Barbarian Queen

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Barbarian Queen
Barbarian queen.jpg
Theatrical release poster by Boris Vallejo[1]
Directed by Héctor Olivera
Produced by
  • Frank Isaac
  • Alejandro Sessa
Written by Howard R. Cohen
Music by Christopher Young
  • Rodolfo Denevi
  • Rudi Donovan
Edited by
  • Silvia Ripoll
  • Leslie Rosenthal
Distributed by Concorde Pictures
Release dates
  • December 1985 (1985-12)
Running time
70 minutes
  • Argentina
  • United States
Language English

Barbarian Queen (also known as Queen of the Naked Steel) is a 1985 American-Argentine fantasy film starring Lana Clarkson, directed by Héctor Olivera and written by Howard R. Cohen. The film premiered in December 1985 in the United States.[2] It was executive produced by Roger Corman.[3]


A peaceful barbarian village prepares to celebrate the wedding of Queen Amethea (Lana Clarkson) to Prince Argan (Frank Zagarino). During preparations for the wedding ceremony, the forces of Lord Arrakur (Arman Chapman) attack the village, taking Argan and Amethea's younger sister Taramis (Dawn Dunlap) along with several others prisoner and slaughtering the remaining villagers. Amethea, her handmaiden Estrild (Katt Shea) and the female warrior Tiniara (Susana Traverso) survive the attack and set out for Arrakur's city to rescue the others and seek revenge for the destruction of their village.

Along the way the three women come across a small encampment of Arrakur's forces. Amethea and Tiniara ambush and kill the men, discovering Taramis captive inside the camp, who has seemingly been traumatized by her experience and acts withdrawn.

On the outskirts of Arrakur's realm the women meet members of an underground resistance force who agree to help smuggle Amethea's party into the city, but refuse to take up arms with them against the tyrannical Arrakur. Inside the city gates, Amethea discovers Argan and the other men taken from her village are being forced to fight as gladiators in the arena at the center of town. Meanwhile, Taramis notices Arrakur leading a procession of troops into his palace and approaches him. Arrakur recognizes Tamaris from the camp and allows her to accompany him inside, while in another part of town Estrild is attacked and raped by two of Arrakur's guards. Amethea and Tiniara come to her defense, but the women are overpowered and taken prisoner.

Estrild is made into one of the harem girls who serve the desires of the gladiators, where she is reunited with Argan, telling him of their failed attempt to resue him. Amethea and Tiniara are interrogated separately; Tiniara dies in an escape attmept, while Amethea is stripped naked and sent to the dungeon to be tortured. Arrakur and his new concubine Taramis visit Amethea in the dungeon, and witness her screaming in agony as she is stretched on the rack by the chief torturer (Tony Middleton). Taramis pretends to not know Amethea, while Arrakur demands information about the rebels who helped Amethea into the city. Amethea refuses to speak, and Arrakur demands answers by the morning, taking his leave.

The torturer later rapes Amethea, but she uses her feminine strength to squeeze his manhood painfully during the assault, forcing him to release her from the rack, whereupon Amethea hurls him into a pool of acid and escapes the dungeon. Finding Estrild, the two women flee the castle and regroup with the rebels, who agree to help in a planned overthrow of Arrakur's forces led by Argan during the gladatorial games. Amethea and the rebels join with the gladiators in the attack. Amethea fights Arrakur in one-on-one combat during the melee, but is defeated and disarmed by him. Before Arrakur can deliver the killing blow, however, Taramis stabs him in the back, killing him. Amethea and Argan are reunited and celebrate the liberation of the city from Arrakur's tyranny.



B-movie critic Joe Bob Briggs gave the film a tongue-in-cheek positive review, writing, "It's no Conan the Barbarian II, but it's got what it takes, namely: Forty-six breasts, including two on the male lead. Thirty-one dead bodies. Heads roll. Head spills. Three gang rapes. Women in chains. Orgy. Slave-girl sharing. One bird's-nest bra. The diabolical garbonza torture. Sword fu. Torch fu. Thigh fu (you have to see it to believe it)."[4] Roman Martel of DVD Verdict wrote that the film is enjoyable but problematic for its misogyny.[5] R. L. Shaffer of IGN called it an unintentionally funny Conan the Barbarian ripoff.[6] TV Guide rated it 2/5 stars and wrote that despite the film's exploitative content, Olivera "inject[s] some style and pace to the rather silly goings-on".[7] Stuart Galbraith IV of DVD Talk wrote that the film "isn't all that terrible" and appeals to its target audience.[8]


A follow-on film, Barbarian Queen II: The Empress Strikes Back was billed as a sequel, when in actuality neither the plot nor the characters had anything to do with the original Barbarian Queen film, other than casting Lana Clarkson in the title role, and having a scene where her character is stretched out naked on a rack and tortured.

The film went straight to video.


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