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Barbarian (2003)



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And here I thought the atrociously bad, exploitative sword-n-sorcery genre was dead. Thanks presumably to Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, low budget producer Roger Corman made Barbarian, which looks exactly like the trashy fantasy movies of the 1980s. Small wonder: it's a remake of 1984's Deathstalker, though it is not advertised as such. Though there are changed and added plot threads, particularly with the addition of co-starring characters, one of which is a laughably cheesy mini-Wookiee with a squealy voice and visible seams. Other elements are lifted right out of Deathstalker, including a trio of magical artifacts, a harem of bad actresses, and a creature that looks suspiciously like a Gamorrean Guard.

Deathstalker was also terrible, but it was a lot of fun to laugh at thanks to its straight-faced pretentions of greatness. Bad movies can be fun when they aspire for great heights and fail spectacularly. They can also be entertaining if they are aware of their own failings and reside on self-mocking undertones. But Barbarian is neither self-aware or self-important. It has no particular aspirations. It merely is. And that's not much fun.

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