Theatrical release: July 4, 1984.
CONAN THE DESTROYER was filmed in a number of locations in Mexico--including Pachuca, the extinct volcano Nevado de Toluca, and the Samalayucca desert (near El Paso)--as well as in the Churubusco Studios (also in Mexico).
When John Milius, director of CONAN THE BARBARIAN, proved to be unavailable to direct the sequel, Dino De Laurentiis suggested Richard Fleischer to his daughter Raffaella De Laurentiis, who was producing CONAN THE DESTROYER. Fleischer had already made BARABAS (1962) and MANDINGO (1975) for Dino De Laurentiis.
The first Conan movie, CONAN THE BARBARIAN took approximately $50 million at the U.S. box office when it was released in 1982 with an R rating, and another $50 million in foreign markets. Because Universal Pictures and producer Dino De Laurentiis thought it would have been even more successful if had been less violent, when they decided to make a sequel, they wanted to tone down the violence in order to obtain a PG rating. Fleischer delivered a movie that was less violent (and funnier) than the first movie. CONAN THE DESTROYER didn't do quite as well as CONAN THE BARBARIAN in the U.S.--it's domestic gross was $30 million--but it did perform better worldwide, grossing another $100 million. The film was successful enough that Schwarzenegger, Fleischer, and De Laurentiis teamed up again to make the semi-sequel RED SONJA a year later.
CONAN THE DESTROYER was the fourth film on which the great British director of photography Jack Cardiff worked with Fleischer. Cardiff had already photographed THE VIKINGS (1958), CROSSED SWORDS (1978) and AMITYVILLE 3-D (1983) for the director. And they would work together twice moreon MILLION DOLLAR MYSTERY (1987) and Fleischer's last film, the short CALL FROM SPACE (1989) which was shot in the 65mm Showscan process. Cardiff's other notable films include John Huston's THE AFRICAN QUEEN (1951), King Vidor's WAR AND PEACE (1956), and RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART 2 (1985). However, he is best known for his extraordinary Technicolor photography on three films directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger in the fortiesA MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH (1946), BLACK NARCISSUS (1947, for which Cardiff won an Oscar), and THE RED SHOES (1948).
Carlo Rambaldi created the Dagoth monster.
Originally rated R for excessive violence, the film was recut in order to secure a PG rating.