7 May 2006 | funkydvd
Decent Fantasy Series
Let me start off by saying that I am a big Conan fan. I enjoyed both of the original movies, I've read many of the novels and own a decent collection of comics. I didn't expect much from this series. As far as I know, it was shot in Mexico and is, somewhat low budget. There are kind of primitive (by today's standards) computer generated effects and even computer generated establishing shots.
But, as has been said, Ralf Moeller is a good Conan. At 6'6" or so and 280+ lbs. he makes an impressive warrior. He has been in some of my favorite movies and had a very impressive bodybuilding career in the 80s (not as much in titles, but in achieving an impressive and imposing physique on such a large frame!) So, he is fun to watch on screen. Also, the supporting characters are strong in their roles. Also, there are some characters from the Conan novels such as Karela. Many of the stories are pretty good, some are mediocre (as with any series).
The only real complaint I have about this series is its limited shooting locations and generally (too obvious) low budget production values. When every episode takes place in the same forest, it begins to look repetitive. We watch fantasy movies/shows to be taken away to imaginary places and in a series, this means fresh and new places of adventure, not the same ones show after show. The props and sets are another complaint. i.e. many of the weapons used are obviously wood or plastic and have no sharpened edge of any kind. They really made this too obvious. Conan seems to be the only one with any kind of real sword. What? they couldn't get a BudK catalog and order a bunch of $50 swords? And, every village looks like the huts and houses were thrown together in five minutes. I used to make better forts than this as a kid! So, those are the elements that are less than convincing.
The boxed set is reasonably priced and a must have for Conan fanatics like myself. But, the casual fan may get bored quickly with the generic sets and low production values. As a side note, I notice that Teagan Clive has writing credit on this show- she is a long time writer for many muscle magazines and a bodybuilder in her own right. Also, Matthias Hues ( of "I come in Peace" fame) makes a guest role in perhaps the best episode in the collection- mostly because of his great performance. He lends a more authentic "barbarian" quality to the episode and chews the scenery well in this type of role.