Red Sonja (1985)

redsonjaThere are many thoughts that leap to mind while returning to Red Sonja decades after you’ve last seen it, but the one I kept focusing on was, “Where the heck did Brigitte Nielsen’s breasts go?”

Admittedly, I have a tendency to overfocus on this sort of thing and I should probably get some help and talk to someone about it, but I’m not wrong in noticing that the international ’80s Amazon’s dimensions here in her cinematic debut are somewhat less Amazonian than those found in her later films (Cobra included), which suggests to me a direct correlation between getting enormous implants and subsequently starring in a series of shittier and shittier movies.

redsonja1I may be alone in expressing this, but I think Nielsen actually showed some (unmet) promise in this, her film debut. Sure, she’s often flatly unintelligible, but so is her co-star, and that didn’t stop him from starring in Batman & Robin or becoming the governor of California. As an action heroine, however, she’s entirely credible and was probably the only actress/model of the period with a build both substantial and sexy enough to take on the role of Robert E. Howard’s most famous female character. She was just missing the breasts, which she must have noticed and decided to correct for her future work (which sadly never included that proposed big-screen adaptation of She-Hulk, for which she was born).

The rest of the movie manages to serve as a solid example of the decade’s sword-and-sorcery silliness. Not as memorable as Luigi Cozzi’s two Hercules films, but still better than Conan the Destroyer and its many low-budget clones (none of which were foolish enough to copy John Milius’ superior original), Red Sonja is a serviceable time-waster lessened only by its distinct lack of a D-cup. —Allan Mott

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