Conquest is a Spanish-Italian-Mexican Surreal Horror and Dark Heroic Fantasy Exploitation Film by Lucio Fulci with music by ex-Goblin member Claudio Simonetti. If that sounds absolutely insane to you, its because it is.
As part of his Rite of Passage the young Illias is sent from his relatively idyllic and civilized homeland to a desolate barbarian marshland. On this quest he is armed only with his Ancestral Weapon, a bow said to be able to shoot arrows of pure sunlight. Illias is eventually joined by the misanthropic warrior Mace, who only has eyes for Illias bow. Meanwhile Ocron, the cruel sorceress ruling the lands, has a vision of a faceless man killing her with the very same bow. This sets the gears in motion that will lead to their unavoidable confrontation.
Compare and contrast Mario Bavas Hercules in the Haunted World and Alfonso Brescias Iron Warrior.
This film provides examples of:
- Achilles in His Tent: Illias eventually takes Maces advice and leaves, but overcomes his fear of dying and returns to save Mace.
- A God Am I: Ocron, to the extent that she creates a cult centered around herself.
- Arch-Enemy: Illias and Mace have Ocron, a mad queen who believes they're destined to kill her.
- Big Bad: Ocron the evil sorceress.
- Bittersweet Ending: Ocron is defeated, but Illias is dead.
- The Blank: The archer in Ocrons vision has no face. This is important - she assumes Ilias is the one destined to kill her because he's carrying the bow, but in killing him, she motivates Mace to pick up the bow and finish the job.
- Butter Face: Ocron proudly shows off her naked body, but there's a good reason why she is always wearing her golden mask. At the climax, Mace breaks Ocron's mask, revealing a hideous zombie-like face.
- Call-Back: When asked why he lives apart from other people, Mace gestures to the mark branded into his forehead. This film doesn't explain the mark, but Fulci's earlier film The Beyond describes it as the Mark of Eibon, a sign associated with the gates of Hell, indicating that Mace is considered cursed somehow.
- Decoy Protagonist: Illias checks the boxes of every High Fantasy Hero trope, which lets the viewer assume he's going to be the one to kill Ocron. Unfortunately he never even gets the chance to as he is killed during the third act of the film. Then the focus shifts to the Anti-Hero Mace, who sets out to avenge Illias's death.
- Energy Bow: Those who master the use of Ilias's bow can fire arrows of pure light from it.
- Everything's Deader with Zombies: There are zombies in the bog. Whether they are a natural part of the environment or a product of Zoras influence is never explained.
- Evil Sorcerer: Ocron is an evil sorceress so powerful that she has created a cult centered around herself, despite worshipping the spirit Zora herself.
- The Faceless: Zora's face is always hidden behind the same armor-plates that cover the rest of his body.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Mace. Around the middle of the movie he stops being the sidekick.
- The Man Behind the Monsters: Ocron in contrast to her Beast Man minions.
- Mind Screw: Similar to the visuals the plot unfolds in an almost dream-like manner. This leaves a lot of things vague, unexplained or just plain weird.
- Nature Hero: Mace somewhat deconstructs this. He apparently refuses to hunt animals himself, feeling more akin to them than to other humans, but he has no qualms about killing a human hunter to steal his prey nor with letting Illias hunt for him.
- Nominal Hero: Mace. He only joins Illias because he is interested in his bow, and only starts to care about him when he considers him his friend.
- Paper Tiger: After much buildup, Zora turns out to be an ineffectual coward.
- Religion of Evil: Ocron has created a religion centered around herself, while she herself seems to worship Zora.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Illias love interest, as usual, dies to motivate the hero. More shockingly, Ilias soon follows suit, inspiring Mace to pick up the quest.
- Spell My Name with an "S":
- Is it Ocron or Okhren? Illias or Ilius?
- For that matter, even though all documents (including this page) call the character "Mace", his name in the movie is usually pronounced as "Mayks".
- The Time of Myths: The film is shot in a hazy, unclear fashion to emphasize that this is before any recorded history we've ever heard of.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Maces lover. About two minutes after we meet her, she and everyone else in her cave are dead.
- Wham Shot: Ocron's minions catch up with Ilias and decapitate him. Mace then picks up his bow and becomes the actual hero of the story.