Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

One of the few joys of aging is a newfound appreciation for certain things that one might not have appreciated all that much as a younger person. Take this movie ‘Barbarian Queen’ for instance. As a teenager, while fully appreciating the reliance on nudity as a crutch, I probably found this movie to be complete and total garbage. Even though I can’t actually remember seeing this movie back in ’85, I also can’t imagine this is something I would’ve missed. Twenty five plus years later after watching ‘Barbarian Queen’ for what feels like the first time, not much has changed. It still uses nudity as a crutch for actual story telling, with this story telling being next to worthless, but damn, at just over seventy minutes it was over before it even started and when it was over, I missed it. I didn’t miss it enough to actually want to watch it again, but I missed it. There are classics, and then there are ‘classics’ and then there is ‘Barbarian Queen’ which is in a laudable category all of its own.

It’s wedding day for Amethea, played by the late Lana Clarkson, who is about marry her one true love, a man sporting possibly cinema’s most prominent man boobs, Prince Argan (Frank Zagarino). Amethea is wondering where baby sis Taramis (Dawn Dunlap) would be on this glorious day. Well, Taramis is being gang raped right now by some evil Viking looking dudes, but no worries they’ll be at your village in not time flat, completely ruining her wedding day, raping some more, killing the village children and enslaving her men as gladiators.

They would’ve enslaved Amethea as well but she pulled that old ‘I’m burning down my hut with me inside making you think I’m all burnt to death’ trick which they totally fell for. That’s bad for those Vikings because Amethea is about to get her man and her sister back. On her side she has a couple of her homegirls in the equally brutal Triniana (Susana Traverso) and the more feminine Estrild (Katt Shea). Along the way our girls meet some rebels who also want to take down the evil King Zohar (Tony Middleton) but sadly the leader of this crew is too much of a punk to commit to doing what needs to be done.

No worries, these tough chicks will do it themselves. Sadly they get caught with Amethea being held captive and tortured by some evil scientist. My man made one critical mistake though. Amethea told us early on that she will be no man’s slave and no man’s whore but this cat didn’t hear that and tried to rape the bound woman who to the untrained eye seemed helpless. Idiot. What this cat didn’t know was that Amethea has been practicing those Kegels. Bad move my man.

Now free, Amethea has convinced that bitch ass rebel leader that it’s time to stand up and for his part Argan has convinced his fellow gladiators that it’s time to get down. But you don’t mess with the Zohar and he has something for these insurgent terrorist. If only he had gotten that girl that puppy Taramis had asked for. It’s complicated.

One of the more amazing things about this terrible movie, and believe me ‘Barbarian Queen’ is, in a good way, completely terrible, is the cast. First we have the late Lena Clarkson. Man, if Phil Spector never gets out of jail it will be too soon. Examine Ms. Clarkson if you will. She looks like she stands about six feet tall with the majority of that height consisting of mostly legs. Long, lean, beautiful, athletic… no, she couldn’t act, not even a little bit, but I don’t think that was a major requirement for this role. What was required was someone to be long, lean, beautiful and athletic and Ms. Clarkson filled the bill like few others. Then there’s her co-star, local Detroit homegirl Kat Shea, also long, lean and beautiful, but this woman not only starred in exploitation films, she directed quite a few them as well. In fact this woman was a legitimate working Hollywood film director until she quit doing it a few years back for whatever reason. Tell me you haven’t seen ‘Poison Ivy’? Come back Kat, we need you! Then there’s Frank Zagarino, also an ‘accomplished’ film director. If you haven’t seen ‘Spiker’ then might I suggest you put it on your list because Frank has learned from the master Roger Corman, if you think you have too many tits in your movie, then put in more.

‘Barbarian Queen’ the actual movie is complete nonsense. Kat Shea is really the only person in the movie who can even remotely act, the actual fighting scenes were pretty bad but they were also plenty chaotic to kind of keep us from focusing on how bad they were. Since the movie was so brief, with a lot this brief time allotted to the absolutely necessary process of showing titties, not a lot was given by way of ‘character development’ or ‘plotting’ but considering how short this flick actually was and how it just bulls its way through what little narrative it does have, it works out that this masterpiece didn’t really need any of that meddlesome ‘character development’ junk.

But the best thing about this movie is that is turned me on to a series of movies I simply must own. Kat Shea’s ‘Stripped to Kill’ series, Frank Zagarino’s Project Eliminator with David Carradine, Dawn Dunlap in ‘Forbidden World’ and of course Ms. Clarkson’s glorious return in ‘Barbarian Queen 2’. If that’s not some potentially great bad movie watching, I don’t what is.

Real Time Web