Arnold Schwarzenegger, I mean what I can I say about the man? He is a real power house, a juggernaut of an actor, who despite having been away from the game for the last few years, with his stint as Governor of the State Of California, is heading back in to the game and doing it like he never left in the first place!
I mean this guy has made a name for himself in almost every genre there is for movies, rather it is playing one of his most famous roles as 'The Terminator' for Scifi or rather it be as 'Harry Tasker' in True Lies (1994) for action, or heck, even as Conan The Barbarian in the movie with the same name for Fantasy!
I don't know if you can tell, but I am a huge fan of the man's work.
With that in mind, and with Mr. Schwarzenegger returning back to the acting game, I was thinking about the man's prolific body of work and wanting to find something that I haven't seen yet…
That is how I came to discover Red Sonja…
Written by: Clive Exton (Rosemary & Thyme) and George McDonald Fraser (The Return Of The Muskateers) and Directed by: Richard Fleischer (Soylent Green). Starring: Brigitte Nielsen (SOKO Stuttgart), Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator), Sandahl Bergman (Underground Entertainment: The Movie), Paul L. Smith (D.R.E.A.M Team) and Ernie Reyes Jr. (Submission)
Red Sonja tells the story of Sonja… Sonja (Nielsen) who when she was still just a teenager was chosen by Queen Gedren (Bergman) of the Kingdom Of Eternal Night, to be her royal consort. When Sonja refuses out right to serve at the Queen's side, Queen Gedren decides to slaughter everyone in Sonja's family that she can find, her army slaughters Sonja's parents, and her brother (her sister probably escaped the massacre because she is a priestess at a Monastery like church.) When the Queen's army is done massacring Sonja's family, the queen then has her army repeatedly rape Sonja!
After all of this is done, and with Sonja thoroughly beaten down, Sonja ends up hearing her name called, this voice is coming from an ethereal entity that has decided to grant her the strength of a warrior…
Cut to a few years later…
There is a ceremony that is being handled by the Priestesses of the Monastery that Sonja's older sister serves as a Priestess at… You see what they are doing is waiting for Kalidor (Schwarzenegger) who is a High Priest/Warrior that is heading to the Priestesses Monastery to help over see the destruction of a Talisman that had become so powerful that it was getting ready to destroy the entire planet. Now this Talisman had been given to the Priestesses, by the Priests that Kalidor serves because only women can touch the Talisman.
With that said, their is another person that is looking for this Talisman as well… Queen Gedren of course!
By this time Queen Gedren has become mad with power and knows the power the Talisman holds, but still wants it for herself anyway, because she has aspirations of ruling the world!
So the Queen and her army crash the Priestesses ceremony and begins to slaughter all of the Temple Priestesses as they are just starting their ceremony to strip the talisman of its powers.
Now only one of the Priestesses manages to escape the mass slaughter and runs for her life because she is also being pursued by members of Gedren's army, as she is running for her life, one of Gedren's soldiers shoots an arrow at her! Kalidor who is about to show up for what he thought was going to be the ceremony, notices that the Priestess, who is also a friend of his, is not only being pursued by Gedren's army, but has also been shot and is trying zip line her way to the other side of the canyon that separates the Gedren's army from Kalidor…
This prompts Kalidor to intervene, he comes after the soldiers with a fury, and slaughters each and everyone of them… When this is done, he heads over to where the Priestess is dying and tries to console her, she begs him to find her sister (Sonja), to which he agrees.
At this point in the movie Sonja is finishing her training at a facility that trains people to become Warriors. When Kalidor arrives, she has just wrapped up her training and choosing the sword that she will be given as gift by her trainer for being such a master swordswoman. Kalidor informs Sonja that her sister is dying, and offers to escort her to where her sister is.
When they arrive, Sonja immediately heads to where her sister is lying down. When she gets their the two begin talking and her sister tells Sonja about the Talisman, and how only she can destroy it, and that she must destroy it soon, before the earth is torn apart by earthquakes and storms! She also tells Sonja about the fact that Queen Gedren has the Talisman at her Castle Of Eternal Night… After this Sonja's sister dies.
Now knowing what her quest is, Sonja decides to cremate her sister, and after refusing the aid of Kalidor on her quest (even though he will ultimately keep a respectable distance from her and watch over her in an effort to ensure that her quest is successful.) Red Sonja begins her quest, which will bring her both love and allies, but with the mission being to destroy the Talisman before the Talisman can destroy the rest of the planet!
Now what I liked about this movie and what I do truly believe makes this an awesome b movie is a few things:
1. I am a huge fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger's body of work, as a matter of fact, I have been following his body of work as an actor, since I was a kid watching him in such films as Terminator (1984) with Linda Hamilton (Children Of The Crow) Commando (1985) with Alyssa Milano (Charmed). The one portion of his career that I have never followed was his fantasy films! I always intended to, but I just continuously over the years have forgotten about that side of his film work! That is why I was happy to watch Red Sonja, because it finally gave me a chance to check out that side of Schwarzenegger's work!
2. I also wanted to give special props to all the rest of the cast, I mean Brigitte Nielsen, as the strong and beautiful Sonja, was just incredible! And seeing a young Ernie Reyes Jr. kicking peoples ass is fucking awesome! (I mean the scenes where Reyes is kicking ass look like a 10 year old fighting people 3 times larger then he is!) I also thought everyone else was just fantastic in the roles that they played as well!
3. The next part that I wanted to say that I really liked was the Special FX on this movie, I mean Fantasy movies have always had exemplary special FX and this one is not only no exception, but I really do believe went above and beyond the call on this one!
4. The last thing that I thought that I would mention about this movie is that so far, for years people have been trying to remake this movie, with one of the most recent attempts being that Robert Rodriguez tried to make the remake of the movie with Rose McGowan as Sonja, but so far no one has been successful… Maybe this is the unremakeable movie?
Ultimately folks, if your looking for a fun kick ass good time in a fantasy movie, then I highly recommend checking this one out, I mean I loved it, and I suspect so will you!