VOD Spotlight: The latest incarnation of “Conan the Barbarian” keeps the pulp

Ever since being created by Robert E. Howard in a series of fantasy stories published in Weird Tales magazine starting in 1932, Conan the Barbarian has been a fixture in popular culture, and arguably ushered in the beginning of sword-and-sorcery/heroic fantasy fiction, which would spawn everything from The Lord of the Rings to Dungeons & Dragons. Outside of books and magazines, Conan has found himself and his adventures featured in comic books, video games, collectible card games, animated TV series and, probably naturally, in role-playing games.

But the majority of audiences are probably familiar with him from his 1980s exploits on the big screen, where he was played by Arnold Schwarzenegger — in 1982’s Conan the Barbarian, and 1984’s Conan the Destroyer. Attempts at follow-up films in this series were unsuccessful, especially after Schwarzenegger was elected governor of California, so efforts for another Conan film were shelved for a while. Until this year.

The revamped Conan the Barbarian takes the the legendary warrior, now approaching his 80th birthday in pop-culture terms, back to his gory, pulp-fiction roots, with plenty of sword battles, damsels in distress, evil villains and wizards, and monsters. Jason Momoa (Stargate: Atlantis) plays the title role, alongside Rachel Nichols (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra), Stephen Lang (Avatar, Terra Nova), Rose McGowan (Charmed) and Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy). (Morgan Freeman is also featured as, what else, a narrator.)

By Crom!

“Conan the Barbarian” is available starting Nov. 22 on Video On Demand. Check your cable system for availability.

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