Kull the Conqueror is a 1997 Heroic Fantasy film. It was intended as a sequel to the Conan the Barbarian movies, but the character was changed to Robert E. Howard's older character Kull after Arnold Schwarzenegger's refusal to reprise the role.
This film provides examples of:
- Ascended Extra: Akivasha was a very minor villain in the Conan mythos who made a single appearance in the books. Here she is promoted as Big Bad.
- Barbarian Longhair: Kull has this, although the hair isn't overly long.
- Breaking the Bonds: The bad guys taunt Kull and claim that his bonds are unbreakable, so he simply pulls so hard that the railing that he is tied to breaks.
- The Caligula: King Borna was not a good king and at the start of the movie, he is in the process of butchering his successors. His final act was to make Kull his successor because he knows this will get him killed by others envious for the throne.
- Covers Always Lie: The movie has been given the subtitle "Son of Conan" in some parts of the world, which makes no sense from an in-universe perspective.
- Evil Redhead: Akivasha.
- Kiss of Death: The Red Witch gives such a kiss to Kull, though taking a liking to him, she does not give him the fatal version. (Apparently she could have if she wished). At the end of the movie, she beckons to him with a promise of a kiss and Kull gives her his own kiss of death, forcing the Breath of Valka into her body.
- Really 700 Years Old: The villainess, leading to this exchange:Monk: She's 3,000 years old.Kull: She said she was 19!
- Rogues-Gallery Transplant: Akivasha was a Conan foe rather than Kull's. Its rather ironic when you consider that Thulsa Doom (a Kull's villain) was the Big Bad in Conan the Barbarian (1982).
- Sealed Good in a Can: The icy Breath of Valkur had to be retrieved from the far north, to counter the fiery evil Big Bad.
- Succession Crisis: An example without a war happens at the beginning. The paranoid King Borna of Valusia slaughters most of the royal family out of fear that someone will try to kill him. Kull, a barbarian from Atlantis, ends up mortally wounding Borna. Kull picks up the crown, not knowing what to do with it. Immediately, General Taligaro and Borna's cousin each demand that Kull hand him the crown. As a final "fuck you", Borna manages to proclaim Kull his successor, pointing out that Kull will now have to live in constant fear of assassination. The high priest confirms that Borna has that right, resulting in Taligaro and Borna's cousin plotting to get rid of Kull by resurrecting an ancient sorceress. Naturally, it doesn't go according to plan.
- Unexpected Successor: The movie starts with the eponymous barbarian (played by Kevin Sorbo) being denied in joining Borna's army, as all of them are noble-born. Then Borna goes berserk and murders most of his successors before being mortally wounded by Kull. While the captain of the guard and a nobleman bicker over who should claim the crown, Borna decides that all three should be punished and gives the crown to Kull before dying. The priesthood approves, and, suddenly, the captain of the guard must bow down before a barbarian he has just rejected from the army.
- Unwanted Harem: Kull inherits a literal unwanted harem from Borna. At the end of the movie, Kull officially disbands the harem, proclaiming that "the king commands no one's affection".
- Virgin Power: Subverted. The hero's non-virgin love interest needs a god to grant her the power to destroy the Big Bad. She knows gods usually don't hand that kind of power to non-virgins, so she asks the god to give it to her anyway, since her intentions are pure at least. The god generously obliges. It perhaps helped she lost her virginity as a price (yep, the old king was one dirty ol' bastard) for letting her brother free (he was to be executed for heresy), and not by just screwing around.
- Weird Moon: The awakening of the dark forces of Acheron turns the moon into a gruesome red demonic face.
- Whole Plot Reference: The movie borrows heavily from the Conan novel The Hour of the Dragon, only replacing Conan with Kull as the barbarian who becomes king by dethroning the previous tyrant, gets removed from power by the machinations of conspirators who release an undead sorcerer and has to fight to get it back. Makes sense considering this movie was supposed to be an Conan sequel which would have adapted that novel.