Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Red Sonja (1985)
Amazon Vehicles Editors' Picks Amazon Fashion Learn more nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Songs of Summer Fire TV Stick Happy Belly Snacks Totes Summer-Event-Garden Amazon Cash Back Offer power_s3 power_s3 power_s3  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis Water Sports

Format: DVD|Change
Price:$4.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on September 15, 2004
Based (very loosely) on a character created by legendary sword and sorcery fantasy writer Robert E. Howard, comes Red Sonja (1985), imbued with powers of mystical origin and seeking justice and revenge for the wrongs perpetrated upon her and her family by an evil warlord queen. The film, directed by Richard Fleischer, who also did Conan the Destroyer (1984), stars Brigitte (I was married to Sylvester Stallone once) Nielsen as the title character. Also appearing is Arnold Swarzenegger as Kalidor, a Noble warrior who aids Sonja on her quest, and the lovely Sandahl Bergman (she appeared in Conan the Barbarian as the warrior Valaria) as the evil Queen Gerden. Other notable appearances include Ronald Lacey (you may remember him as Toht from the film Raiders of the Lost Ark) as evil henchman Ikol, and Paul L. Smith (Bluto from the Robin Williams Popeye movie) as Falkon.

The film begins by relating the sad tale of Sonja and how Queen Gerden and her forces wiped out her family, supposedly I guess due to the fact the Queen wanted Sonja in some capacity (girls gone wild indeed) but Sonja refused. Left for dead, Sonja is visited by a spirit of sorts, which gives her literally gives he strength to embark on a quest of justice and revenge against the evil queen. Also, it seems the queen has stolen a powerful, carefully guarded, glowing orb right before it was meant to be destroyed, one that has powers of its' own, allowing for the possessor to control elemental forces and call down storms and earthquakes, if they so wish. Kalidor, one of the individuals in place to oversee the destruction of the orb, joins forces with Red Sonja, as their paths may differ, but they ultimately lead to the same place. An impudent, young prince named Tarn and his guard/manservant Falkon, whose kingdom was unceremoniously wiped out by Gerden as a test for her newfound powers, soon joins them. Will this small band of adventurers be able to stop Gerden and destroy the orb before the combination of the two destroys the world?

Alright, there's no denying this film has many problems...the movie basically came into existence to leech off the successes of the most excellent Conan the Barbarian (1982), and the lesser excellent sequel Conan the Destroyer (1984). Why they just didn't make another Conan film is beyond me, but I guess it was for the best, as, like Conan the Destroyer, this film garnered a PG rating, seriously hindering the level of violence inherent within the original Robert E. Howard stories. There is much violence and killing in this film, but it's extremely watered down, unlike Conan the Barbarian (which had an R rating, and was more faithful to the source material in more aspects than one). It's funny, but if you watch the trailer for this film, you'd think Arnold Swarzenegger was the star, as he was much more prominently displayed over Nielsen, but this is not a Conan movie. I did like some elements about the film. I thought the sets were very well done, and quite expansive. There was a few times when they seemed a bit too much, like in Queen Gerden's throne room...it was certainly suitable for an evil queen, but was it really necessary to have skeletons hanging around? I mean we know she's evil, but that seemed like overkill. The costumes were marginally well done, with the fighting scenes a bit better, specifically the swordplay (I don't think Swarzenegger understood the what it mean to go half-speed, as he seemed to really lay it on at times, swinging his large weapon, sword, that is...). The weakest part of this production has to be the script. The dialogue is so incredibly lame, and often resorts to having characters either speak the obvious, or put forth moronic questions and/or statements that made me groan. Also, the little comedic bits of dialogue didn't help either, as they were so poorly done and seemed quite unnatural and completely out of character. Someone else mentioned Nielsen's idiotic mullet, and I would agree, but I thought she did all right with the fighting sequences and the more athletic maneuvers, but the scenes where a stunt person took her place was quite obvious at times. I normally don't care much for children actors in films like this, as they invariably kill the mood, but the kid playing Prince Tarn wasn't too bad. Maybe if he had better lines, who knows? Bergman as Queen Gerden was good, but completely two dimensional and was passed off as a power hungry warmonger with sapphic tendencies. The plot was pretty straight-forward, and moved along well, but I was annoyed with the whole premise of some of the central characters learning lessons, like the young, snotty prince learning the value of humility and self-sacrifice, and that of Red Sonja, who suffered at the hands of Gerden's men at the beginning of the film, that not all men are bad and there is more to life than fighting, like love...I didn't mind that these elements were incorporated into the story, but I felt like I was being slapped in the face with it...Howard would do this in his books, but with a subtle professionalism nowhere to be seen here. Overall, the story's not so hot, the acting so-so, the costumes, scenery, special effects and fighting all pretty good, with the best element being the original musical score by Ennio Morricone...had the makers of this film had a better script and more material befitting an R rating (as in Conan the Barbarian), we might have really had something here.

The wide screen print here looks pretty good, and shows almost no signs of age or deterioration. The only special feature is an original theatrical trailer, but I really wasn't expecting much more. If you like the 2nd Conan film, you may enjoy this, but otherwise you might be better off renting instead of buying. You'll thank Crom...

Cookieman108
11 comment| 83 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 5, 2004
When I first viewed this video (I won't admit how old I was) it took a long time to realize Arnold was Kalidor and not Conan. Perhaps because his other movies were a long way off from from a Barbarian film or I wanted it to be a sequel. Either way, I enjoyed this film.
Now I don't review films, however after reading some of the other reviews I had to defend Arnold. Maybe people need to be reminded that, although this movie is being released on DVD it still is a 1985 released video. The special effects were nowhere near what they are now. I'm not a history buff as I'm sure most people aren't. The exact clothing worn in an era or weapons used aren't as important as the entertainment being provided (unless they try shooting each other with rifles). I am less harsh on actors/actresses making debuts. I've never done it, but it can't be easy. As far as I'm concerned this is a good movie and I will buy it on DVD when it becomes available (anyone want to buy my video version?)
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 1, 2014
This movie was great, brought to mind Tarzan and Jane. Red Sonja was definitely Conan's soul mate, unlike Jane, what Sonja's mate could do, she could do and wasn't afraid to do it, she was definitely able to hold her own, sometimes it seemed almost like they were in competition with each other at times, but they were well suited. I loved the old world aspects of the movie, it got you to fantasize about the possibility of life being that way, having to struggle for existence based strength, agility and instinct. I recommend watching it, it'll definitely take your mind off everything current.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Arnold Schwarzenegger has been quoted as saying that "Red Sonja" is the worst movie he has ever been in, and has been known to punish his children by making them go to their rooms and watch it. I can see why. The film is good for a campy laugh, but it is essentially a lame follow up to the "Conan" films that were so popular. It is unsurprising to see that Dino De Laurentis was involved with making this film, as it has all his trademarks: grand scale, cheesy sets, terrible over-acting, and amazing plot contrivances.

This is (surprise!) a film about vengeance set in a swords and sorcery background. Brigitte Nielsen is Red Sonja, a master warrior out to avenge her family's deaths. She is pitted against the evil Queen Gedren (Sandahl Bergman) who has stolen the talisman. The talisman (which is a ridiculous glowing orb) will destroy the world in 13 days if Sonja can't recover it. Along the way we pick up the supremely annoying child actor Ernie Reyes, Jr. who plays the arrogant Prince Tarn, and the Prince's aid, Falkon (Paul Smith), who has the patience of Job to deal with the brat.

There is much swordplay and padding, and many wacky characters and situations. I was especially amused by the giant purring tarantula that Gedren kept, and the metal "killing machine" that everyone gets to flop around with in a wet cave reminding me of Bela Lugosi dealing with the horrifying octopus in Ed Wood's masterwork "Bride of the Monster", the prime difference being that Lugosi could act.

Obviously there is a wooden romance between Arnold and Sonja, but lots of swordplay is involved in the courtship process. There are numerous gaffes in this film. I swear that in one ambush scene the bad guys are wearing blue jeans...if they aren't they are certainly the ancient precursors. There are also some puerile ruses from Gedren's comically-costumed magician and an epic conclusion involving a mammoth sword fight, an earthquake, a river of lava, and an exploding castle (which looks more like an oil well fire than anything).

This movie is worth the look for camp value alone: the acting is among the worst I have seen in a big budget film (especially from Nielsen and Reyes), the plot is ridiculous, the special effects are none to special, and characters are laughable. It is enjoyable from a "so bad it's good" perspective, and is relatively short, which helps deaden the pain. I recommend this movie to people who like camp classics.

At least on this one issue, I find myself in agreement with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
11 comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 28, 2012
Okay, no one here is in Oscar contention, let's get that out of the way. But if you take it at face value, it is a decent popcorn movie. The story is okay, the scenery is beautiful and the action is compelling. Bridgette Nielson is beautiful and her sword fighting is fun to watch. Meanwhile the Actor's Studio is not going to have anyone watch Ms. Nielsen and Mr. Schwarzenegger (playing a "Conan" like figure) anytime soon. I was replacing my old VHS tapes and had just purchased the two "Conan" movies - so I bought this too. It had been a decade or more since I watched it last, and it was still a pretty fun movie to watch, I've certainly watched worse ("Blair Witch 2" I'm talking to you).
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 26, 2015
I'm a huge fan of Robert E. Howard & his books. I had seen this movie YEARS ago. I knew that it was pretty cheesy. It was done at the same time when Arnold Schwarzenegger was doing the Conan movies. And this is set in the same time as those.

I think that this was Bridget Nielsen's first starring role & probably her last. But the movie is fun to watch because of how cheesy it is. You'll get a pretty good laugh out of it. Especially of the little prince & his court jester of a "protector".

This is great for some good laughs.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 25, 2012
Sonja?! Sonja?! heeheehee ...

This is awesome swordplay, especially between Sonja and Arnold's character. Overall, this movie has less gore than the Conan films of the same time period, and has a kid tie-in. I guess the filmmakers were aiming at a younger audience. Ah well.

The Story is kind of corny, but plays out well. There is nice action, but no really terrifying creatures. Still, this is a great sword-n-sorcery film, and the colors are very nice. Besides, Sonja is kind of hot.

Anyway, if you have the Conan films, this is a must-have!
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 16, 2013
What a movie. It literally starts like a house on fire............Sonja's to be exact. Poor Sonja, family killed down to the last brother, raped, and left for dead. Thank goodness, a blurry white spirit shows up to offer poor Sonja some much-needed advice, spurring her on to VENGEANCE! Cue Arnold ridding and ridding and ridding. Naturally, one cannot have this type of film without a temple of some sort, manned (so to speak) by priestesses in lovely white robes. Avert your eyes as carnage soon ensues thanks to a lack of manners by crazy Queen Gedren of Berkubane (for a brief moment I thought it was Queen Gherkin of Blefuscu but I think I got my wires crossed). Thank goodness, one of the lovely priestesses escapes and falls into Lord Kalidor's beefy arms; else, there wouldn't be much of a story. Well, in truth, there really isn't much of a story but they all go along with it anyway, none the wiser. All this fuss for a downed disco ball a lovely shade of pulsating green. They all call this thing a talisman. Silly me, I was under the impression that a talisman was something one wore about their neck. Try that with this thing and there wouldn't be much of a neck left. Although I waited for the longest time for someone to try it. Said bauble ended up in a room filled with candles to help bring about its brilliance and an end of the world. Yes, this was a doomsday plot. Sorry to say, it doesn't turn out that way in the end. Where was I? Pickle Puss (Brigitte Nielsen) spends the bulk of this movie spurning the advances of Arnold (Lord Kalidor), no small feat! When she isn't giving a hand to this really snotty little brat in want of a good spanking (Ernie Reyes, Jr.), Sonja fights and fights and fights an odd assortment of men. Never has so much swordplay been put to film with so few results (although a head does go flying). Things really pick up once they get past the metallic sea monster and enter Castle Berkubane. The Queen (Sandahl Bergman) isn't much of a decorator but she does have a snazzy TV and a really big pet spider. Along the way we also learn the best use of a couple of horses, some rope, and one nasty little boy.

I really mean it when I say they don't make them like this anymore (although some wisenheimer has the bright idea to do a Red Sonja remake. Wasn't one trip down this crazy road bad enough!?).

On the plus side, there is a bombastic score by Ennio Morricone. So it's not a total waste.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
HALL OF FAMEon March 31, 2005
Director Richard Fleischer derailed the Conan movie franchise by making the 1984 "Conan the Destroyer" much more of a campy adventure than John Milius did with the original 1982 "Conan the Barbarian." However, for this 1985 Conan spin-off of a Robert E. Howard inspired creation, the warrior-woman Red Sonja. In the title role is the statuesque model Brigitte Nielsen, making her film debut, with Arnold Schwarzenegger playing Kalidor, the Conan-clone who plays a pivotal supporting role in that he usually only shows up to save the film's heroine. However, given the idea that Red Sonja has been given her warrior strength to avenge the murder of her family and her own violent rape, the idea that a man has to keep bailing her own clearly runs against the character's ideology (and you just cannot ignore that sort of thing when the title character has been empowered by the gods as long as she keeps true to her vows and avoids sex).

Arnold is a more engaging character this time around, which is rather easy since nobody is as sullen as Conan, and this is the first time where you really get a sense of fun in one of his movies (his serious resume at that point was the two Conan films and the first "Terminator"). The problem is that by the time he first shows up the best part of the movie is over, and for every decent moment provided by Arnold there are three or four scenes with Ernie Reyes, Jr. as the annoying Prince Tarn, reducing the movie to something like "Home Alone" with swords. The plot for "Red Sonja" involves a quest for a giant green orb and an evil queen (Sandhal Bergman), which makes it a lot like "Conan the Destroyer." Indeed, the worst thing I can say about this sword and sorcery effort is that it made me like the Conan sequel a whole lot better, which is not whatt I was hoping for at all.

One of the reasons we are surprised by how bad of a film we are watching is that the crew includes cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno and art director Danilo Donati, who usually worked with Federico Fellini, and the music is by Ennio Morricone, who did all of the epic scores for Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns. I know that neither one of those two celebrated directors would have touched this project, but one of their assistant directors could have turned in a more competent performance that Fleischer. "Conan the Barbarian" remains the best Sword & Sorcery film to date, and with his two entries Fleischer gets the lion share of credit for sending the whole genre right done the tubes. Milius is planning a King Conan movie for 2005, so there is hope, but those faintly flickering flames have gotten really small in the last twenty years.
0Comment| 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
HALL OF FAMEon December 29, 2003
Director Richard Fleischer derailed the Conan movie franchise by making the 1984 "Conan the Destroyer" much more of a campy adventure than John Milius did with the original 1982 "Conan the Barbarian." However, for this 1985 Conan spin-off of a Robert E. Howard inspired creation, the warrior-woman Red Sonja. In the title role is the statuesque model Brigitte Nielsen, making her film debut, with Arnold Schwarzenegger playing Kalidor, the Conan-clone who plays a pivotal supporting role in that he usually only shows up to save the film's heroine. However, given the idea that Red Sonja has been given her warrior strength to avenge the murder of her family and her own violent rape, the idea that a man has to keep bailing her own clearly runs against the character's ideology (and you just cannot ignore that sort of thing when the title character has been empowered by the gods as long as she keeps true to her vows and avoids sex).
Arnold is a more engaging character this time around, which is rather easy since nobody is as sullen as Conan, and this is the first time where you really get a sense of fun in one of his movies (his serious resume at that point was the two Conan films and the first "Terminator"). The problem is that by the time he first shows up the best part of the movie is over, and for every decent moment provided by Arnold there are three or four scenes with Ernie Reyes, Jr. as the annoying Prince Tarn, reducing the movie to something like "Home Alone" with swords. The plot for "Red Sonja" involves a quest for a giant green orb and an evil queen (Sandhal Bergman), which makes it a lot like "Conan the Destroyer." Indeed, the worst thing I can say about this sword and sorcery effort is that it made me like the Conan sequel a whole lot better, which is not whatt I was hoping for at all.
One of the reasons we are surprised by how bad of a film we are watching is that the crew includes cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno and art director Danilo Donati, who usually worked with Federico Fellini, and the music is by Ennio Morricone, who did all of the epic scores for Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns. I know that neither one of those two celebrated directors would have touched this project, but one of their assistant directors could have turned in a more competent performance that Fleischer. "Conan the Barbarian" remains the best Sword & Sorcery film to date, and with his two entries Fleischer gets the lion share of credit for sending the whole genre right done the tubes. Milius is planning a King Conan movie for 2005, so there is hope, but those faintly flickering flames have gotten really small in the last twenty years.
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Customers also viewed these items

$9.19

Need customer service? Click here