You know, I mentioned the other day that I made my way through an all-new 4K release of Conan The Barbarian (1982) -- for which I'm working on a review -- and just last night I screened its counterpart, Conan The Destroyer (1984), as part of this new collection from Arrow Films. (Kudos to my distributor friend who provided me with copies.) It's funny how, tonally, the two flicks almost feel like night and day: while crafted in the same cinematic universe, they only superficially resemble one another, so much so that I think it's rather obvious that Destroyer really ground the film franchise to a halt so very quickly. It isn't that it's a bad film; it's just that when stacked as a follow-up to the vastly superior original (in so many ways), one might ask "Why?" Why derail what could've truly been an incredible theatrical legacy.
Don't fret: I'll save the really good observations for my respective reviews. But I can't even begin to put into words my frustration with how Hollywood does this, how they creatively tank what could be the prospects for some truly intelligent world-building all because the producer wanted to wider the audience pool in hopes of making a few more bucks in profit. The truth is that the Golden Goose was slaughtered; and ticket buyers went elsewhere for their Fantasy needs. While some have christened the 1980's as the Golden Era of Fantasy films, I find it rather telling that the studios both built and killed it in so short a time. Wow. What a misstep.
Sorry for the sermon, peeps. Some mornings, it's all I can do to stay sane!
The sentiments are very close, however, to what's going on right now with the Star Wars and Star Trek properties; and that's mostly why I brought it up. Star Wars -- under Kathleen Kennedy's stewardship -- has really gone off-the-rails stupid, and the attempts to (cough cough) refashion it into some kind of Social Justice Juggernaut might have damaged it beyond repair at this point. The same could be said for Star Trek, given the fact that it veered so very quickly into pushing political ideology over simply merely discussing it the way previous incarnations did. All a reasonable person need do is even glance in the direction of the long-running Doctor Who to see that identity issues tarnish the goodwill built with audiences, forcing them to go elsewhere for their entertainment needs.
Wow. Has Science Fiction and Fantasy ever been in a worse situation than the present?
I know, I know, I know: a good many of you come here precisely because I do try to avoid these discussion. Still, as I've said more and more as of late, you can't separate entertainment from the culture of politics because these producers and storytellers are inserted these issues front-and-center. Long gone is the day when equity was something central to mainstream fare; now you can't turn on the tube without a steady drip-drip-drip of propaganda ... and I think that's very sad.
Think I'm alone in my assessment?
Well, the original film took home a much-deserved Edgar Allan Poe Awards' trophy in the category of 'Best Television Feature Or Miniseries' for good measure.
Still not convinced?
Well, how about the fact that a 2019 DVD release of this original film enjoyed a Saturn Awards nomination in the category of 'Best DVD/Blu-ray Television Movie Or Series Release'? Think that would happen in a vacuum?
Seriously, if I haven't convinced you yet, then I likely never will. But I do encourage those of you who like something a bit older to check out Kolchak. It's a wonderful IP that gets kicked around for retooling from time-to-time.
Of course, that isn't all that today should be celebrated for; and -- as par for the course -- I've included a wealth of other tidbits and trivia worthy of your attention on the proper Daily Citation Page. You're all encouraged to check it out; and -- as time permits -- I might even craft a few additions to the day.
Here's what you're truly looking for ...
As always, thanks for reading ... thanks for sharing ... thanks for being a fan ... and live long and prosper!