Host Segments for

Joe Bob's Library
July 24, Bodybuilding
Conan the Destroyer

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image 1 "CONAN THE DESTROYER" Intro (host segments continued from Conan the Barbarian)

Well, it's time for our second feature starring Arnold the Barbarian, "Conan the Destroyer." We'll be ogling more muscles to earn that one Body Building 304 credit, including those of Grace Jones and Wilt "The Stilt" Chamberlain -- Arnold's co-stars in "Conan the Destroyer." I'm not gonna go into too much detail here, but suffice it to say that "Conan the Destroyer" is at least twice as good as "Conan the Barbarian," cause you know how in the first one, Arnold says about 20 words in the whole flick cause he's trying to communicate with Sandahl Bergman? Well, in this one, Arnold only says about THREE words, cause Sandahl is one dead porkchop. We're talking more thwacks and less facts, more pecs and less sex. Arnold, the only actor in history who has muscles on the OUTSIDE of his skin, gets blood on his deltoids in almost every scene. Anyway, let's take a look at those drive-in totals and get back to it. We have:

The Doctor needs help

52 dead bodies.
Two breasts. (Both of them on Conan.)
Nine gallons human blood.
One gallon green lizard blood.
Three beasts.
Two heads roll.
One ear-to-ear throat slitting.
Excellent Kung Fu.
Four stars. Check it out.

[fading] Sometimes flicks like this aren't logical, though. They want us to think that Wilt Chamberlain is gonna kill Conan the Barbarian. Everybody knows that Wilt couldn't even play defense on Bill Russell. And if you're watching, Wilt, please don't beat me up. Don't make me get nasty -- I'll get all your girlfriends in the same room at the same time, and we'll get REALLY vicious on you. Wilt is the guy who claims he slept with 20,000 women. I was gonna try to break his record, but have you seen the prices lately?

"CONAN THE DESTROYER" Commercial Break #1

image 1 It's already better than the first one, isn't it? It's faster, it's more interesting, it's got better characters. Arnold is still going around slugging horses and camels, like in the first movie, although, come to think of it, that's a direct steal from Blazing Saddles. Wilt Chamberlain, wearing the world's worst wig and 9,000 pounds of wet mastodon fur, is still pretty decent in his film daybut. And they hired the veteran Richard Fleischer to direct. John Milius directed the first one, and it was not his kinda thing -- as you probably noticed, it was slow and plodding, even though it ended up making a hundred million bucks and making the second one even possible. But Richard Fleischer, who must be in his eighties by now, cause he was doing theater in New York back in the thirties -- Richard was kinda known as the master of the big-budget adventure film, like "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" and Fantastic Voyage and "Tora Tora Tora" and one of our favorites around here, "Soylent Green." Actually, he was originally one of those film NWAHR guys back in the fifties, the guys who did the gritty black-and-white realism. My two favorite Richard Fleischer flicks are "The New Centurions" -- remember that one? -- and "Mandingo"! I won't even mention the immortal Amityville 3-D. Anyway, Richard Fleischer knew exactly what to do with the Conan story, which was to surround Conan with interesting characters and limit his dialogue to three words per sequence -- basically turn him into a fighting machine. And he also knew it wouldn't hurt to dress up the 14-year-old Olivia D'Abo in a nightie with a great bodice on it. Whoa! How'd they get away with THAT? Put that picture on the Internet and the FBI Child-Porno Squad comes knocking on your door. Go.

[fading] Richard Fleischer and Arnold probably reminisced about their Austrian heritage while making the film. Arnold had just become an American citizen in 1983 after growing up in Graz, Austria. And Richard was born in Brooklyn, but his dad was from Vienna. His dad was Max Fleischer, of the Dave and Max Fleischer animation team, creators of . . . "Popeye"! And "Betty Boop." So it's in his genes. Those wacky Austrians.

"CONAN THE DESTROYER" Commercial Break #2

image 1 Isn't Grace Jones great? Grace Jones with a burr haircut, jousting and head-butting with Wilt Chamberlain, whose hair is nine feet long! How good is that? She kinda steals the movie with that wild woman act. The way she got involved in this is that she knew the producer, Dino De Laurentiis -- actually his daughter Raffaella de Laurentiis is the producer -- from the seventies, when she was doing weird low-budget movies in Europe. The last movie she made before "Conan the Destroyer" was "Army of Lovers or Revolt of the Perverts," a German flick made in 1978. Can we get that one for the show? I wanna see that. It's in German -- maybe I don't. Okay, back to the movie.

[fading] I have nothing against Germans, but they always have these black-and-white flashback scenes where a mime dances on a clown's head with an umbrella in his hand and then slits his throat. You know what I'm talking about? You guys need to get out more. The Flashback Mime Sequence! They teach it in German film school! Sometimes the flashback sequence has Santa Claus dressed in drag, butchering a pig or something. They're all arTEESTS over there.

"CONAN THE DESTROYER" Commercial Break #3

image 1 [rushing into his chair] Okay, what was that? They're doing it again. That was about a two-minute segment. Don't you guys have any RESPECT for the hard-working students of "Joe Bob's Summer School"? The wizard stole Olivia D'Abo, and she's gonna be the first to do SOMETHING in a thousand years. We wanna find out what it is, okay? Good grief. Okay, back to the movie.

[fading] I think I represent the typical TNT viewer when I say that you should just CHARGE MORE for the commercials, and have LESS of em. Right? See, there's gonna be a memo Monday morning. "Dear Mr. Briggs." Signed "Vice President/ Sales and Marketing." And I'm gonna be rattlin a paper cup in front of Blooming-dale's. But that's okay, it felt good for about 20 seconds. No regrets, right?

"CONAN THE DESTROYER" Commercial Break #4

image 1 What happened to Grace Jones? There's VERY little Grace Jones during this part. Okay, I think it might be helpful at this point to sum up the entire plot thus far. It starts out with Arnold the Barbarian hacking off nine or ten body parts with his thousand-pound Wilkinson Sword machete. Then he decks a horse with a roundhouse right, like Alex Karras in "Blazing Saddles." And then this British bi***-queen comes up and tells Arnold to stop messing around with her guards and go bring back the precious jewel from the sorcerer's palace cause otherwise there's no movie. So Arnold says what's in it for him? The royal bi*** says if Arnold will take her virgin daughter to the jewel, then she'll bring Sandahl Bergman back to life. Arnold says "Really!" Then a camel vomits on Arnold and Arnold has to deck him. Then Conan gets the virgin and starts off for the magic palace with his sidekick, a weenie named Maalox or something who looks like Gene Hackman's midget brother. But at the last minute the Bi*** Queen decides to send Wilt Chamberlain along for the ride. So Wilt puts on a spiked helmet with horns and the queen tells him, as soon as they get the jewel, to kill Conan. Then they go riding off through the desert until they find these white-face zombies roasting a Chinese guy on a spit. Arnold hacks off a few heads and cuts the Chinese guy loose and tells the guy he needs him for his journey. The Chinese guy wears a beanie and mutters a lot. Then they go to a town where Grace Jones has her leg chained up and she's fighting off six guys with a spear, and the virgin princess sees what's going on -- and, by the way, Olivia D'Abo looks like she got lost on her way to the Celine Dion concert, don't you think? Anyway, Olivia thinks it's not fair cause there's six guys against one girl in chains. So Arnold goes over and cuts Grace Jones loose from the chain, and Grace takes a big stick and starts poling people in their privates. Then Grace decides to join the big party on the way to the palace. Then there's a bunch of plot where they go to the palace and get the jewel and kill the one-eyed magician with gold fingers and Arnold has to wrestle a giant gorilla-man in a red cape who comes out of a mirror-house and then the palace falls to pieces and they get away. Then Wilt starts acting funny and they get ambushed by some Vikings and they get all banged up, and Wilt tries to kill Conan but he has a GOOD EXPLANATION, so Conan is too stupid to BELIEVE that Wilt is trying to kill him. And that's about it. Right? Does that sum it up? Okay, back to the movie.

[fading] Cause people go to the bathroom, they miss stuff. I did that as a consumer service. They don't do that on TBS. You know what they do over there? I don't even think they WATCH the movie. I can't prove it. But it's not ABOUT the movie over there. It's about personal greed and ambition. I'm sorry, but that's just my own personal opinion. . . . They don't make more money than me, do they? We still beat them in the ratings, right?

"CONAN THE DESTROYER" Commercial Break #5

image 1 Wow! A short segment, and a LAME segment. Olivia D'Abo learns how to fight, and then asks what sex is. Of course, since 1984 she's LEARNED what sex is, in movies like "Greedy," "The Last Good Time," and "Live Nude Girls." This was her first movie ever, after training with the London Royal Ballet Theatre, and then she went on to her most famous role, as the hippie older sister Karen Arnold, on "The Wonder Years." The year 1984 was also the year that Arnold Schwarzenegger became a superstar. This movie came out, and then right after this came "The Terminator." Because, up till then, he'd struggled a little bit. Not as much as the NORMAL person, but he'd struggled as a movie actor. For those of you who DON'T know by now, Arnold grew up in Graz, Austria, the son of the police chief of Graz, who was a stern man and a former member of the Nazi Party. So at the age of 15, he rebelled against his dad. His dad wanted him to be a professional soccer player, but Arnold wanted to be a pro bodybuilder. He moved to the United States in 1968, went to the University of Wisconsin, majored in business and economics. And his bodybuilding career took off. He was billed as "The Austrian Oak," and he won Mr. World, Mr. Universe five times, and Mr. Olympia seven times. Ironically, he's so rich today that he OWNS both the Mr. Universe and the Mr. Olympia pageants. Anyway, he retired undefeated in 1980, and during all those years he was trying to get into the movies. He made "Hercules in New York" in 1970, under the name "Arnold Strong," but it was so bad it was never released until 1983. He was in Bob Rafelson's "Stay Hungry," as a bodybuilder. And he first came to prominence in "Pumping Iron" in 1977, one of the greatest documentaries ever made -- love that movie! But he really didn't need the money anyway, because he had invested all his bodybuilding winnings, and the revenues he got from his mail-order real-estate business, and he was already a millionaire by the time he became an American citizen in 1983. Then he married Maria Shriver, and up until 1993 he held the distinction of being the ONLY major movie star who had never had a flop. Unfortunately, that's the year he released "The Last Action Hero." Still a pretty remarkable story. Okay, let's get back to the picture.

[fading] That's still his only flop, right? Well, there's "Junior." Well, there's "Batman and Robin." Hey, the man's 52-years-old, he's eventually gonna screw up, okay?

"CONAN THE DESTROYER" Commercial Break #6

Too much plot getting in the way of the story. We got jewels, we got magic horns, we got wizards, we got curses and prophecies. You know, if you read the original "Conan" books, the stories are kinda simple. It's too bad, but even in the best "Conan" movies, they don't really achieve what the books did. Robert E. Howard wrote 12 "Conan" novels back in the thirties. Robert was a Texas good ole boy, lived out in Cross Plains, Texas, in the area of West Texas we call the Cross Timbers -- middle of goldang NOWHERE. Land of the scrub oak and the mesquite. And he never traveled farther than Fort Worth his whole life. He would go to Fort Worth for boxing matches, but that was the only traveling he did. He liked guns and he liked writing stories, and he hated snakes. Which, when you live in West Texas, you deal with rattlesnakes all the time. You notice how there's always a deadly snake scene in every Conan story? Anyway, Robert E. Howard never made much money, never got married, just lived with his mother in a little frame house and sent stories off to the pulp magazines in New York. Wrote detective stories. Wrote poetry. Wrote western stories. But the most original thing he created was these barbarian stories. And then in 1936 his mother died, and he couldn't deal with it, so he typed a few last lines on his typewriter, got out his pistol, went out to the car and committed suicide. They buried him next to his mother. He was 30 years old. And when the local newspaper reporter went in the house, he found a sheet of paper still in the typewriter, and he pulled it out because it was Robert E. Howard's last words. And it was a poem: "All fled, all done,/ So left me on the pyre./ The feast is over/ The lamps expire." Okay, back to the movie.

[fading] What? They love it when I tell gloomy stories. You can go to the main cemetery there in Brownwood and see Robert E. Howard's grave. When he was alive, nobody really even knew he was a writer. Now they have Robert E. Howard festivals out there, in Brownwood and Cross Plains. Ever been to Cross Plains? Whoa! You take the worst desert they show in this movie -- it's WORSE. NOT a very pretty part of Texas. Looks like a giant fell on it and mashed all the trees into mush.

"CONAN THE DESTROYER" Commercial Break #7

That wily Wilt Chamberlain -- you knew he was gonna steal the girl, didn't you? Okay, time for the big special-effects jamboree conclusion to "Conan the Destroyer," where Conan finally squares off against Dagoth, the monster created by Carlo Rambaldi, creator of "E.T." You know the only thing I DON'T like about this picture? Wilt is great, Grace Jones is great, Mako is great as Akiro the Wizard. Olivia D'Abo is okay as the 14-year-old virgin princess. But it's the comic-relief sidekick. Tracey Walter is okay as an ACTOR, but I just don't think we NEED that guy. One too many characters in the movie. But then, that's just MY opinion. All right, roll it.

[fading] Wilt Chamberlain, captain of the greatest team in NBA history, the 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers. Am I right? Chet Walker, Hal Greer, Billy Cunningham, Luke Jackson, Wali Jones -- Matt Guokas. You know why it was greater than modern teams? Slam-dunking was illegal. And you know why slam-dunking was illegal? Cause they actually made up rules to PENALIZE Wilt. They widened the lane because of Wilt. They invented offensive goal-tending because of Wilt. They changed the free-throw rules because of Wilt. You know Wilt had one year where he AVERAGED 50.4 points a game? You know how many times he scored 50 points or more? 118. You know how many times he scored SIXTY points or more? Thirty-two. 30,000 points in his career. They said he was a womanizer, you know, but I think he worked harder than he womanized--cause he estimates there were only 20,000 women. So look at your figures -- 30,000 points, only 20,000 women. Work was a priority with the guy.


So Conan passes up the 14-year-old jailbait virgin queen, in order to go his lonely barbarian way. Although, I guess in barbarian times there was no such thing as jailbait. Let's just not go down that road, okay? "Conan the Destroyer," the film deemed "Unsuitable" by the Dallas Motion Picture Classification Board, even though it got a PG from the MP double-A. Universal had to go to court to get it released as a PG in Dallas.

Okay, I wanna thank our special guest-lecturer Karen Voight for helping us out tonight. And I wanna remind you that next week's Summer School class is on Applied Aeronautics from World War II to Five Minutes Ago, and our guest will be former Air Force pilot Rusty the TNT Mail Girl. I'd like to be HER co-pilot if you know what I mean and I think you do. And we'll be watching the wacky Air Force comedy Hot Shots! and the third in the Lou Gossett action-flick series, Aces: Iron Eagle III.

That's it for me, Professor Joe Bob, reminding you here on Bodybuilding Night that inside every fat person is a thin person struggling to get out, but they can usually be sedated with a few pieces of chocolate cake.

You guys hear the one about Hercules, Sleeping Beauty and Quasimodo, who were talking one day? Hercules says, "I reckon I'm the strongest person in the world!" Sleeping Beauty says, "I reckon I'm the most beautiful person in the world." Quasimodo says, "I reckon I'm the ugliest person in the world." So they go down to the Guinness Book of Records to have their claims ratified. Hercules comes out first looking very happy. "It's official, I AM the strongest person in the world." Sleeping Beauty comes out next looking ecstatic and says, "And I AM officially the most beautiful person in the world." Quasimodo comes out looking crestfallen and says, "Who the hell is Linda Tripp?" Joe Bob Briggs, reminding you that the drive-in will never die.

[fading] A big movie producer is talking about his new project -- an action picture about famous composers with several top stars. Sylvester Stallone, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Arnold Schwarzenegger are there. The studio wants the box office power of all three of em, so the producer tell them they can pick whichever composer they want to play. Stallone says, "Well, I've always liked Mozart. I'd love to play him." Van Damme says, "Chopin has always been my favorite. I'll play him." The producer is really happy, and says, "Sounds great, but who do you want to be, Arnold?" And Arnold says, "I'll be Bach."

"They say that nobody is perfect. Then they tell you practice makes perfect. I wish they'd make up their minds." Wilt Chamberlain

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