Thursday, August 16, 2007

Overlooked Movies: Red Sonja

"It's the worst film I have ever made. Now, when my kids get out of line, they're sent to their room and forced to watch Red Sonja ten times. I never have too much trouble with them." ~Arnold Schwarzenegger

The tyrant Gedren seeks the total power in a world of barbarism. She raids the city Hablac and kills the keeper of a talisman that gives her great power. Red Sonja, sister of the keeper, sets out with her magic sword to overthrow Gedren. The talisman's master Kalidor follows to protect her. Of course they fall in love - however Red Sonja's power bases on the oath to never give herself to any man...

A woman and a warrior that became a legend.

Fun Trivia:
It is commonly believed that Robert E. Howard created the character of Red Sonja in one of his Conan short stories. In reality, he created a character with a similar name (Red Sonya) that appeared in a minor role in a non-fantasy work of historical fiction. "Red Sonja", the character popularized by the 1985 movie, actually first appeared in a Conan comic book written by Roy Thomas and illustrated by Barry Windsor-Smith.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was originally to have a cameo as Conan in this film but as the film makers realized how weak the script was his part grew until he appeared in virtually all of the film. Ultimately the way the role was written became so different than Conan they were forced to rename his character.

The original theatrical trailer of this movie contains cutting room-floor footage of scenes glimpsed only briefly in the film's prologue: Sonja, left to perish in her burning home, is saved by her dying brother Barlok; Gedren, prior to her disfigurement, addresses her soldiers and slaves.

The name of Ronald Lacey's character, "Ikol," spelled backwards is "Loki." Loki, in Nordic mythology, was the God of Evil and Corruption, infamous for being a jealousy-prone troublemaker.

In Conan the Barbarian, Sandahl Bergman played Valeria, a thief and the love of Conan’s life. Bergman was offered the role of Red Sonja, but turned it down afraid of typecasting, choosing instead to play the villainous Queen Gedren. It took Dino De Laurentiis almost a year to find an actress "Amazonian" enough to play the title character; in fact, he was still looking eight weeks before the production was due to start, when he saw Brigitte Nielsen on the cover of a fashion magazine. The 21-year-old native of Helsingør, Denmark, who was in Milan on a modeling job, soon found herself on a plane heading for Rome and a successful screen test.

Comic book writer and artist Wendy Pini, who frequently performed as Red Sonja at conventions and other venues, was considered for the role.

Fun Quotes:
Red Sonja: Falkon, may I give you a word of advice? Put him over your knee and beat some manners into him.

Brytag: I will tell the future in your entrails, Red Woman!
Red Sonja: I know my future. You have none.

Red Sonja: No man may have me, unless he's beaten me in a fair fight.
Kalidor: So, the only man that can have you, is one who's trying to kill you. That's logic.
Kalidor: If you yield only to a conqueror, then prepared to be conquered... Little Sonja...
Red Sonja: Don't be a fool, I don't want to kill you.
Kalidor: Try it.


EL FAMOUS said...

aside from the occasional pictures of topless's posts like this that make me love this blog. i saw this in the theatre as a youngster and actually sat through it again on cable bad, but i couldn't look away.

MC said...

I wonder what is a bigger trainwreck: this movie or Brigitte Nielsen today.

Anonymous said...

I was laughing as soon as I saw the headline for this post.

I get the impression that Dino de Laurentiis was trying to squeeze all the revenue he could out of Conan the Barbarian before the novelty wore off. There's no other explanation for how bad Conan the Destroyer and Red Sonja ended up being.

Brigitte Nielsen looked great on a magazine cover at age 21 and even better in a red wig, but she's no Sandahl Bergman.

Maybe now that 300 made a billion dollars, we'll get a great Amazonian warrior movie. I am not holding my breath.

Terrific post, Becca.

Scurvy said...

I always thought that as far as some of the "other" characters that Robert E. Howard created goes, Solomon Kane (look him up if you aren't familiar) would make an good story for a movie. (provided it was written well) It could easily end up another "Kull" if not.

Scurvy said...

Huh, turns out a Solomon Kane film is in the works. Hope it's not a train wreck...

Can't be worse than red Sonja was. ;)

Becca said...

Thank you! Glad I can throw a post or two in there that you enjoy!

And your right this movie has that train wreck don't really want to watch but you just can't help but "enjoy" it.

Oh Brigitte today for sure! She is so crazy! You'd have to be crazy to have a thing with Flav.

Yeah nailed it on the head there. I have no clue why but this is a movie I read and heard alot about. They did want to squeeze money out of the Conan crowd and that's one of the reasons Arnie is in the movie.

Brigitte used to look amazing! Her Playboy pictures were stunning. I really wish she could have gone on to have a different career, but Sandahl was a goddess. I just saw All That Jazz yesterday and there is a terriffic scene with Sandahl who was a dancer as well as an actress. It's a terriffic movie that you've probably already seen but if you haven't you should check it out!

I agree Howard had a lot of interesting characters though I admit i haven't read much of his stuff.

God Kull was BAD! Saw that in the theater...what a mistake! How about the Star Wars rip-off line Tia Carrera has early on in the movie. So sad.

And on the Solomon Kane remake...hmmm I don't least Sonja works as a silly b-movie...

Anonymous said...

Sandahl Bergman was the only good thing in this mess. She is so graceful that when she walks across a room, it is like a ballet.