Plot: Ocron (Sabrina Sellers) is a powerful demon sorceress who has unleashed darkness in the once serene land of Cronos. Using her supernatural powers to control the sun’s light, she can cast the entire realm into chaos and plunge the people into total, unforgiving darkness. There seems to be little hope, as Ocron possesses immense occult abilities and leads an army of brutal, grotesque warriors of all kinds, including some that defy basic reason. But a small glimmer of hope rises with Ilian, a man who takes up arms against Ocron and her minions, though one warrior against an entire tide of evil is hardly reason to celebrate. His journey finds him crossing paths with a like minded warrior of great skill, an assassin conjured by Ocron to crush his crusade, and the witch herself, well stocked with vicious spells and cruel henchmen. Can Ilian overcome the odds or will Ocron achieve total control over Cronos?
Entertainment Value: A sword and sorcery adventure from horror master Lucio Fulci? Conquest is right in line with what you’d expect from the legendary director, as it is has gore, outlandish moments, and a wealth of surprises that make sure this remains an incredibly fun and memorable picture. Of course, those who prefer a more straight ahead or traditional genre experience might be let down, as this is rather outrageous and often nonsensical, but to me that is what makes Conquest work so well. After all, why have another by the numbers sword and sorcery film when Fulci could take it higher and deliver this madness? I love the creative energies present here, even if they’re often chaotic or even cheesy, as the movie just feels so different than its genre peers and offers such wild elements. The wackiness can lessen the drama of course and things do get silly even at times, but Conquest is always rolling the dice on interesting ideas and concepts, from costumes to characters and beyond. The one real knock is that the action scenes leave a lot to be desired, but the hokey fights tend to dial up the cheese and in this case, that is quite welcome. I’d easily recommend this to fans of Fulci, despite the non horror genre, as well as anyone who appreciates off the rail cinema, as Conquest does indeed bring the WTF at a steady pace.
On the sleaze end of the spectrum, Conquest packs in more than a few topless scenes, a couple of full frontal scenes, and of course, a serious amount of beefcake. Lots of oiled up, muscled up guys in this one, so a good balance of skin, even if the dudes never strip down. There’s also a sex snake, so there’s that. In terms of blood, Fulci doesn’t ramp up to horror movie levels, but there is some solid red stuff here. You’ll see a brutal club bash session, a pus riddled infection, a nasty stake wound, some ants enjoying an open wound, an arrow to the tits (and the knee for Skyrim fans), the staple severed head, and a woman is torn in half. All of this happens while weapons like laser arrows and bone nunchucks are brandished, which help make the already ridiculous action a little more fun to watch. The dialogue has some sparks of fun, but sticks mostly to ham handed lines delivered in ham handed performances. Not a lot of wild or overly memorable exchanges however, just some general dialogue based cheese. Enough for a point or two, but that’s about it. The overall insanity moves the needle however, with a nearly endless parade of outrageous moments. The various monsters of Conquest are a lot of fun, with hordes of beast men, a tribe of fish mummies, and other fantastical creations, though the wackiness doesn’t end there. The film also provides a winking owl, a man with no face, the aforementioned wild weapons like the laser arrows, surprise netting, a bat attack, one hilarious skull face, and of course, a helpful dolphin.
Overall Insanity: 7/10