Category Archives: Science fiction

Really Awful Movies: Ep 184 – Conan the Barbarian



Conan the Barbarian is a sword and sandals epic, which meant a lot to us as youngsters. Ergo, we have to visit it (or revisit it) for the Really Awful Movies Podcast.

The 1982 American fantasy adventure film was directed and co-written by John Milius (and co-written by legendary crank Oliver Stone).

The adventure is based on stories by Robert E. Howard, a 1930s pulp fiction writer. The novel chronicles the eponymous Conan in a fictional pre-historic world of black magic and savagery.

The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as our hero and James Earl Jones as the chief antagonist. Conan the Barbarian tells the story of a young barbarian (Schwarzenegger) who seeks vengeance for the death of his father at the hands of the fantastically-named Thulsa Doom (Jones), the leader of a snake cult.

Buzz Feitshans and Raffaella De Laurentiis produced the film for her father Dino De Laurentiis, with Edward R. Pressman as an executive producer. Greek musician Basil Poledouris (RoboCop / Red Dawn) composed the music. Roger Ebert said this about Conan the Barbarian: “The movie is a triumph of production design, set decoration, special effects and makeup. At a time when most of the big box-office winners display state-of-the-art technology, “Conan” ranks right up there with the best.”

On this episode of the podcast, Jeff and Chris examine:

  • monomyths
  • watching terrible television in Israel
  • awful mullet hairstyles
  • the epic soundtrack
  • the a la carte mythology
  • early Arnold Schwarzenegger movies
  • steroids and Hulk Hogan

Really Awful Movies: Ep 180 – Rollerball



In a world…where a gruesome blood sport placates a docile public…That’s the milieu of Rollerball, a Norman Jewison-directed, James Caan-starring 70s dystopian hit.

Houston is the best team on the planet, led by crafty veteran uh, “rollerballer” Jonathan E (played by Caan). Globalism is the order of the day, and the New World Order includes corporations ruling the world. And corporate interests fund this sport, which is an odd hybrid of roller derby, baseball, football, basketball, hockey, and pinball! (but with spikes. Oh, and motorcycles).

Rollerball practitioners live high on the hog, indulging in splendor the likes of which none of us can imagine, women, pills, booze, etc. Of course, this isn’t different from any major sport today. What IS different, is that corporate interests occasionally interfere, making the game that much more dangerous…and keeping its more “dissident” elements in check (that being, reluctant superstar Jonathan E).

So, this nasty spectacle keeps the populace entertained, as they know no racial or economic strife, yet have their individual freedoms curtailed. So, is the flick successful?

On this episode of the Really Awful Movies Podcast:

  • What’s with James Caan and 70s hair?
  • What are the different kinds of dystopian films?
  • What was Jewison up to and what was his purpose?
  • What other movies is Rollerball similar to?
  • What’s the deal with “futuristic” movies and their aesthetic?
  • Would we take part in, or watch Rollerball if it existed in some form today?

Join us!