There's just something about seeing a talking, depressed pyre that makes me chuckle.

When I was starting out, preparing all my tools and files for making this web comic, the first thing I did was rip my DVD of the film to my hard drive, so that it would be really easy to make screen captures (especially for removing the interlaced video). With this, I removed the audio track, to save some disk space, since I already have almost all of the script memorized.

Then, about a month later, on a whim, I extracted the commentary track from the DVD, and listened to it while I put together a comic. It contains John Milius and Arnold Schwarzenegger making inane comments. In particular are the many, many comments of Arnold saying, "Hey, remember that?" But, hey, it was made twenty years after the film was made.

The commentary became background noise to me, until I heard John make mention of this scene, where Conan and Subotai were talking to each other. This struck me as strange, because I knew that wasn't in the film. That's when I started paying attention. Later, John also talks about how the princess guided Conan through Doom's castle, and later Conan had a big scene with her near the end. That really made me think.

Apparently, the current DVD edition of the film has a bunch of extra footage at the end. It made me go back and watch it.

Now, that's all fine and well. I'm all for directors re-editing their work and making extra scratch for it. However, I find it quite peculiar that nothing on the DVD makes mention that the whole ending changed, and that even John Milius doesn't make note of it. He talks about the ending as if it's always been that way! I'm not mad; just baffled.

As a post-script, the TNT television version of the film did an interesting job of editing the tower robbery scene. They had to cut some of the fake snake gore, and the falling topless lass, but they kept the soundtrack together (the whole scene has the seamless, hypnotic music playing through it). This caused some funny bits as Subotai's arrows made a "thwak" sound about five seconds after they hit. Though, still, I commend them for the effort at keeping the beautiful score together.

There doesn't seem to be a thread for this chapter. Check for yourself at the forum for chapters.

Transcript:

Scene: Valeria lies on a funeral pyre, which is on fire.
Valeria:My only choice for a new character is the wizard? I don't know. It seems kind of pointless now. I'm going to get a snack.
Scene: Conan and Subotai talk to each other
Subotai:Can we move on while the drama queen collects herself?
DM:I suppose so.
Subotai:The scouts lost us back there, at the ravine. That should give us, what, two days before they find the trail?
DM:Something like that.
Subotai:Then we can make a clean break for King Osric. We'll only have to worry about random encounters.
Subotai:We'll have this wrapped up in no time.
Conan:Yeah. { Holds his chin on his hand. } Hm.

Last updated: Mon, 25 Aug 2008 22:55:00 CST

Copyright 2008 matt@groboclown.net

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