Meat Slay Love
You’ll never hear me arguing that the 1982, Arnold Schwarzenegger version of Conan the Barbarian was any kind of watershed moment in cinema, but the new version from Marcus Nispel (a music video director who specializes in remakes) is still enough to make you nostalgic. It’s hard to pinpoint specific reasons why this tits, muscles, and gore-filled fantasy exploitation is dead eyed and hollow compared to the tit-filled, musclesploitation film from whence it sprung, it’s just that feeling you get when stupid people try to recreate things they think are cool. Like when strip mall strippers try to look like blonde playmates from the seventies and they come out looking like more crispy-haired versions of Coco Ice with bigger implants. Or when untalented musicians try to be Guns and Roses and end up Papa Roach. You know all they saw in the first place was blonde hair and big tits, or loud guitars and angry vocals, so it follows that when they went to recreate that, they were like, “Well NOW it has BLONDER hair and BIGGER tits, and LOUDER guitars and ANGRIER vocals! How much more do you love it, fagg*t!”
Gone are any sense of whimsy or kitsch, replaced by needy, semi-mean-spirited posturing. Nispel doesn’t so much tell a story as spend 90 minutes trying to gross out squares to prove his goth cred. It can occasionally be funny watching dimwits try to offend when they lack the creativity, but it’s funny in a sad way. That’s sort of the movie in a nutshell.