My favourite film aged 12 ... Conan the Barbarian

My favourite film aged 12 ... Conan the Barbarian
Continuing our series in which writers revisit childhood movie passions, a freshly oiled Arnold Schwarzenegger battles a camel and James Earl Jones in a wig in a surprisingly violent and fleshy fantasy

The best arts and entertainment during self-isolation

The pirated VHS copy of Conan the Barbarian that I cherished when I was 12 was cruddy and discoloured even before I wore it out with twice-daily viewings. The image, tinted jaundice-yellow in some places and seasickness-green in others, was striped with thorny lines of static that made you feel as though you were watching the movie through barbed wire. I knew it wasn’t supposed to look like that because I’d already seen it on the big screen a year earlier. One afternoon in September 1982, I had persuaded my father to take me after school to the ABC cinema in South Woodford, east London. I gave the movie the hard sell: it had Arnold Schwarzenegger,
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