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Following CONAN THE BARBARIAN, Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as Robert E. Howard's warrior hero in action director Richard Fleischer's CONAN THE DESTROYER. First seen praying at a shrine, Conan and his sidekick, Malak (Tracey Walter), are inveigled by Queen Taramis (Sarah Douglas) into joining Princess Jehnna (Olivia d'Abo) and her bodyguard, Bombaata (Wilt Chamberlain), on a quest to wrest a magic key from the wizard Toth-Amon (Pat Roach). On the journey, Conan saves his magician friend, Akiro (Mako), from cannibals and helps female bandit Zula (Grace Jones) as she fights off some angry villagers. The motley crew find Toth-Amon's castle in the middle of a lake. But, while they rest for the night before confronting the wizard, he spirits away Princess Jehnna. Conan leads the rescue.
Compared to the first Conan movie, CONAN THE DESTROYER has less violence but more humor. The film's stunt casting includes the 7-foot-tall basketball player Wilt Chamberlain and pneumatic singer Grace Jones. Other actors featured are the 17-year-old Olivia d'Abo (in her first screen appearance), playing the petulant teenage princess with sexy innocence; Tracey Walter as the cowardly jewel-swallowing thief, Malak the Quick; and, of course, Schwarzenegger, who put on 10 extra pounds at Fleischer's request, as the pectorally-perfect Conan.
Grace Jones - Actress/Singer
Richard Fleischer - American Director/Son Of Max
Wilt Chamberlain - Basketball Player
Mako - Character Actor, THE SAND PEBBLES, CONAN THE BARBARIAN
Makoto Iwamatsu - Character Actor, THE SAND PEBBLES, CONAN THE BARBARIAN
Kieu Chinh Mako - Character Actor, THE SAND PEBBLES, CONAN THE BARBARIAN
Tracey Walter - American actor, REPO MAN
Olivia d'Abo - British Actress
Arnold Schwarzenegger - Actor/bodybuilder
Sarah Douglas - British supporting actress, SUPERMAN II
In his quest for a magic treasure, Conan must do battle with wizards, warriors, and great beasts, as well as cross a mystical desert. Schwarzenegger is back as Conan in this sequel to the action fantasy "Conan the Barbarian." This time the fearless warrior embarks on an epic quest for a magical jewel. Along the way he must protect a virgin princess who is about to sacrificed by an evil queen, vanquish a hideous monster known as Dagoth, and fend off the queen's henchman (as embodied by Wilt Chamberlain). Real-life Amazon Grace Jones also makes an appearance as Conan's feisty female sidekick.
Theatrical release: July 4, 1984. CONAN THE DESTROYER was filmed in a number of locations in Mexico--including Pachuca, the extinct volcano Nevado de Toluca, and the Samalayucca desert (near El Paso)--as well as in the Churubusco Studios (also in Mexico). When John Milius, director of CONAN THE BARBARIAN, proved to be unavailable to direct the sequel, Dino De Laurentiis suggested Richard Fleischer to his daughter Raffaella De Laurentiis, who was producing CONAN THE DESTROYER. Fleischer had already made BARABAS (1962) and MANDINGO (1975) for Dino De Laurentiis. The first Conan movie, CONAN THE BARBARIAN took approximately $50 million at the U.S. box office when it was released in 1982 with an R rating, and another $50 million in foreign markets. Because Universal Pictures and producer Dino De Laurentiis thought it would have been even more successful if had been less violent, when they decided to make a sequel, they wanted to tone down the violence in order to obtain a PG rating. Fleischer delivered a movie that was less violent (and funnier) than the first movie. CONAN THE DESTROYER didn't do quite as well as CONAN THE BARBARIAN in the U.S.--it's domestic gross was $30 million--but it did perform better worldwide, grossing another $100 million. The film was successful enough that Schwarzenegger, Fleischer, and De Laurentiis teamed up again to make the semi-sequel RED SONJA a year later. CONAN THE DESTROYER was the fourth film on which the great British director of photography Jack Cardiff worked with Fleischer. Cardiff had already photographed THE VIKINGS (1958), CROSSED SWORDS (1978) and AMITYVILLE 3-D (1983) for the director. And they would work together twice moreon MILLION DOLLAR MYSTERY (1987) and Fleischer's last film, the short CALL FROM SPACE (1989) which was shot in the 65mm Showscan process. Cardiff's other notable films include John Huston's THE AFRICAN QUEEN (1951), King Vidor's WAR AND PEACE (1956), and RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART 2 (1985). However, he is best known for his extraordinary Technicolor photography on three films directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger in the fortiesA MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH (1946), BLACK NARCISSUS (1947, for which Cardiff won an Oscar), and THE RED SHOES (1948). Carlo Rambaldi created the Dagoth monster. Originally rated R for excessive violence, the film was recut in order to secure a PG rating.
"...The ideal sword and sorcery picture. Loaded with action and pitched just right for maximum tongue-in-cheek humor..." - 06/27/1984 Variety