Tag Archives: action heroes

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 182 – Drunken Master



The phrase “human highlight reel” is pretty shopworn. In the world of sports, it’s used for the one-namers, your LeBron, Kobe, Jordan, etc. Jackie Chan DEFINITELY qualifies, albeit in a different medium. And here, Drunken Master (1978) is a showcase for all his wild, over-the-top, ground-breaking antics.

Whether you like it or not, this film put comedy kung fu on the map. It’s not exactly to our taste, as we like our Shaw Brothers productions, but there’s no denying the spectacular talent that is, Jackie Chan.

Directed by Yuen Woo-ping, fight coordinator for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Matrix and the Kill Bill films, Drunken Master finds Chan in peak form as a knave who runs afoul of the wrong people, and then is forced to study a variety of martial arts and eat crow, in order to best his enemies.

Chan plays title character Wong Fei-Hung (also referred to as Freddie Wong) who disgraces the family name by hitting on a distant cousin and by attempting to con a restaurant. He is sent by an embarrassed papa to study martial arts under the tutelage of the aged, yet incredibly limber vagrant, Beggar So (sometimes So Hi depending on the dubbing). So is played by genre staple Yuen Siu-tien, who was an inspiration for the unhinged late rapper, Ol’ Dirty Bastard.

But really, it’s not about the plot. It’s about the beat-downs.

On this episode of the Really Awful Movies Podcast, your genial hosts Jeff and Chris discuss:

  • Chan’s early roles
  • Bruce Lee
  • VHS tracking
  • Janet Jackson (!) and the similarities between adult films and kung fu films (!)
  • Our favorite kung fu films
  • Bolo Yeung
  • Asian cinema..and much more!

Tune into the Really Awful Movies Podcast every Friday!