Hundra (1983)
Hundra (1983)

Genre: Fantasy Running Time: 1 hr. 30 min.

Release Date: August 1st, 1983 MPAA Rating: R

Director: Matt Cimber Actors: Laurene Landon, John Ghaffari, Maria Casal, Ramiro Oliveros, Cristina Torres, Elena Segovia

 


 

“H

undra” is one of those moronically misguided projects that attempts to capitalize on the success of current, popular films – in this case, “Conan the Barbarian” and “The Sword and the Sorcerer.” Yet at its best, it’s only able to either rip off ideal elements or unintentionally parody recognizable concepts as it stumbles to recreate the feel of a serious production. The first half works as exploitative pulp, but the second half rapidly drops off into absolute absurdity. The result is a humorous mess that can be largely accepted as so bad it’s actually amusing.

A group of warrior women lives alone in the forest, completely self-sufficient except for occasional visits to neighboring villages to mate. Giving away the male children, the tribe remains completely female and able to live in peace – at least, until the Viking warriors from the Bull Clan show up and massacre the entire community. Away on a hunt for food, Hundra (Laurene Landon, who would appear in the following year’s “Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold,” a similarly designed picture also directed by Matt Cimber) is the only survivor.

After consulting the wise elder who lives in the isolated mountains, she decides to go to the city to snag a consort to begin the incredibly slow repopulation of her tribe. Once there, the ruling lord targets her for slavery, but she manages to fight her way to freedom. Along the way, she encounters several potential sexual partners, but Pateray (Ramiro Oliveros) – a man she demands to make a baby with – is the most suitable. He agrees, but only if she first goes to the temple to learn how to be a lady. Inexplicably, in the world of barbarians, women behaving primly and properly and being elegantly groomed is a must. And so the Amazonian marches right back to the enemy to be captured, so that she’ll be forced to become presentable for the lords of the Bull Clan.

Essentially, “Hundra” is a women’s liberation statement piece, dimwittedly adorned with violence, combat, and lusty blondes to appeal to the opposite crowd. It also goes to great lengths to dehumanize females so that the savage rebellion and bloodthirsty comeuppance can be justified and applaudable. It is, in part, an outcry against the boorish nature of men, while also being a tongue-in-cheek joke, fractionally concealing the anti-male tone of the plot. A fight scene amongst the women is the barbarian equivalent of a pillow fight and Hundra’s first choice for coupling is the filthiest and most vile beast in the outskirts of town. Oddly, she has a difficult time finding an agreeable impregnator. One nonsensical scene in particular merits watching this schlocky actioner: after capturing a tyrannical overlord, a group of rebelling slave girls holds him down while an obese woman sits on his face – until he dies.

The film starts off with a relatively exciting assault on the Amazonian village, utilizing several impressive stunts and stylized shots, mimicking the opening scene of “Conan the Barbarian.” In fact, so much slow-motion is injected into the setup that it’s possible Zack Snyder had “Hundra” lingering in his subconscious while working on “300.” Horses falling onto riders, sword gutting and impalement, and crazy pitchfork-wielding dwarves make for an entertaining first quarter – until, out of nowhere, the movie turns into a girly makeover session. The adventurous atmosphere of the opening vanishes abruptly, preventing the stormy resolution from reinvigorating the picture as a whole; the drastic switch in tone is too much for any segue.

All the while, the acting and dialogue are atrocious, with lots of screaming and yelling composing most of the exchanges. The score by Ennio Morricone, however, featuring a catchy tune, pounding rhythms, and a much-needed amplification for the action, is supremely entertaining. Hundra asks, while observing several women giddy as schoolchildren from the pulverizing of a group of guards, “Why can’t men be as logical and straightforward as us?” That scene and this entire movie certainly don’t help their cause, especially when the yellow-haired champion is seen strolling through a river on horseback in the nude as a method of recuperating from wounds sustained by a midget offensive.

– Mike Massie

  • 4/10