Blu-Ray Review: Red Sonja

Red Sonja

Few actors can claim such an interesting history as Arnold Schwarzenegger. Born in Austria to a father who was a member of the Nazi Party serving in the Wehrmacht, he had a strict Catholic upbringing. As a teenager he began weightlifting and it changed his life. Using his fame as Mr. Olympia to smash his way into the film industry. Despite an almost incomprehensible accent at first, he would become one of its biggest stars. Even more incredibly, becoming Governor of California. Red Sonja was his breakthrough role.

The flame-haired Sonja (Brigitte Nielsen) is raped and left for dead by the army of the tyrannical Queen Gedren (Sandahl Bergman). A goddess appears and answers her call for vengeance by giving her heightened powers. Meanwhile, at a nearby temple the priestesses guarding a mysterious light-powered relic are slaughtered before they can destroy it. Her sister (Janet Agren) escapes but is badly injured. Helped by Kalidor (Schwarzenegger), the Lord of Hyrkania, who takes her message to ‘Red’ Sonja.

Red Sonja is a highly-entertaining swords and sandals epic which plays on the talents of both leads. There’s even an annoying child (short, not round) and comedy sidekick (Paul L. Smith) to keep the action flowing. Indeed, Richard Fleischer’s film brings the comic-book character to life with a great deal of relish. Whilst Red Sonja might seem a little cheesy today, especially in a world of ‘universes’, it remains magnificent fun.

Special features (Blu-ray and 4K UHD):

  • Feature-length Documentary about Renato Casaro: The Last Movie Painter
  • Documentary Feature: “Arnold Schwarzenegger – The Man who raised Hollywood“
  • Interview with Assistant Director Michel Ferry: “Red Sonja vs. Kalidor – The Making of a Misunderstanding“
  • Renato Casaro: Photo Gallery
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

Red Sonja is released on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD & Limited Edition SteelBook by Studiocanal on 18 July.

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