Sunday, February 23, 2014

Barbarian Queen, Before there was Xena, there was Lana Clarkson

It is hard to believe Phil Spector shot Lana Clarkson ("Scarface" and "Deathstalker") to death over a decade ago.  In today's blog entry we will look at her most famous flick, 1985's "Barbarian Queen."  This film pre-dated the hit TV show, "Xena: Warrior Princess," and obviously had some influence in it's creation.  Casting a nearly six-foot, blonde actress in the title role, arming her with a big sword, and dressing her in revealing barbarian fashion, is enough to compensate for some sub-par acting.
   The plot:  Amethea (Clarkson) is bathing just before her wedding to the handsome and good Prince Argon.  Uh-oh!  The evil Romans led by the even more evil Arrakur invade the barbarian village.  The Romans rape most of the women and kill most of the men.  Amethea quickly dresses and fights them off.  Unfortunately for her wedding plans, her fiance has been captured and her little sister Taramis, played by Dawn Dunlap ("Forbidden World") was brutally raped by Arrakur.  With no village remaining, no groom, and a dead caterer, Amethea grabs her beautiful sisters and sets out on a journey of revenge.
Amethea and her equally scantily clad sisters reach Arrakur's stronghold and sneak in via hidden tunnels.  The plan, a good one, coordinate with the rebels (Uh-Oh!  They are led by a one-eyed, one-armed geeky grouch!), find Prince Argon and his fellow captives (who are scheduled to become fodder for Arrakur's gladiators) and start an uprising against the evil Romans.  Taramis sneaks into Arrakur's harem with the idea of getting close enough to him to deposit a dagger between his shoulder blades.  Unfortunately for Amethea and her sisters they are each captured and sent to the torture chamber where they are interrogated, put on the rack, and raped.   
Will all the sisters survive to escape, overthrow the Romans, and resurrect the wedding plans?  Will Amethea deliver to the Roman plunderers and rapists a fate they deserve?  The Romans are cast as out-of-shape couch potato types, which make it believable when Lana Clarkson decimates them with sword and fists.  The action is aplenty, but viewers should be aware, so are the rape scenes.  In addition to influencing the creators of "Xena," this film is probably the forerunner of all those "bride-zilla" type reality shows on TLC and Lifetime (though you guys will probably enjoy this movie a lot more).  

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