The Return of the Cults 2015 film series is in high gear, coming off of packed screenings of “Blade Runner” and “Flash Gordon.”
Next up is the original 1982 sword and sorcery extravaganza “Conan the Barbarian,” starring a little guy named Arnold Schwarzenegger as the titular barbarian. It’s based on author Robert E. Howard’s stories and the comic books that they spawned, and is filled with warriors, sacrificial virgins, giant snakes and a heckuva lot of blood splattering. Oh, and Arnie’s ridiculously ripped biceps, which should get a screen credit of their own.
In the film, Conan searches for the dastardly dude who killed his family and stole his father’s sword, with the help of a beautiful warrior named Valeria and an ace archer named Subotai. Together they hunt down vicious necromancer Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones, aka Darth Vader’s voice).
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In anticipation of the screenings, here are 10 things you may not have known about “Conan the Barbarian”:
▪ The film’s opening epigraph by Friedrich Nietzsche isn’t exactly correct: “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” It’s a loose translation of “Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich starker,” which translates into “That which does not kill me, makes me stronger.” Tomato, tomahto.
▪ “Conan” is co-written by Oliver Stone. Yes, that Oliver Stone, Oscar-winning screenwriter and director most known for “Platoon,” “Born on the Fourth of July,” “JFK” and others.
▪ The swords used by Schwarzenegger reportedly cost $10,000 each, according to IMDb.
▪ Co-star Sandahl Bergman, who plays Valeria, is from Kansas City, Mo., and graduated from Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village. She went on to appear in such classy fare as “Red Sonja” and “Stewardess School.”
▪ Although Conan and Valeria are shown together frequently throughout the movie, he only speaks five words to her in the entire film. Maybe that’s all he could remember.
▪ Conan is Cimmerian, which is defined as “relating to or denoting members of an ancient nomadic people who overran Asia Minor in 7th century BC.”
▪ Director John Milius says on the DVD’s commentary track that there were originally supposed to be three Conan movies, each with different themes involving swords. Only one sequel, “Conan the Destroyer,” saw the light of day, in 1984. There could still be time for another one, though. After all, Arnie is returning in yet another “Terminator” movie.
▪ Milius had close ties to Francis Ford Coppola and wrote the screenplay for 1979’s “Apocalypse Now,” for which he received an Oscar nomination.
▪ In the DVD commentary, Milius says he hired actors to play against Schwarzenegger based on their size. He didn’t want any of Conan’s enemies to be smaller than he was, which was no small feat. Schwarzenegger is 6 feet, 2 inches tall.
▪ That is really Schwarzenegger’s hair. All this time, I thought it was a wig. How method of you, Arnie.
“Pilot” premieres — “Pilot Error” is an independent drama inspired by true events, about a reporter investigating the disappearance of a plane over the Atlantic Ocean that took the lives of her best friend and 212 others.
Although it is a dramatization, the film is based on five years of research and interviews with more than 200 pilots, airline executives, plane manufacturers and the team that found the missing Air France 447 in the Atlantic Ocean in 2009. The film also examines the effects of automation in the airline industry.
“Pilot Error” is being independently distributed and will have its Kansas premiere at 4 and 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday at the east Warren Theatre. The film’s producer/screenwriter Roger Rapoport, who is also a veteran pilot, will be in attendance and talk about the film after the screenings.
For more information, go to www.pilot-errormovie.com.
If you go
‘Conan the Barbarian’
What: Return of the Cults 2015 film series
When: 7 and 10 p.m. Monday and Tuesday
Where: Warren Old Town, 353 N. Mead
How much: $5