Tuesday, June 26, 2007

HUNDRA

Athletic Laurene Landon (I THE JURY, MANIAC COP) portrays female barbarian warrior HUNDRA in the 1983 sword & sorcery flick of the same name, now available as a special edition DVD from Subversive Cinema.

When an all-female Amazon tribe is wiped out by marauders (in a scene similar to and nearly as well executed as the opening of the first CONAN picture), man-hating tribal huntress Hundra is the sole survivor. To ensure that her tribe does not completely die out, she sets out (with her faithful horse and dog) into the savage world beyond her forest home in search of a worthy man to impregnate her with a daughter.

Pretty much a feminist-slanted remake of the first CONAN film, Matt Cimber’s HUNDRA boasts some fine cinematography, great Spanish locations, a brisk pace, a nice Ennio Morricone score, impressive stunts (many performed by Landon herself) and plenty of bizarre bits, including Hundra’s battle with a blue-painted midget. But there’s also bizarrely twisted sexual politics, some bad swordfighting, terrible dubbing and a lead actress who cannot act.

Subversive’s DVD presentation is really excellent, with a surprisingly sharp 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, that’s a little grainy in places, but otherwise more than acceptable. There’s also a full-length audio commentary track by director Cimber and star Landon, An interesting behind-the-scenes featurette with on-screen Cimber and Landon interviews, cast & crew text bios, and an original HUNDRA comic book. (It’s pretty crappy, though.) The first 5,000 copies also include a bonus soundtrack CD of Morricone’s (A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, THE UNTOUCHABLES, RED SONJA) rousing film score.

A sword & sorcery movie that’s decidedly short on sorcery, HUNDRA is, nonetheless, one of the better entries in the early 80’s fantasy cycle, and is worth checking out for fans of the genre.

BUY: Hundra