Kull the Conqueror
|Kull the Conqueror|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John Nicolella|
|Produced by||Raffaella De Laurentiis|
Robert E. Howard
Charles Edward Pogue
Thomas Ian Griffith
Gary "Litefoot" Davis
|Music by||Joel Goldsmith|
|Edited by||Dallas Puett|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Running time||95 min.|
Kull the Conqueror is a 1997 fantasy film about the Robert E. Howard character Kull starring Kevin Sorbo. It is a movie adaptation of Howard's Conan novel The Hour of the Dragon, with the protagonist changed to the author's other barbarian hero Kull. The story line also bears similarities to two other Howard stories, the Kull story "By This Axe, I Rule" and the Conan story, "The Phoenix on the Sword", which was actually a rewrite of the Kull story.
The film was originally intended to be a third Conan film, Conan the Conqueror. The protagonist was changed due to Arnold Schwarzenegger's refusal to reprise his role as Conan and Kevin Sorbo's reluctance to redo a character already played. Screenwriter Charles Edward Pogue has stated on several occasions that he was extremely displeased with this film, feeling that his script was ruined by studio interference.
Demons once ruled mankind under Akivasha, Sorceress Queen of Acheron, until overthrown by the god Valka. The kingdom of Valusia was built on the ruins of Acheron, and Valka left a single flame of Acheron there to burn for eternity as reminder of "godless times".
What appears at first to be a great battle soon resolves itself into Kull's entrance exam for admission into the king of Valusia's elite Dragon Legion. Kull fails to gain entry, however, after telling General Taligaro that he is from Atlantis, i.e., not of 'noble blood'. While they speak, a messenger from the palace reports that the king has gone mad and is slaughtering his heirs.
Taligaro and the Legion ride for Velusia, Kull following behind. They enter the throne room to find the king covered in blood and the floor littered with bodies. The king turns on Taligaro, but Kull stops him, trying to calm his blind rage. The king then turns on Kull instead. Mortally wounded when his own sneak attack fails, the king summons enough energy to make Kull his heir out of spite. He knows that many will try to kill Kull, especially Taligaro and his cousin, who are both of royal blood and who would have otherwise been in line for the throne.
Taligaro and the king's cousin conspire to bring Akivasha back to life, to destroy Kull and take the crown themselves. Akivasha seduces Kull with ease and marries him. Once married, she becomes Queen and promptly poisons Kull, who is believed by the royal court to be dead; however, Kull reawakens to find out the truth of Akivasha. He frees himself from confinement and plots to regain his throne and vanquish the evil witch. He is joined in his quest by Ascalante, a priest of an old abandoned god whom Kull had freed earlier, and Zareta, Ascalante's sister and fortune-teller, who was a member of Kull's harem wrongfully accused of his murder by the queen.
What results is a series of tests and adventures which ultimately results in the death of the witch, the reinstatement of Kull as King, the abolishment of the slavery of Velusia, the reformation of the laws of the lands, and the inclusion of a new Queen.
- Kevin Sorbo – Kull
- Tia Carrere – Akivasha
- Thomas Ian Griffith – General Taligaro
- Gary "Litefoot" Davis – Ascalante
- Roy Brocksmith – Tue
- Harvey Fierstein – Juba
- Karina Lombard – Zareta
- Edward Tudor-Pole – Enaros
- Douglas Henshall – Ducalon
- Joe Shaw – Dalgar
- Sven-Ole Thorsen – King Borna (as Sven Ole Thorsen)
- Terry O'Neill – Ship's Captain
- Pat Roach – Zulcki
- John Hallam – Mandara
- Peter Petruna – Slave
The film received mostly negative reviews from critics and currently holds a 26% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The movie debuted at No. 9 with only over $3 million in its opening weekend. It went on to gross just $6.1 million in the US.
- "G.I. Jane' Proves Its Mettle in Second Week at Box Office". The Los Angeles Times. 1997-09-02. Retrieved 2010-12-27.
- Kull the Conqueror at the Internet Movie Database
- Kull the Conqueror at AllMovie
- Kull the Conqueror at Rotten Tomatoes
- Kull the Conqueror at Box Office Mojo