Setter’s ‘Spectives: Whatever Happened to Sword and Sorcery?

Setter Drawing for Blog 082613Not too long ago (only about 30-odd years), it looked like the epic would be replaced in Hollywood by fantasy pictures. It wasn’t just Conan the Barbarian that we were seeing, but also stuff like The Beastmaster, Krull and The Sword and the Sorceror. The genre was going to conquer the world.

OK, what happened?

I guess a good fantasy film is really, REALLY hard to find. Especially nowadays … as the generally awful 2011 remake of Conan suggests. Have we grown up and/or out of this genre? Are we gravitating toward sci-fi more than fantasy?

Or are we putting them together, with hybrid works such as Avatar?

I’d like to think the standard sword-and-sorcery flick isn’t dead. It’s kind of a fun breed, despite a portfolio lacking in, well, high quality … something we can’t say about science fiction. To tell you the truth, I miss those silly old ’80s adventures. We don’t get so many of them today.

And it’s not as if there isn’t enough literature to support them.

I’m not saying we need something scriptless, with just a muscle-bound hero slicing his way through the reels. But I do think we could use something that brings back that 30-year-old spirit, the energetic aura that infused so many of those violent, magic-filled pictures. We could still use a dose of that, no? Or are we too old and wise to enjoy it?

Speaking for myself, old I may be. But too wise? Nah.

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