The 1980s were a golden era for epic fantasy and action movies. From Conan the Barbarian to The Beastmaster, the decade produced some of the most iconic and memorable films of the genre. In this article, we will delve into some of the most notable epic 1980s movies that captured the imagination of audiences worldwide.
(1) Conan the Barbarian (1982) & Conan the Destroyer (1984)
Conan the Barbarian is a classic 1980s movie that introduced audiences to Arnold Schwarzenegger in the role that would make him a star. Directed by John Milius, the film is based on the character created by Robert E. Howard and follows the journey of a young Conan who seeks revenge on the evil warlord Thulsa Doom. Conan the Destroyer, the sequel to the 1982 film, sees Conan on a new adventure as he is tasked with retrieving a powerful jewel.
(2) Masters of the Universe (1987)
Masters of the Universe is a movie based on the popular animated series of the same name. The film follows He-Man (played by Dolph Lundgren) as he battles the evil Skeletor (played by Frank Langella) to save the planet Eternia. Despite mixed reviews upon its release, the movie has since become a cult classic and is still beloved by fans today.
(3) Heavy Metal (1981)
Heavy Metal is an animated anthology film that is based on the adult comic magazine of the same name. The movie features several stories that are tied together by a central plot involving a green orb that contains the essence of evil. Heavy Metal is known for its stunning animation and its soundtrack, which features music from some of the biggest names in rock and metal music.
(4) Highlander (1986)
Highlander is a movie about a group of immortals who battle each other throughout history. The film stars Christopher Lambert as Connor MacLeod, a Scottish warrior who discovers that he is one of these immortals. The movie is known for its iconic soundtrack, which features the hit song “Who Wants to Live Forever” by Queen.
(5) Red Sonja (1985)
Red Sonja is a movie based on the comic book character of the same name. The film stars Brigitte Nielsen as the titular character, a skilled warrior who seeks revenge against the evil queen Gedren (played by Sandahl Bergman). The movie is known for its over-the-top action scenes and its memorable characters.
(6) She (1984)
“She” is a fantasy adventure film directed by Avi Nesher and starring Sandahl Bergman as the titular character, a warrior queen seeking revenge against an evil wizard. The movie is based on the 1887 novel of the same name by H. Rider Haggard, and was one of the first movies to feature a strong female lead in a traditionally male-dominated genre. Bergman’s performance as She is nothing short of amazing, as she exudes power and confidence in every scene. The movie’s production design and special effects are also noteworthy, with breathtaking set pieces and practical effects that hold up even today.
(7) The Barbarians (1987)
“The Barbarians” is a film that follows the story of two twin brothers, Kutchek and Gore, who were separated at birth and raised by rival tribes. The brothers are reunited as adults and embark on a quest to find the powerful ruby that will give them control over their respective tribes. Along the way, they must battle fierce enemies and face impossible odds to achieve their goal. The film features a number of iconic 80s elements, including muscular heroes, beautiful women, and epic sword fights. With its over-the-top action and cheesy special effects, “The Barbarians” is a classic example of the 80s B-movie genre. While it may not be the most critically acclaimed film of the era, it remains a beloved cult classic for those who appreciate the spirit of adventure and campy fun that defined the 80s.
(8) The Beastmaster (1982)
“The Beastmaster” is another 80s classic that follows the story of Dar, a young man who has the ability to communicate with animals. After his family is killed by an evil sorcerer, Dar sets out on a quest for revenge, using his unique powers to enlist the help of a variety of animal companions along the way. The film features a number of memorable scenes, including Dar’s battle with a group of barbarians and his epic showdown with the evil sorcerer. With its stunning visuals and epic action sequences, “The Beastmaster” is a true gem of 80s cinema.