I’ve never been a big fan of the sword-and-sandal flicks, whether they are of the old Conan variety or even the new-fangled Scorpion King or 300 or Prince of Persia variety. I have seen a number of them but they tend to annoy me with how utterly ridiculous they are. On that point, Hundra did not disappoint. The titular Hundra (even her name sounds like intestinal gas) is a warrior from an all-female tribe that even in its single gender society still follows traditional gender roles. Either you’re a birther or you’re a warrior. Hundra was happy enough to follow this plan until the local male tribe got pissed off enough to decimate all of Hundra’s tribe. Why? Who cares. After dispatching the bastards in the first of many extreme slo-mo fight scenes, Hundra seeks out the local oracle to discover that she must now rebuild her tribe by becoming a birther.
Here’s where the movie goes from being a revengist sword fighting flick to being nearly downright goofy. All the male characters are completely one-sided belching, farting goons hell-bent on collecting dumb, weak-willed, large busted women to be degraded sexual playthings. Hundra, of course, wants none of this nonsense, but she does make a friend of a head concubine to the local HMFIC who teaches her to clean herself up enough to get impregnated by the least unlikeable guy in the flick, the local medicine man:
There’s lots of talk of destiny and places in society and where women belong in it, etc. The picture tries to be at least mildly pro-women, but the scene in which the concubines rise up against the Man and kill him is ruined by the fact that guy is killed by “smuffication”:
SKIP TO 4:20 IN THE CLIP. YES, 4:20.
At least the soundtrack is composed by the great Ennio Morricone, at least if you ignore the fact that it does sound one heck of a lot like the soundtrack to Red Sonja, which came out the following year. One fun fact is that Hundra recycles cosutmes and props from Conan, which had come out the year before. See, most TV and film studios work like the BBC, where they have only 6 actors and 3 sets. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that star Laurene Landon not only did most of her stunts, she’s also a legitimate actress and not a Playboy Playmate like I originally assumed. Isn’t that how most pretty women became stars in sword-and-sandal flicks in the early 1980s?
So what was the KC knitting while watching this?
Still working on my Carson Throw, and will be through August. It’s only 576 stitches around so far. By the time it’s done it will be a full-length movie per row!