Kull the Conqueror

Once every 20 minutes or so in this mythical sword-clanging, beast-battling, low-rent comic book of a yarn, one leading character or other lets rip a bit of howler dialogue as if to signal to the audience, ”Yeah, whatever, I’m just glad to be in showbiz.” But every 20 minutes isn’t frequent enough to establish this semisoft-cheese version of a Conan the Barbarian setup as camp — yet too often to let the thing fly on its own Dungeons & Dragons aesthetic. Kevin Sorbo, the bare-chested star of TV’s Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, keeps his shirt off as Kull, a barbarian with sensitive-guy ideas about slavery (he’s against it) and women (he’s for ’em), who becomes ruler of the fantasy kingdom of Valusia; Tia Carrere flashes her eyes as an extremely well-preserved 3,000-year-old evil spirit with red-for-danger hair. As directed by John Nicolella, the action lurches from battle to darkly lit battle. And then, for no good reason, Harvey Fierstein shows up as a slave-ship owner dressed in a hat Patsy and Edina might have admired on Absolutely Fabulous. Ah, showbiz. D+

Kull the Conqueror
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