Friday, April 12, 2013

Honourable Mention – Conquest

This was nearly a ‘Vamp or Not?’, having been explored due to seeing the word vampire mentioned in connection to the film in a couple of places. As it was the appearance of the alleged vampires is so short that a fleeting visitation, and thus honourable mention, is probably the way forward.

It is 1983, Lucio Fulci is at the helm and we are in the depths of the really poor fantasy film. This is particularly bad; mist billows through every shot, to hide the sins of effects so poor it would make a grown FX artist weep, as an awful synthesiser score rips through any atmosphere with jangling claws. It’s so bad it is damn near a classic of the genre (nearly but not).

Land of the transparent folk
It begins with Ilias (Andrea Occhipinti) preparing to leave his land. For some reason he, his father and all the others are semi-transparent. Ilias is going on a quest, with no apparent goal, and his father presents him with the bow of Kronos, a bow that will fire arrows of the sun (which are suspiciously blue rather than yellow or fiery) if the bow man has become a man and is out of arrows – Ilias doesn’t get this perk until a ways through the film.

He lands ashore in a place ruled by the evil sorceress Ocron (Sabrina Siani). Said to be the force that makes the sun rise she has a group of henchmen in demonic masks and other dog-men whom we will suggest are werewolves for the sake of tags down at the bottom of the article. After a ritual where something (narcotic?) is fired up her nose by peashooter, she has a vision of a faceless Ilias killing her with the magic bow and thus requires his capture. She has a habit of eating the brains out of severed heads.

magic bow
Ilias is attacked by dog-men and mask wearers and, having run out of arrows, looks doomed until a warrior, Mace (Jorge Rivero), rescues him. Mace admits he saved the bow, not the man, and suggests that all men are his enemy and he has no friends. In return for teaching him to use the bow, however, Ilias can travel with him. Mace seems to have some low powered Beastmaster affinity with animals and won’t kill animals. He will, however, kill a random tribesman to steal the animal he has killed and eat it. The morality is a little off.

revenant or zompire?
Anyway, vampires… Ilias is poisoned and Mace goes to get a magic plant to cure him. The sun has set when he is heading back and suddenly corpses rise (mostly from a lake) to get him. Now at this point I would say zombies, they look desiccated and only manage a moan. They also seem indestructible… that is until Mace kicks one and impales it on a tree branch. It dies. Armed with this knowledge he stakes all of them through the chest (earlier he had stabbed a branch into a stomach to no avail and so I believe we are looking at stake through the heart).

Now they probably aren’t vampires, despite this. At best I would say revenants or zompires. But they certainly conform to the night walking, stake ‘em, animated dead tropes. They are there for about all of a couple of minutes. And that’s it folks. The film is rubbish but watched as such you might get something out of it. Truth be told I found it a bit boring. Nevertheless the imdb page is here.

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