January 19, 2014

Sci Fi Invasion: Hundra

Sometimes I have to wonder what they were thinking with some of the choices for the Sci Fi Invasion box set. I mean, yes, I am expecting a lot of bad movies, but some of them barely qualify as science fiction. Of course, I realize they are padding put the movie total with whatever public domain titles they come across that could possibly be considered as part of the genre. For example, the last film, Hundra, is not a science fiction movie, but a sword and sandal Conan the Barbarian rip off.

This is a movie I was tempted to turn off a few times in the early going. It is dreadfully dull and not more than a little silly. It is nothing more than an attempt to bank on the success of Conan the Barbarian which had come out a year earlier. It is so close to the movie it is ripping off that I have read rumors that they even used some of the same costumes from the Conan production!

Hundra is the story of a sword and sandal feminist out to fulfill a prophecy. Well, at least that is what it becomes, at the outset of the tale it is about a village made up entirely of women. Because of their past poor treatment at the hands of men, they have rejected all male contact outside of breeding purposes, and if they should have a male child, it would be given up for adoption. They were there to prove they did not need males to have worth or be successful. For a B exploitation movie from the early 1980's, this seems to be pretty forward thinking. Good on them.

The tribe's strongest hunter is Hundra (Laurene Landon) and no sooner does she leave for a hunt, the village is attacked by a horde of male raiders. They come in and slaughter everyone, although it was not an easy fight and they lost many of their number. Hundra returns to see all of the death and vows revenge. Of course, she must visit an elder first, here she is told of a prophecy where she will find a man and have a child. So, off she goes.

The adventure leads her to a couple of unsuitable matches before she decides to hit up a town where, after a chase, lands in the lap of man she deems suitable. Too bad he doesn't think so too. Anyway, she finds herself in the presence of a prince and his misogynistic, vaguely gay assistant. Things happen, Hundra is taught of makeup, put into a what amounts to harem and continues to fight for respect and women's rights and for a child.

Frankly, I did not want to think about this movie all that much. It is rather dry, silly at times, has long stretches with no dialogue, slowly paced sword fights, and just an overall air of boredom. I have certainly seen worse films, but this just feels unnecessary of spending time with.

The film was directed by Matt Cimber who previously helmed the blaxploitation film The Black 6 and would later direct a few episodes of GLOW (The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling). The writing was handled by Jose Truchado, who also wrote Exterminators of the Year 3000, and John F. Goff, who also wrote the exploitation film Teenage Seductress but who spent most of his career as an actor (appearing moves like Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS, The Fog, and They Live).

Hundra is nothing to write home about, even if it appears to be forward thinking in its tale of empowerment.

Not Recommended.

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