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Conan the Destroyer (Limited Edition) (4K UHD Review)

REVIEW OVERVIEW

The Film
The Video (Overall)
HDR Effect
The Audio
The Supplements
Overall

SUMMARY

Arnold returns as Conan as the hero and a group of eccentric adventurers are hired by an evil queen to escort a beautiful young princess.

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

The second entry in the sword and sorcery franchise starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Conan the Destroyer did not garner the same amount of critical praise but is in fact a more fast-paced, over-the-top adventure. The evil queen Taramis (Sarah Douglas) hires Conan to escort a beautiful young princess (Olivia D’Abo) and her towering bodyguard (Wilt Chamberlain) to a hidden castle to retrieve a magical object. But unbeknownst to Conan a double-cross is in effect. The queen plans to kill the princess and Conan once the task is completed.

This sequel to the 1982 film finds ‘Ahnuld’ just as wooden, robotic, and lacking for words, but his surrounding cast, which also includes the inimitable Grace Jones playing a wild warrior woman pick up much of the slack and this makes for an even more humorous, ridiculous, and hammy adventure than the first time around. The more comic-book oriented tone is definitely a different direction from the darker, more violent tone of the first film and more aimed and younger audiences, but there is still a lot to enjoy in this lighter fare.

Purchase Conan the Destroyer (Limited Edition) on Amazon.com

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sarah Douglas in Conan the Destroyer (1984)
  • 
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sarah Douglas in Conan the Destroyer (1984)
  • Sarah Douglas in Conan the Destroyer (1984)
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger and Olivia d'Abo in Conan the Destroyer (1984)
  • Pat Roach in Conan the Destroyer (1984)
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger in Conan the Destroyer (1984)
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger in Conan the Destroyer (1984)
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger in Conan the Destroyer (1984)
  • Grace Jones in Conan the Destroyer (1984)
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger, Grace Jones, Mako, and Tracey Walter in Conan the Destroyer (1984)
  • Conan the Destroyer (Limited Edition) (Arrow)
  • Conan the Destroyer (Limited Edition) (Arrow)
  • Conan the Destroyer (Limited Edition) (Arrow)

The Video

Conan the Destroyer comes to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from a brand new 4K restoration from the original negative by Arrow Films. The film is presented in a 2.35:1 HEVC 2160p (4K UHD) Dolby Vision encodement. Like Conan the Barbarian, this one starts out looking like it may be problematic, with the opening scene looking quite dark, especially the top part of the frame, which is the sky, but this also changes and the clear, bright image, crisp and thin grain and natural colors take over. Also like the earlier film (released alongside this one) there is palpable texture. The Dolby Vision grading again results in excellent ‘pop’ in flames, glistening armor, and beautiful gradations of blue in the skies.

The Audio

Conan the Destroyer comes with newly restored original mono audio and remixed Dolby Atmos. Like Conan the Barbarian, the mix of choice is the original mono mix as the Atmos mix, while perfectly acceptable, does not do much to add to the experience besides lifting the score up a bit too high in the soundfield, extending the low end a little, and blending some low level atmospherics in the surround channels.

The Supplements

Arrow has packed this limited edition release with lots of new and archival bonus features including three audio commentaries and four new interviews.

Limited Edition Contents:

  • Double-sided fold-out poster
  • Six double-sided collectors’ postcards
  • Illustrated collectors’ booklet featuring new writing by Walter Chaw and John Walsh, and an archive set report by Paul M. Sammon

Bonus Features:

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation included
  • Commentary by Richard Fleischer
  • Commentary by Olivia d’Abo & Tracey Walter
  • Commentary by Sarah Douglas, Kim Newman, & Stephen Jones
  • Commentary by Paul M. Sammon (NEW)
  • Newly assembled isolated score track in lossless stereo
  • Casting the Destroyer with Johanna Ray (1080p; 00:05:12) – A newly filmed interview with casting director Johanna Ray, on how she found the eclectic cast of Conan the Destroyer. (NEW)
  • Cut from a Different Cloth with John Bloomfield (1080p; 00:09:10) – A newly filmed interview with costume designer John Bloomfield, looking back on his designs for the film. (NEW)
  • Dune and the Destroyer with Kevin Phipps (1080p; 00:15:23) – A newly filmed interview with art director Kevin Phipps, reflecting on his back-to-back experiences working on Dune and Conan the Destroyer in Mexico. (NEW)
  • Swords, Sorcery, & Stunts with Vic Armstrong (1080p; 00:13:17) – A newly filmed interview with stunt coordinator Vic Armstrong, looking back on the hair-raising stunts seen in Conan the Destroyer. (NEW)
  • Behind the Destroyer with John Walsh (1080p; 00:10:00) – A Newly filmed interview with John Walsh, author of Titan Books’ Conan the Barbarian: The Official History of the Film. (NEW)
  • Archival Featurettes:
    • Conan: The Making of a Comic Book Legend (upscaled 1080p; 00:14:06)– An archive interview from 2001 with Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway, who wrote the original story for Conan the Destroyer as well as several Marvel Comics featuring the character.
    • Basil Poledouris: Composing the Conan Saga (upscaled 1080p; 00:17:17) – An archive interview from 2001 with composer Basil Poledouris, reflecting on his music for both Conan films.
  • Trailer Gallery:
    • Theatrical Trailer 1 (1080p; 00:02:23)
    • Theatrical Trailer 2 (1080p; 00:01:32)
  • Image Gallery (1080p)

The Final Assessment

A breezy and bizarre B-movie sequel that never takes itself seriously and mixes together an oddball cast of actors from Arnie to Wilt Chamberlain to Grace Jones, this sequel looks superb on 4K Ultra HD from Arrow.


Conan the Destroyer (Limited Edition) is out on 4K Ultra Combo on January 30, 2024 from Arrow Video

Purchase Conan the Destroyer (Limited Edition) at Amazon.com


  • Rating Certificate: PG
  • Studios & Distributors: Dino De Laurentiis Company | Pressman Film | Universal Pictures | Arrow Video
  • Director: Richard Fleischer
  • Written By: Robert E. Howard | Roy Thomas | Gerry Conway
  • Run Time: 103 Mins.
  • Street Date: 30 January 2024
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • HDR Format: Dolby Vision (HDR10 Compatible)
  • Maximum Luminance: 1000 nits
  • Minimum Luminance: 0.0001 nits
  • Primary Audio: English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Compatible)
  • Secondary Audio: English LPCM 1.0 Mono
  • Subtitles: English SDH
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Arnold returns as Conan as the hero and a group of eccentric adventurers are hired by an evil queen to escort a beautiful young princess. Conan the Destroyer (Limited Edition) (4K UHD Review)