Picks and Pans Review: Kull the Conqueror
This pectorial spectacular is so agreeably cheesy, it's pure Velveeta. Sorbo, an actor who has muscled his way to stardom by playing Hercules in the syndicated TV series of the same name, shows off his rippling pecs and buff biceps to advantage as Kull (rhymes with dull), a commoner whose skill at swordplay leads to his being named king of ancient mythical Valusia. To remain king, he must fight off an evil enchantress (Carrere) and a jealous prince (Griffith) and listen to a lot of heavy metal guitar whanging away on the soundtrack every time he goes into battle. And, oh, yes, he must win the love of a beautiful slave girl (Lombard). Wisely, his wooing strategy includes issuing a royal proclamation liberating all Valusian slaves.
If all this sounds a lot like Conan the Barbarian, the 1982 film that made a certain cigar-chomping Austrian bodybuilder a star, it should. Both of these testosterone-saturated characters first appeared in short stories written for magazines by '30s pulpmeister Robert E. Howard, and both films were produced by Raffaella De Laurentiis (daughter of Dino). Who should bother seeing Kull? Fans of Sorbo and the Hercules: The Legendary Journeys series and anyone else keenly interested in seeing well-built actors parade about in luxuriant wigs and scanty body armor. (PG-13)