Aaaarnghh! Glaar! Fwaaargh!! Wooorr! Wooor!

These are among the most memorable lines in "The Barbarians" (citywide), the movie debut of the Barbarian Brothers, David and Peter Paul. The Pauls are renowned body builders, talk-show guests and movie comedians--whose biceps and triceps seem swollen to the size of small hams, and who otherwise talk like two guys on the Jersey Turnpike.

Years from now, these sparkling barbarian bons mots will be recalled by devotees--along with a few other, longer speeches, like "Bring on the virgins!" and "There aren't any virgins!"

In "The Barbarians," the Pauls play Kutchek and Gore, twin behemoths who sometimes make Conan look effete.

When their tribe, the Ragnicks, mistakenly lynches them, they snap the nooses with their neck muscles. They sneer at the maniacal tyrant, Kadar of Talchet (Richard Lynch). They chortle at Kadar's cohort, the unspeakable Dirtmaster (Michael Berryman). They snicker at the lusty sorceress, China (Sheeba Alahani). They leer at their leggy sidekick, the red-hot Ismene (Eva La Rue). They guffaw at the vicious dragon at the Tomb of the Ancient Kings.

Only the Word Wizard of Hollywood--or whoever dreamed up their adventures and filled everyone's mouth with moronic babbling--manages to defeat them.

Even so, one element in "The Barbarians" is worth high praise. Somehow, director Ruggero Deodato and his crew have contrived to make what must have been an inexpensive production shine with an ersatz sumptuousness, a "Road Warrior" raffishness and gleam.

Seldom has a movie looked so good and sounded so dumb.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World