John Milius was out and Richard Fleischer was in to direct the second installment in this sword-and-sorcery trilogy from the Dino De Laurentiis Company. Conan the Destroyer was shot in Mexico on an 18,000,000 dollar budget. While I was excited to see a sequel,this film lacks the seriousness and respect of its predecessor,Conan the Barbarian.
Conan (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and his goofy sidekick, Malak (Tracey Walter) are professional thieves who make a deal with an evil sorceress named Taramis (Sarah Douglas) to steal a magic crystal from the sorcerer, Thoth-Amon (Pat Roach) to resurrect Dagoth, the dreaming god of destruction. On his way Conan accumulates a collection of ragtag friends who contribute to a story that plays out more like a Dungeons & Dragons campaign than a Robert E. Howard tale. The story was penned by sword-and-sorcery comic book guru, Roy Thomas ( Conan the Barbarian, Red Sonja, Arak, Son of Thunder, Conan the Savage, and others).
Mako is back in his role as Akiro the Wizard,though, I don't think he had a name aside from"Wizard" in Conan the Barbarian. After rescuing Akiro from a band of cannibals, Conan rescues Zula (Grace Jones) a black female warrior and thief from an angry mob of villagers who have her shackled and are planning to kill her. Accompanying the group on their journey is Princess Jehnna (Olivia d'Abo) and her giant bodyguard Bombaata (played by basketball star, Wilt Chamberlain). The actors all do a great job,especially Grace Jones, who, I understand got into the fight scenes so much that she ended up hurting a number of people on the set with her Bo Staff.
Released in 1984, two years after the original Conan the Barbarian film, this movie doesn't pack nearly as much punch as John Milius's masterpiece. With Conan the Destroyer, Fleischer made an entertaining film that would have been more enjoyable had he shown more restraint with the goofy humor. I didn't like this movie when it first came out, but over the years I have warmed up to it somewhat. I think it would have been better received by myself, and maybe other fans of John Milius's film, if the protagonist of the story had a name other than Conan.