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Many years ago, Red Sonja's (Brigitte Nielsen) family was killed by
Gedren's (Sandahl Bergman) soldiers and she was brutally raped. Since
then, she has trained to become a swordsmaster and has learned to hate all
men and only accept one as her mate who can defeat her in fight ...
Now, Gedren's soldiers have come to steal the Talisman, pretty
mucht he only thing that can destroy the world and that can only be
touched by women, and while the soldiers are at it, they also slaughter
all the priestesses who guard the Talisman, only one gets away, Varna
(Janet Agren), Sonja's sister ... but she dies in the arms of barbarian
Kalidor (Arnold Schwarzenegger), who defends her against her pursuers. But
before she dies, she tells Kalidor to go find her sister to tell her about
Ultimately, Kalidor finds Sonja, and receiving the news she immediately
decides to go after Gedren and save the world, but when Kalidor, who also
wants to save the world, proposes to go with her, she turns him down ...
but later takes with her a bratty boy king (Ernie Reyes jr) who just can't
accept that his realm was smashed by Gedren and his only remaining loyal
servant (Paul L.Smith). Of course though, Kalidor is always close behind
and helps the trio to master many a situation (including a metal monster),
and ultimately Sonja accepts him into the gang and they enter Gedren's
palace which is plagued by earthquakes and the like thanks to the
Talisman's influence, and fight off her army, and eventually Sonja gets to
fight Gedren, and when she pushes Gedren into a crack in the earth's
surface that is filled with hot molten lava she has her revenge.
Then she takes the Talisman and throws it into the crack as well, to
also have saved the world. And in the end, Sonja and crew just make it out
of the palace before it goes up with a bang ...
And wouldn't you know it, in the end Sonja and Kalidor realize they are
in love with each other ... Awwww.
After producer Dino De Laurentiis was amazingly successful with the two
films starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, he decided to have another
(barbarian) character created by Robert E.Howard adapted for the big
screen, preferably one that has also been adapted into a comicbook for
additional mass-appeal. And wouldn't you know it, this character was Red
Sonja - obviously though, De Laurentiis didn't trust the character
alone enough to make big business at the box office, so he threw in Arnold
Schwarzenegger in a Conan-like
role. And while Richard Fleischer from Conan the Destroyer was also
kept as director, the budget for Red Sonja was apparently lower
than for the decently budgeted Conan
The outcome though is not too bad, a well-crafted B-picture that at
least looks better than your usual barbarian flick - thanks to a slick
direction and Danilo Donati's very impressive production and costume
designs -, that is decently paced and features plenty of action. Of course
the film also has its downsides customary to barbarian flicks, like a
stupid, reactionary script, not always too convincing creature effects,
and the leads Nielsen and Schwarzenegger fighting over whose acting is
more wooden. So if you are not into barbarian flicks, you will not like
this one, but if you like them for their shortcomings as well as their
qualities, you might find this one as entertaining as I did.