Stills and Analysis of the UK Over 18 Conan the Barbarian Trailer

Who would’ve thought there could be 30 stills’ worth of new information in a 30-second Facebook trailer? Or that a trailer for a 15-rated film could have an 18-rated trailer? Not me, that’s for sure.

Warning: SIGNIFICANT SPOILERS will follow, as well as veritable buckets of blood and various body parts flying about, and most horrifically of all, at least one shot of (gasp) a lady’s chest. Ach, help ma boab!

First up, a more high resolution look at that new angle of Khor Khala.

We hear Stephen Lang’s voice booming:

“Behold!”

Khalar Zym at the sacrifice, with the Mask of Acheron twitching its tentacles. The better of the two CGI masks is used here. This time, we actually see him saying:

“And Despair!”

After a few shots of Khalar at the monastery and Conan saying “that’s the man who killed my father,” we see a new shot of Khalar Zym in Cimmeria.

Following that is Conan promising to follow Khalar to hell, and Khalar taunting the barbarian. After that a text screen:

THIS SUMMER

We’ve seen these shots of Khalar’s army and the Pict in Cimmeria before, but the colour balance has been changed from an overcast blue, to an earthy green. I’m unsure if I prefer this more naturalistic look or not, but it does still seem dour and grey enough for Cimmeria:

Time for the first of two SPOILERINOS

As we remove all ambiguity about the fate of Tamara’s master, Raad Rawi’s Fassir. The Red Band trailer gave the impression through fiendish editing that Tamara was the one to kill Fassir, but as we see here, it is actually Khalar Zym who’s responsible for his demise.

Khalar eschews employing the dreaded Double Bladed Parallel Scimitar in favour of dashing the old man’s head against the marble floor of the monastery, splitting his head open like an egg…

As Fassir’s brains spatter on the very floor of his refuge.

A text screen follows:

VENGEANCE

Another SPOILER coming up…

In another look at one of the climactic set pieces near the end of the film, we see Conan and Khalar battling atop the plummeting sacrificial wheel. Khalar initially fights off the maddened Cimmerian…

But Conan’s blood is up, and the desperation of near death steels his resolve…

Khalar goes on the defensive as the wheel descends into the abyss, with Rachel Nichols’ Tamara watching this violent tableau…

… and eventually decides that since discretion is the better part of valour, he should probably get off at the next stop before hitting the bottom of the chasm. Khalar grabs onto a chain, leaving Conan and Tamara stuck on a wheel with nowhere to go but down.

The last text screen:

IS UNLEASHED

There’s been a lot of talk about how much CGI blood is in use in this film, and while I’ve seen behind-the-scenes photos of Marcus Nispel himself dumping a gallon of blood on a pile of corpses, does that necessarily mean stage blood would be utilized? Well, this shot shows either the most convincing CGI blood I’ve ever seen in terms of interaction with the actors and set I’ve ever seen, or genuine stage blood. At least it looks like it’s actually happening in a physical environment, rather than a virtual one.

And another HUGE SPOILER coming up…

I’m serious, this is a big one…

Last chance…

We see Conan grabbing Marique’s right hand – the one with the Stygian Claws – by the wrist. He raises his sword, and – well, I think you can guess what happens next.

Jings.

Anyway, here’s another element of an early script which made it into the film. Some background: Conan wants to get at Lucius, but Lucius, being a bit paranoid as a result of his disfigurement at the hands of Conan, is holed up behind locked doors and guards at the local jail. Conan decides he has to get in. In the original draft, Conan feigns drunkenness, but in a later one, he decides a different approach.

And so, one unlucky guard hears a knock on the door. He peeps through the bars, and sees a fellow guardsman’s face. He really doesn’t look well. Figuring “what’s the worst that could happen,” he opens the door to…

Conan doesn’t even need to use his noggin to headbutt people. That’s using the head.

Finally, the title screen:

CONAN THE BARBARIAN

And I’m infuriated to hear Conan is pronounced wrong. Considering we already have people thinking there’s a separate pronunciation for the barbarian and the talk-show host, this was a pretty significant flub on the part of the trailer makers.

I don’t think it really counts as a spoiler to know Conan and Tamara have a special hug, but since there was still some ambiguity over whether we see Rachel Nichols evoke the works of Adrien E. Gaudez, perhaps this extremely brief shot will clear things up:

Good grief, Khalar’s men really have to do something about their high blood pressure. Maybe they need to consider a low-salt diet.

The last SPOILER of the day…

Now, in the casting sheet and early drafts, Khalar’s henchman Lucius was disfigured in the attack on Conan’s village:

He’s in his 30s, Caucasian, handsome, proud, haughty, lethal, a leader of a Legion of Aquilonian Mercenaries. While attacking Corin and Conan in close quarters, he is thrown into a fiery forge that disfigures him for life. His self-revulsion twists him to the point that years later he takes great pleasure in torturing prisoners.

However, it appears that the mangling of Lucius takes a rather different form, as we see Leo Howard’s young Conan bring his sword down on the Aquilonian leader…

Lucius dodges, saving his head… but unfortunately, he doesn’t quite make it all the way…

In fairness, Hyborian rhinoplasty was in its early stages.

Editorial

This trailer wasn’t quite as misleading as the previous UK spot, though there were still one or two moments that could be misinterpreted. Nonetheless, as a display of some of the more violent moments in the film, it does its job: I don’t think anyone will have any illusions about this film being a “mild” 15, and frankly, I’m amazed it got that rating at all given the graphic nature of the violence.