Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Stumbling Upon Some Real Live Conan the Barbarian Movie Props!

So, as some of you may know, I am currently on vacation, having flown down from the rainy, gray skies of Seattle to the sunny, dry heat of Arizona, visiting my wife's Mom and just generally hanging out in her Dad's kick-ass vacation home. The land here looks like the arid scrub-lands through which Conan and Subotai trekked in order to reach Shadizar, talking about gods and eating fried chicken on the way.

Anyway, last night we went over to (now, try to follow me here) my wife's mom's cousin's house for dinner. My wife's mom's cousin's husband, a genial fellow with an easy laugh, turned out to be an avid movie fan, his house filled with all kinds of movie collectibles, mostly signed theater one-sheets, and many of them relegated to his "game room", complete with pool table and obligatory dart board.

While we we hanging out in the game room after dinner, talking about movies and whatnot, I noticed three swords sitting in the corner, just leaning up against the wall. Being a bit of a sword guy, I said, "Hey, I have to ask, what's the deal with those swords?"

He replied, "Oh, those were the swords used by the stuntmen in that movie Conan the Barbarian. You know that movie?"

Do I know that movie? ;)

He told me how one of his old buddies was a stunt man in the '80s and worked on Conan the Barbarian and then later went on to play Conan in the Universal Studios stage production. Apparently, according to this stuntman, these swords were used in the making of the first film, which he managed to hang on to and then eventually gave to his friend, my wife's mom's cousin's husband.

We then each picked one up and clanged them together a few times, had a laugh and then all the women looked at us like we were giant children, which made us laugh more.

Take a look...

Conan Swords 1

The prop swords themselves were quite simple in design and construction, but made of a sturdy, weighty metal (probably stainless steel) with "battle notches" all up and down the blade edges. The handles were wrapped in basically the same kind of tape you'd wrap a baseball bat's grip with.

Conan Swords 2

Having gotten a close look at them, I am a little suspicious about their story, not that I'm calling my wife's mom's cousin's husband a liar, but I think the origin story of these prop weapons may have gotten a little jumbled over the years. Considering what I have learned about the making of the movie, and the props' low level of detail and how much they seem to have been used (as in perhaps a nightly basis, with matinee performances on weekends), I suspect that these props were used in the Universal Studios stage production, and not the movie. But I could be totally wrong! This is just a guess.

Still, either way, it was quite a killer find for such a huge Conan fan like myself to stumble upon after a spaghetti dinner with some people I have just met.

Thanks for reading fellow Conan freaks!

5 comments:

Cromsblood said...

Great post Reis, love them pics! But look out behind you man, it’s that cursed Wesley Snipes…wheel around and cleave him asunder!

Bubbashelby said...

Put the mask back on! Put the mask back on!

Kidding!

That is so very cool - it's funny where we stumble onto cool things, especially when we aren't looking for them!

richie said...

those were the red Sonia swords i should know i was conan...richie brose great memories

Kerish said...

Those swords was from BEASTMASTER III, The Eye of Braxus!!!

David said...

Those were the swords used by Cobalt Shaw the Swords man "RISE!!!" in the Universal Studios live action show "the adventures of Conan a sword and sorcery spectacular". Come on Richie, you should know that we're Cobalt Shaw swords and not Red Sonja swords. Red Sonja's sword did not have as much curve in the cross guard.