Conquest – Lucio Fulci – 1983

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I’ve seen Lucio Fulci’s Conquest three times now, and the plot remains the most convoluted plot of any fantasy film I have ever seen. This film is about eighty minutes long. It’s not that the story is bad. In fact, it is great! However, the film moves at such a break-neck pace and the visuals are consistently weird that you are constantly in a state of “what the fuck is going on?” Here is what seems to be going on.

Cronos gives Ilias a magical bow and arrow and he leaves for another dimension. In this dimension, Ocron, a sorceress, rules the land with hordes of werewolf soldiers. Ocron has a vision of her demise at the hands of the magical bow and sends her werewolf captain to go and find the boy. This reminds me of Willow or Legend in that the evil magical beings in these stories are aware from the beginning of the vessels of their destruction. In this classical form it seems that evil always knows that good has the upper hand, and only through treachery and wizardry can they hope to prevail.

The plot moves so fast there is little time for characterization. These people are archetypes only and the tale is basically told to give way to some of the stranger visions in Fulci’s mind. Before long the werewolves are upon young Ilias and it is up to Mace, the caveman with bone nunchucks to whip ass and save the young hero. Bone nunchucks, and he kicks ass with them, it is very unintentionally funny. Or maybe they knew how stupid bone nunchucks were.  Who knows?

When Fado, captain of the werewolves fails, Ocron burns him on a giant hotplate and summons Zora who lives in a white wolf form. She promises all her power to Zora if he can kill Ilias, thus saving her life. Geez, Ocron, it’s all about you.

It keeps going like this. Ilias gets poisoned. In the search for a cure Mace has to fight an onslaught of zombies. After Ilias gets better he quits to go home, but the spider-web people show up and crucify Mace. Ilias kills them but Mace falls on his cross into the ocean where dolphins save him. They re-unite and head out to get Ocron.

That night monsters take Ilias underground and behead him. Mace takes the bow and kills these monsters. He anoints himself with Ilias’ ashes to absorb the power Cronos gave him. The next day is the climax, with Mace killing a werewolf battalion, and shooting Ocron in the face. She becomes a wolf and runs off with Zora. Mace follows.

The film is the haziest film you will ever see, every scene is filled with smoke. Really. And the hazier your state of mind the more susceptible you will be to the films charms. The music by Claudio Simonetti is quite fun and scene to scene we are treated to luscious babes, lots of gore and more werewolves than you can shake a stick at.

I enjoy this film more every time I see it. I recommend it to any living, breathing person over the age of 9. Even though it’s a bit gory, it’s really a kid’s film, and even though I think he was cut out of the post-production of the film, his childlike glee in staging some of these sequences really comes through. Conquest is fun, and I’ll fight anyone who says differently!

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