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Film / The Barbarians

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A Golan-Globus produced Sword and Sorcery fantasy film from 1987, directed by Ruggero Deodato (Cannibal Holocaust) and starring Peter and David Paul (credited as The Barbarian Brothers).

In darker times of magic and barbarians, travelling tribe of entertainers known as the Ragnis are assaulted by the warlord Kadar (Richard Lynch), who seeks the claim the immensely powerful belly ruby from their leader Canary. When the tribe is eventually surrounded, one of the two twin orphans that were adopted by the tribe bite two of his fingers off. Enraged, he is about to kill them but Canary pleads for their lives, promising herself to him to ensure their safety, and he vows not to kill them. Kadar instead places the boys into slavery, with a dastardly plan in his mind. Years later, now grown into muscular barbarians, the twins manage to escape and set out for a journey to restore the Ragnis to their former glory.

This film has the examples of:

  • Arch-Enemy: Kulchek and Gor have Kadar, the Evil Overlord who enslaved their entire tribe.
  • Bag of Spilling: An interesting case of this happening on-screen. The brothers acquire a magical sword, axe, and some armor during their adventure. In the final battle, the axe is dropped, one brother removes his armor, and the sword is thrown through the villain. At the end when re-united with their tribe, the other brother takes off his armor and drops it for no reason whatsoever, just like how the axe, sword, and first armor were just abandoned for no apparent reason.
  • Bar Brawl: After beating the Arms Dealer Jacko in arm wrestling in the tavern, his men attack the twins and they must fight their way out.
  • Bash Brothers: Kutchek and Gore after they reunite.
  • Big Bad: The warlord Kadar.
  • Co-Dragons: Kadar's top henchmen are the sorceress China and Dirtmaster, the leader of The Pit.
  • Crystal Ball: Ibar is shown to have one in the opening, but he loses it when he uses it as a magical grenade against Kadar's men.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Taken to fridge-logic levels with Kadar and his crossbow. One brother bit his right middle and index fingers off when they were little. Years later, he somehow forgets that and tries to fire his crossbow at them with his missing fingers.
  • Eaten Alive: After China and Dirtmaster find the Ruby in the Forbidden Lands, they are eaten (offscreen) by the dragon that guards it.
  • Evil Cripple: Kadar, who in addition to missing two fingers thanks to the twins has burn scars across much of his face. The burn scars, by the way, were real - his actor Richard Lynch acquired them in 1967 during a confrontation with police in which he accidentally set himself on fire while high on drugs.
  • Exact Words: Kadar promises that neither he nor any of his men will kill the twins. He just plans on making the twins kill each other.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: While infiltrating Kadar's compound, the twins are spotted by one of the guards, and start kissing each other until he turns away. Much spitting ensues afterwards.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Gore is the more meatheaded one of the twins, and his brother Kutchek, while not any brighter, tries to keep him in line.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Propably justified as the brothers have significantly more strength.
  • Job Title
  • Knife-Throwing Act: One of the Ragnis is shown practicing his during the tribe's travels when they are still entertainers.
  • Loincloth: The twins wear just boots and these.
  • MacGuffin: The belly ruby. How exactly it grants power (and what kind of power) to its holder isn't explained.
  • Made a Slave: After being captured by Kadar, the twins are forced to work in the mine known as The Pit. When not working, they are being whipped and harshly mistreated in the plan to get them kill each other.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Since he promised to Canary that he (or his subjects) wouldn't kill the twins to ensure her co-operation, Kadar devises a complex plan to end their lives that takes a decade to be fulfilled; the twins are separated, and each is told that his brother is dead. They are then conditioned to hate a certain helmet-wearing mook (different one for each brother), who abuses them daily until their adulthood. They are then placed in an arena, both wearing the helmet that the other's tormentor wore, where they are supposed to kill each other in rage. The plan fails when the twins' helmets break and they recognize each other, and the captive Canary in the audience.
  • Off with His Head!: When the man-beast finally makes its move against the heroes, he is quickly decapitated.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The swamp dragon is slimy and snakelike. At least it would be snakelike were the animatronic puppet more flexible (see Unfortunate Character Design on the YMMV page).
  • Protagonist Title: The Barbarian Brothers are... The Barbarians.
  • Robbing the Dead: The heroes rob equipment from a tomb that they come across during their trek through the Forbidden Lands.
  • The Starscream: China decides that Kadar has grown weak, and she, Dirtmaster and some mooks go to get the belly ruby for themselves after whipping the info of its location from Canary.
  • Stupid Evil: The villain is defeated because he forgot that he was missing two fingers, making his crossbow useless.
  • Swamps Are Evil: The belly ruby is hidden in the Forbidden Lands, a dark swamp filled with monsters.
  • Sword Fight: The twins finally meet each other as adult in a sword fight to the death in Kadar's caged arena.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Kadar is eventually killed when the twins throw their swords through him.
    • Well, one throws his sword. The other had an axe, which wouldn't work, so Kadar nicely drops his sword so the other brother will have a proper weapon for this trope.
  • Villainous Valor: Kador attacks both twins, each of which is twice his size and armed with giant weapons, with a pair of dinky little knives and then a crossbow. Yes, in that order; it's brave, not smart.
    • Well, that, and a mirrored shield (the barbarians break it), and a sword (he loses it and it ends up being used to kill him as listed above) and while riding on a horse (he's knocked off).
  • Virgin Power: Only a virgin female member of Ragnis can wear the belly ruby (it falls off otherwise), and subsequently be the Queen of the tribe. Or so they think, promptly subverted when Cara is selected as new queen just after she screams "I am no virgin!".

Alternative Title(s): The Barbarian Brothers