1983, Movies

Conquest (1983, Lucio Fulci)

The opening of this film looks sooooooooo bad it’s hard to put into words. They’ve clearly overlaid some film to create this kind of sense of dreaminess but you can barely tell what’s happening at first. It’s unique visual effect, I guess, but it made me think the print had been damaged before the transfer, so, you know, that’s not great.

Even though it was made in the 1980s it feels like a ’70s film due to the score. The score feels like it belongs in a science fiction film, given the use of synthesizers.

Significant sections of the film look damaged and I really cannot tell whether its the transfer or it’s artistic. (It must be the transfer at least partially, right?) Also, don’t shoot directly at the flame! Jesus.

So maybe it’s some kind of prophecy but I swear the gold-faced woman (Ocron) died and then she’s just alive later. It must have been a dream, I guess. With the quality of the transfer, it’s hard to tell what’s supposed to be a dream. (Turns out, it was a dream, it repeats. And Ilias doesn’t have a face.)

Some stray thoughts:

  • Ocron, from the beginning, looks like a slave, not a leader. (Foreshadowing!)
  • Lots of tits to start (less as we go), though probably not as many as Deathstalker.
  • More gore than I was expecting.
  • Did you know snakes are phallic?
  • Drawn arrows, just terrible looking
  • Somehow there is a spectacular sunset in this movie
  • An underwater scene indicates a much bigger budget than most of these films.
  • Ilias is a pretty useless hero – I guess that makes this film unconventional?

Is the reason for the reasonable rating on IMDB (5.2!!!) the relatively good costumes of the various creatures? Because I’m struggling to see what else it might be.

This is among the worst-looking colour films I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s really possible it’s just one of the worst digital transfers I’ve ever seen in my life but, if it really looks like this on film, as well, it might be among the very worst-looking films I’ve ever seen made within the last 50 years. It’s worth noting that, regardless of the look of the original print, they did still shoot directly into light-sources without blocking correctly and without filtering the light. Speaking of filters, they also used silent-era film filters at times as a substitute for better sets.

Whatever you want to say about the makeup and whatever you want to say about the film’s slightly unconventional plot (detailing which involves a major spoiler), it’s really hard get by how hard it is to see what the hell is happening in some scenes, and just how terrible the whole thing looks like 80% of the time. If this is a 5/10, what’s a 2/10?


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