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4/28/2018 9:57 pm  #1


A Needed Retro-Resurrection

The first entry in this article about lost 80's movie tropes got me thinking.

If you don't want to click it, here it is:

Swords, Sandals, and Sorcery

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/5cff92f6-7d5e-4a06-839b-876ca7506bc8/scale-to-width-down/627
Clash of the Titans.The 1980s were absolutely filled with films about muscular men (and sometimes women) brandishing huge swords to do battle with evil sorcerers. The biggest and best of the genre was Conan the Barbarian, the movie that made a star of Arnold Schwarzenegger and spawned sequel Conan the Destroyer and spin-off Red Sonja. The decade also gave us Clash of the Titans, The Beastmaster, Krull, Hawk the Slayer, Deathstalker, Fire and Ice, The Warrior and the Sorceress, and The Sword and the Sorcerer. Every few years the genre gets resurrected, most recently via remakes of Clash and Conan, but the heyday of swords, sandals, and sorcery is long gone.

My first thoughts were, "man, it was f-ing great being a fantasy nerd kid in the 80's". My next thought was "no wonder this is my favorite genre." My last thought was this: if 70's - 80's style horror can come back, not just in popularity but also in presentation (i.e. Stranger Things), why not sword & sorcery? I personally think those films, particularly Conan, benefited from their shoestring-budgets and reliance on grindhouse-style methods to sell the sex and brutality. Now that it appears the trend in horror is to return to its exploitation heyday, and I hope it won't be long before fantasy makes the same turn.

Last edited by Jimm.Iblis (4/28/2018 9:58 pm)


"Role-playing isn't storytelling. If the dungeon master is directing it, it's not a game."  ~ Gary Gygax
 

4/30/2018 1:44 am  #2


Re: A Needed Retro-Resurrection

I am unsure why Hollywood tastemakers have not given 80's sword and sorcery a reboot. Maybe it's for the same reasons that metal isn't very mainstream, either. 

If there's going to be a resurgence of 80's style sword and sorcery, the right time seems to be now. Most of the original childhood fans are at their peak buying power.  Hell, Ready Player One is a big budget movie whose sole schtick is packing as many 80's references as possible in a scene (did anyone catch the Tomb of Horrors reference?). 

Last edited by Brock Savage (4/30/2018 1:44 am)

 

4/30/2018 7:29 am  #3


Re: A Needed Retro-Resurrection

Well said, gentlemen.


Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea - A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Fantasy
 

5/01/2018 10:05 am  #4


Re: A Needed Retro-Resurrection

It would take something like J.J. Abrams deciding it would be a good idea, followed by his hatchet job of a Conan or Sindbad story.  But we'd certainly be flooded with imitators shortly thereafter.

 

5/01/2018 11:15 am  #5


Re: A Needed Retro-Resurrection

Did it really go anywhere? I mean Hercules and Xena were huge. Lord of the Rings won the Oscar. The Hobbit followup made a ton of cash. Now there's a Rings tv show. They're even trying another D&D flick in 2021. You may not get that style of filmmaking back but your sword and sorcery doesn't seem to be going away.

 

5/01/2018 3:12 pm  #6


Re: A Needed Retro-Resurrection

Its kind of odd that 80's retro sci-fi is trending but not sword and sorcery.

Did it really go anywhere? I mean Hercules and Xena were huge. Lord of the Rings won the Oscar. The Hobbit followup made a ton of cash. Now there's a Rings tv show. They're even trying another D&D flick in 2021. You may not get that style of filmmaking back but your sword and sorcery doesn't seem to be going away.

Tolkien and D&D is definitely not sword & sorcery. Herc/Xena... maybe? Sword and Sorcery is a pretty specific subgenre of fantasy. Think of it this way. General high fantasy can get a G to PG13.
Sword and Sorcery needs an R. That's why it was captured so well in the 80s. You had directors who cut their teeth on 70's exploitation given minimal budgets by the studios to turn up the blood, boobs and sleaze. And it was friggin' awesome.


"Role-playing isn't storytelling. If the dungeon master is directing it, it's not a game."  ~ Gary Gygax
     Thread Starter
 

5/01/2018 4:38 pm  #7


Re: A Needed Retro-Resurrection

Don't disagree, but don't think the higher ups even want to understand the subtle difference in genre.
As for me, I'm happy enough with High Fantasy over another freaking fast and furious any day.
It took SAGA a decade to pave the way for those 80s flicks - I'll gladly give it a little time for AS&SH to do the same! ;)

 

6/27/2018 8:50 pm  #8


Re: A Needed Retro-Resurrection

Speaking of such things, I recently got the "Sword & Sorcery" collection off Amazon for around 12 bucks.  It includes "Deathstalker," "Deathstalker 2," "Barbarian Queen," and "Warrior and the Sorceress."  Great cheesy fun and a definite R rating for gratuitous nubility.


"Behind closed eyes,realize your sight."--Blue Oyster Cult
 

6/29/2018 5:01 am  #9


Re: A Needed Retro-Resurrection

Spider of Leng wrote:

Speaking of such things, I recently got the "Sword & Sorcery" collection off Amazon for around 12 bucks.  It includes "Deathstalker," "Deathstalker 2," "Barbarian Queen," and "Warrior and the Sorceress."  Great cheesy fun and a definite R rating for gratuitous nubility.

Just added it to my wishlist ... thanks for calling it out!
 


"Role-playing isn't storytelling. If the dungeon master is directing it, it's not a game."  ~ Gary Gygax
     Thread Starter
 

7/10/2018 9:14 am  #10


Re: A Needed Retro-Resurrection

Brock Savage wrote:

I am unsure why Hollywood tastemakers have not given 80's sword and sorcery a reboot. Maybe it's for the same reasons that metal isn't very mainstream, either.  

The Did reboot this film, Clash of the Titans was doenin 2010, with a second movie a couple years after...

They even brought back the robot owl as a joke.

Brock Savage wrote:

Hell, Ready Player One is a big budget movie whose sole schtick is packing as many 80's references as possible in a scene (did anyone catch the Tomb of Horrors reference?). 

Read the book, they actually play through the module in order to find the first key...


-- 
BlackKnight, AKA Sausage
Been playing Tabletop games for 40+ years...
 

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