Ruggero Deodato made some pretty tough movies in his career and imagining him directing a pair of muscle-bound buffoons strikes me as rather humourous. I envision Deodato getting completely frustrated on the set and throwing his hands up in despair on a regular basis with their shenanigans. The reality is that I am probably way off and perhaps this was the most fun Deodato ever had making a movie. Going from Cannibal Holocaust and House on the Edge of the Park to a goofy sword and sorcery flick is an interesting career move to say the least. This a pretty standard low budget entry into the subgenre clearly attempting to cash in on the gimmick of the twin bodybuilders who are lovably goofy. The trick worked and these guys went on to star in three other movies before joining the Barbi Twins as a pop culture footnote.
The opening of this flick is ambitious as a band of gypsies known as the Ragnicks are attacked by marauders while their caravan is on the move. This is a big action scene staged like a western that has a number of stunts involving horses and moving stagecoach-like trailers. The gypsies are overrun and their leader Canary (Virginia Bryant - Demons 2) is made a prisoner of the evil Kadar (Richard Lynch) in exchange for sparing the lives of twin orphans. The siblings are forced to work as slaves for Kadar. Years pass and they build up their muscles and eventually escape to reunite with their people only to learn about Canary's predicament. They decide to go back to free Canary and take revenge on Kadar but are met with a number of obstacles including a weird-looking werewolf and a lame-ass dragon as they embark on a quest to find a magical ruby to restore order.
If a novelty song could become a movie, this would be it. The brothers are not to be taken seriously as actors in any way and it is a bit of a mystery to me as to how this even came about. The Barbarian Brothers play the himbo card to the hilt and one of them asserts his individuality by uttering a weird baying sound at random moments. Ladies and gay men who are into muscles will love this flick as the boys are oiled up and wearing only skimpy loincloths throughout. There are a lot of glistening pecs and exposed ass cheeks if that's your thing. This is one of those pictures from the video boom that can be a blast if you are in the right mood and terribly annoying if you are not. Fortunately for me, I am usually in the right mood for stuff like this. Fans of "CSI: Miami" will get a kick out of seeing Eva La Rue who played Natalia Boa Vista as a friendly thief who is also only wearing a loincloth.
There is a fine line between a bad movie and a fun bad movie. This one falls on the latter side giving the audience much to laugh at and a fast pace that keeps things entertaining. The brothers are clearly enjoying themselves being in this movie and it shows. They also don't seem to mind coming off as somewhat unintelligent on camera but this is part of their charm and probably why they enjoyed a brief run of fame in the late 80s. I can't recommend this as a good movie but can recommend it if you want to watch some cheesy fun and laugh at silly monsters and airhead dudes who are more brawn than brains. Look for Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes) as one of Kadar's lead henchmen. Eurotrash fans will also recognize George Eastman (Anthropophagus) as Jacko, the rogue who loses the arm wrestle. The Barbarian Brothers are no longer acting but Peter runs a personal training business while David has delved into the world of photography (you can check out his stuff HERE. (Josh Pasnak, 3/31/16)
Directed By: Ruggero Deodato.
Written By: James R. Silke.
Starring: David Paul, Peter Paul, Richard Lynch, Eva La Rue.