Barbarian Days

Directed by
Damian Horan
Rusty Burke, Bill Cavalier, Mark Finn, Chris Gruber
78 mins
 | 2011
 | United States
 | English

Most people spend their whole lives searching for what makes them happy. Few find it. Even fewer get the chance to share it with friends. Every year hundreds of fans flock to tiny Cross Plains, Texas, the home of Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan the Barbarian. Nearly 80 years after his death by suicide, Howard, an outsider himself, has attracted his own merry band of self-admitted outcast followers. We followed the Big 4, the top two Howard scholars from the old guard and two up and comers, through their world of fandom at “Howard Days,” the annual celebration of Howard’s life and works. Despite the cheery air of the celebratory weekend, drama and emotions often run high as Howard fans take their pastime very seriously, often leading to heated arguments and in some cases, brawls. In the end, however, the fans are all gathered for the same reason, to share their passion for Howard and for one weekend a year leave their ordinary lives behind. “It’s so hard being normal these days, that we outsiders may just have a leg up” – Indy Cavalier.

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