Our main hero is vengeful Larn, the survivor of North Village from one of Nekron’s glacier attacks that takes out his people. Jarol’s beloved teenage daughter Princess Teegra gets kidnapped from Nekron’s subhuman minions. Teegra manages to escape and runs into Larn, and the two form an instant romantic bond. As King Jarol sends his son Taro and his men to seek a peaceful solution, Larn makes his way to Nekron’s abode, joining forces with a mysterious warrior named Darkwolf, who also is traveling to the Ice City to thwart the Ice Lord’s wrath.

Ralph Bakshi directs. Frank Frazetta co-produces.


Excalibur (1981) | John Boorman



John Boorman’s polarizing but highly ambitious take on Arthurian legend is a visually and aurally striking look into the myth, the fantasy, and the haunting imagery that the medieval Thomas Malory tale has evoked over the last several centuries.  A then-nobody, but now all-star cast that includes Helen Mirren, Liam Neeson, and Patrick Stewart appears alongside stars Nigel Terry and Nicol Williamson to spin this sword-and-sorcery take on this well-known tale unlike any other that has seemingly come before or since.