Lost Signals: Conan the Adventurer (1997)
“Between the time when the oceans drank Atlantis,” and the rise of really bad CGI come Conan… the Adventurer!
Welcome to a special, barbarian-themed week here at the clubhouse. In anticipation of the upcoming Conan the Barbarian flick by Marcus Nispel we’re hosting a week full of bloody, bronzed and beefy barbarian news and reviews featuring some special guest contributors, including Reis O’Brien– former headmaster at Geek Orthodox, action figure fanatic and talented artist. He also happens to be a HUGE Conan fan as evidenced from CROM! The Ultimate Conan Fanblog.
Created by the legendary scribe Robert E. Howard, Conan has been adapted for countless types of media over the years including comic books, cartoons, television and film (not to mention the cool toys!). Some of these adaptations have been nothing short of spectacular, worthy of a Cimmerian, while others… others are just embarrassing. Leaving no stone unturned, we’ll spend this week touching on the good and the bad. So, I figured what better way to kick things off than with a real stinker! There’s no way to go but up… right?
Clearly inspired by the popularity of the Hercules tv series starring Kevin Sorbo, Conan the Adventurer is a late 90s show starring Ralf Möller as Conan. The show is described as an “action-packed fantasy” and takes more than a few liberties with Howard’s original creation, such as replacing Conan’s main adversary (Thoth-Amon) with a wizard named Hissah Zuhl and making Crom an actual God-like presence. There is also, understandably yet unforgivably, a lack of violence and bloodshed that have become synonymous with the savage tales of Conan.
On the bright side, Möller does make for a pretty impressive-looking Conan even if his acting isn’t quite up to par (let’s be honest, neither was Arnold’s at the time). Also, Zuhl – “There Is No Dana, Only ZUUL!” – employs an effectively creepy skull, zombie head as a servant which is awesome, but it’s only a very small part of the show. The rest of the series focused on the adventures (go figure) of Conan and his band of friends with a laughable array of special effects, the comedy relief of Danny Woodburn and over-dressed ladies in distress. Everything else is… pretty forgettable or was already done by Sorbo’s Hercules.