Coke-sniffing werewolves and barbarian ninjas are just the tip of the iceberg in this gore-soaked surrealist Lucio Fulci fantasy tour de force. Conquest is a truly special film chock-full of crazy creatures, half-naked women, and glowing hand-animated effects that hearken back to the classic Lou Ferrigno's Hercules films of the same era. In the first ten minutes alone, a young Neil Diamond clone is shooting arrows into evil mutant's crotches, while backed by a blaring Claudio Simonetti score whose psychotic grandeur keeps the film's outrageous factor always pumping throughout the rest of the 93-minute running time (that's if you're watching the uncut print, of course). And speaking of hardcore gore, it's good to know that Fulci was still keeping it real at this point, with his patented extra long pans of puss-oozing sores, burning flesh, and gut explosions all intact for every nasty fan to enjoy. Now, if you hadn't guessed, Conquest is not exactly a Grade A picture by your usual standards. For one, either the camera lens was covered in Vaseline the entire time, or they had the fog machines pumped up to 11, because every shot has a haze to it that never goes away. Still, even with the shoddy production values and downright embarrassing monster masks, it is what it is -- a psychedelic C-Grade fantasy flick by the master of Italian gore done in an incredibly strange time and place in movie history -- Italy in the early '80s. Some might call in junk, but those with their tongue planted firmly in cheek will call it a schlock masterpiece.
by Jeremy Wheeler review