The Barbarians (film)
VHS film cover
|Directed by||Ruggero Deodato|
|Produced by||Yoram Globus
|Written by||James R. Silke
Alberto Piferi (Dialogue Dubbing)
Eva La Rue
|Music by||Pino Donaggio|
|Edited by||Eugenio Alabiso|
Cannon Italia Srl
|Distributed by||Cannon Films|
|Box office||$800,000 (Domestic)|
The Barbarians is a 1987 American-Italian sword and sorcery film directed by Ruggero Deodato and starring the Barbarian Brothers (Peter and David Paul), Richard Lynch and Eva La Rue. Peter and David Paul were nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award as Worst New Stars for this film.
The film is set in a medieval-like heroic fantasy world. The Ragnicks, a tribe of peaceful travelling entertainers, are attacked by the evil tyrant Kadar, who takes their queen Canary hostage. Canary, however, manages to hide her magic ruby, the lucky talisman of the Ragnicks which Kadar seeks to bolster his power. Two young twins from the tribe, Kutchek and Gore, bite off two of Kadar's fingers. In retaliation, Kadar has them taken prisoner as well, but agrees to spare their lives if Canary becomes his bride.
Kutchek and Gore are separated and work as slaves for several years, and grow up as amazingly strong adults. Once they have become of age, Kadar sets them up to fight each other to the death in the arena, their faces masked by metal helmets. But as they struggle, Gore knocks open Kutchek's helmet, revealing his face; after recognizing each other, and after seeing Canary as a prisoner by Kadar's side, the twins escape from Kadar's fortress. In the woods, they find their old tribemates, who have led a life of misery ever since Canary's kidnapping, and a young girl named Ismena, a thief imprisoned by the Ragnicks. At first mistaken for enemies and nearly hanged, Kutchek and Gore manage to reveal their past association with the tribe.
Incensed by the cruelties Kadar has imposed upon their lives, the two brothers plan to go back and seek revenge on the tyrant. Ismena leads them to a local trading post to get them some weapons, but have to leave empty-handed when the weapons dealer challenges them to a bout of arm wrestling and proves to be a bad loser. The three of them thereupon sneak their way into the palace harem, where Kutchek and Gore find Canary imprisoned. Instead of being freed, however, Canary insists that the two brothers recover the ruby, which has been secreted in an area called the Forbidden Land, where the Ragnicks first received the ruby and which is guarded by a fearsome dragon. But their presence in the palace is eventually discovered by China, Kadar's court sorceress. Intent on seizing the ruby for herself, China tortures Canary for information and departs to the Forbidden Land, but just as she find the gem, China and her entourage are met by the dragon, who devours them.
Following Canary's advice, the twins and Ismena first travel to a secret tomb to recover several magical weapons to fight the dragon, and then proceed to the Forbidden Land. The dragon rises to kill them, but the brothers slay it and recover the ruby from its guts. They entrust the gem to Ismene to return it to the Ragnicks, while they prepare to carry the last fight to Kadar. But then Kadar, who has discovered China's treachery, arrives along with Canary, and knowing that her time is at an end, Canary calls upon the ruby's magic to make Kadar kill her and call Kutchek and Gore back to the Forbidden Land. The brothers encounter the tyrant and slay him once Kadar finds his box of tricks exhausted.
With Canary dead, the ruby turns to stone, but Ismene refuses to give up. Suddenly, the ruby is restored, a sign for the Ragnicks to choose a new queen for their tribe by inserting the ruby into the candidates' belly button, where it shall stick to mark her as their new ruler. But none of the Ragnicks' maidens appears to be suitable, whereupon the tribe chooses Ismene to try. The ruby remains in place, and Ismena finally reveals herself as Cara, Kutchek and Gore's old tribemate who had since left the Ragnicks for a life of her own. With their spirit restored, and with the brothers' return, the Ragnicks are free to resume their life of travelling and entertainment.
- Peter Paul ... Kutchek
- David Paul ... Gore
- Richard Lynch ... Kadar
- Eva La Rue ... Kara
- Virginia Bryant ... Canary
- Sheeba Alahani ... China
- Raffaella Baracchi ... Allura
- Franco Pistoni ... Ibar
- Michael Berryman ... Dirtmaster
- George Eastman ... Jacko
The Barbarians was released on Region 1 DVD by Shout! Factory in the United States on August 27, 2013.  It was released on DVD in some European countries, such as Italy (February 2010) and France. The original VHS version is long out-of-print. Intrada Records released the only commercial CD version of composer Pino Donaggio's soundtrack to the public. The CD, limited to 1,200 copies, immediately sold-out.