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YMMV / Solomon Kane

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The Robert E. Howard Stories:

  • Complete Monster:
    • "Red Shadows": The vicious bandit Le Loup ("The Wolf") is a scourge on the French countryside where he rapes and murders at will. Attracting the attention of Solomon Kane when he slaughters an entire village and keeps the women to gang-rape before killing them as well, Le Loup pursues one wounded girl, catching and raping her before leaving her for dead when Kane finds her. Sacrificing his men to Kane when he needs to escape, Le Loup flees to Africa where he allies with a ruthless chieftain named Songa and assists him in oppressing his own people, complete with blood sacrifices, before attempting to have Kane killed at last.
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    • "The Moon of Skulls": Queen Nakari, "The Vampire Queen of Negari", is the worst member of "a people with whom blood is cheaper than water." A tyrannical, wantonly violent Dark Messiah whose ultimate goal is to conquer the entire world, Nakari overthrew the legitimate ruler and made herself Queen, before torturing or killing the priests, leaving her the only one who knew how to perform the ceremonies, thus assuring her dominion. Nakari turned their already-brutal religion into one where they only worshiped the god of death, with Nakari personally sacrificing a kidnapped virgin each full moon. During her reign she became known and feared throughout much of Africa for her cruelty, regularly sending her warriors to raid and attack the nearby tribes. Nakari first appears having one of her loyal followers brutally executed simply for following her orders to kill anyone who arrives in her domain without any tributes, taking obvious pleasure out of watching the man die. Such executions occur so often that the floor of her throne room is covered with bloodstains. Nakari also enjoys horribly abusing her slave Marylin Taferal, having her hung by her arms naked then whipped until unconsciousness for even the slightest disobedience, all the while waiting until Marylin is old enough to be sacrificed.
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  • Fair for Its Day: For a 1920's pulp series with stories set in Africa, it manages to be less malicious than most. The nasty stereotypes are there, yes, but they are not used exclusively. There are several black characters who are well-rounded and sympathetic, not least N'Longa.
  • Tear Jerker: The poem Solomon Kane's Homecoming has a very somber tone and greatly humanizes Kane by showing that, rather than an unyielding engine of vengeance, he is an aging, weary man who would like nothing more than to settle down and live out the remainder of his days in peace. When he leaves his hometown for yet another journey at the end, it feels like a straight-up Downer Ending.


The 2010 Film:

  • Complete Monster: Malachi is an Evil Sorcerer who becomes a Sorcerous Overlord in Solomon Kane. Considering himself the Devil's servant, Malachi ingratiated himself to Josiah Kane to bring Josiah's dead son Marcus back to life, but restored him as an undead abomination bound to Malachi's will to serve as his Dragon. Malachi took over the lands and has the innocent kidnapped for slavery, or simply murdered. Others he just turns into flesh eating abominations. Malachi later has the leaders of the resistance against him crucified and when Solomon Kane confronts him, Malachi tries to sacrifice the innocent Meredith to open the gates of hell and send Solomon to eternal torture, as well as the rest of the world.
  • Narm
    • "Solomoon!", "Merediith!"
    • The scene where the bandit gets initiated into Marcus' army, being corrupted by evil, saying that it feels "GOOOOD!"
    • The Devil sending a 30ft lava monster through an equally giant portal to kill a 6 foot Solomon is a bit corny by itself (and kind of clashes against the atmosphere of the rest of the film), but the design of the thing looks more like something you hit repeatedly until its HP bar reaches zero than a movie villain. This was, in fact, one of the most criticized points of the film.
  • Older Than They Think: People have said this looks like Van Helsing and/or Vampire Hunter D, but Robert E. Howard was probably the first to use the black clothes/Nice Hat/Badass Cape (or Longcoat) combo for a monster-hunter character — way back in the 1920s.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Jason Flemyng makes the most of his brief appearance as Malachi, hamming it up spectacularly.
  • The Un-Twist: It didn't take any audience very long to guess that The Dragon was Kane's older brother Marcus behind the mask.
  • What an Idiot!: Sure, Josiah Kane, give your lands and wealth to an evil sorcerer in order to heal your badly injured eldest son. Because we all know Faustian pacts have a long history of not backfiring. Oh, I'm sure all those thousands of people on your lands won't suffer under his rule and even if they do, what's the suffering of hundreds next to one Jerkass son's health? What could go wrong?