Maax is a twisted cult leader out to steal the thrown of King Zed, but when Zed banishes Maax, he sends one of his three witches to steal Zed's unborn son. Ripping him right out of his mother's womb with magic and placing it a cow's womb, she took him to die.
But a brave hunter killed the witch and rescued the young boy. Naming him Dar, they find out at a young age that he possess the power to communicate with animals. But Maax sends his thugs called the horde to wipe out his peaceful village, thanks to a brave dog Dar survived again and makes plans on using his powers to kill Maax to avenge his people and his foster Father.
Marc Singer ... Dar
Tanya Roberts ... Kiri
Rip Torn ... Maax
John Amos ... Seth
Joshua Milrad ... Tal (as Josh Milrad)
Rod Loomis ... King Zed
Ben Hammer ... Young Dar's Father
Ralph Strait ... Sacco
Billy Jayne ... Young Dar (as Billy Jacoby)
Janet DeMay ... Witchwoman #1
Christine Kellogg ... Witchwoman #2
Janet Jones ... Witchwoman #3
Tony Epper ... Jun Leader
Vanna Bonta ... Zed's Wife
Director: Don Coscarelli
Codecs: OpenDivX 4 / MP3
Runtime: 1 hour 53 mins
Come on, its BEASTMASTER! How can you deny that this movie is one of the top movies in the eighties pantheon of excellent trash. I mean so much stuff happens in this movie and you are never left wondering what is going on. Every move is perfectly placed and paced.
Marc Singer is perfectly cast as Dar. He has a legendary physique in this move, and some shots look like a Boris Vallejo painting. Tanya Roberts is perfect as his feminine foil. Jon Amos, bad ass. Rip Torn does a magnificent job as MAAX. The Deathguards, those guys running around like gorillas with spiked gloves, truly frightening.
Then you have the tree people, the acid bat guys, come on what could be cooler. Though above all I have to give it up for the animals in this picture. The animals take the cake, the ferrets, the tiger, and falcon, are majestic creatures of beauty that often surpass the actors in finding moments of true beauty and comedy.
Better than Conan, Beastmaster taps the main vein of the seventies fantasy feel in every way imaginable.
Old school adventure including monsters, magic and swords, boasted with pretty OK special effects. This flick does quite OK in comparison to Conan The Barbarian. Other similar titles are Conguest and The Sword And The Sorceress.
The animals are the best thing in this film. The two ferrets are just adorable!!! Marc Singer and Tanya Roberts have no chemistry between them and both are a bit stiff in their roles, also Rip Torn is too plain as the villain.
The story is OK and manages to keep up the excitement and interest. Funny though, the theme music is a variation of the Battlestar Galactica theme.
Director Don Coscarelli's cult b-grade sword and sorcery epic (well it's close enough to one) "The Beastmaster" is an enjoyably mystical adventure, which knows it's all a bit of fun. There's no doubting how silly and cheesy it just happens to be, but gladly this pulp is not overly put off by it. There's a real kid-like mentality to it, but it breathes an sincereness that sweeps you along for the journey. Coming out the same time as "Conan the Barbarian" , it was hard no to compare the two. While Conan is obviously the better made grandeur production, it kind of had a pretentious feel to it and pacing was incredibly sluggish. Beastmaster might be systematic in the story, but to me it was far more entertaining. I might not win any votes for what I have just typed, but I'll stick to it.
Coscarelli who co-wrote the story with Paul Pepperman takes the central idea of our hero communicating with animals from Andre Norton's novel of the same name. The campy plot is routine (there's no real twists or surprises) with a constant mixture of sub-plots and ideas involving different adventures (which were mostly about rescuing someone/ or thing), which all lead onto the main story of Dar getting revenge. Some might be worthless and too straightforward with relax pacing, but I never found a boring moment within them. The direction by Coscarelli has a muscular touch to it and imagination to spare in some creative stabs and visuals. He knows how to create a rich atmosphere and his at his top when his going for that dark edge. The way he staged some of the one-on-one combat scenes though, came across as too clean and choreographed (especially the final climax). The larger battle scenes were gritty, kinetic and relentlessly staged though. Also don't expect much in the way of blood from this mainstream aimed piece.
Since the budget was reasonably modest, it did give the film a slick technical advantage, but it definitely tried to outdo itself with the budget it had. The camera-work by John Alcott is beautifully sprawling and nippy. Same treatment for Lee Holdridge's grandly bravura sounding musical score that only heightens the atmosphere, locations and actions. Sound effects were effectively cutting and location sets were cleverly shaped. Only draw-card in this would be that editing at times came across as very ragged. Reading that the film was far shorter in the first cut, the producers then got the editors to extend certain scenes and Coscarelli and Pepperman had no say in it. That's disappointing, because it would have been better off with the first cut and maybe gained more respect. The acting is nothing sensational, but acceptably good. Marc Singer wasn't too bad and felt right at home in the part of Dar. Tanya Roberts looks drop dead gorgeous, but isn't called on to do too much. Chewing it up as the villain is Rip Torn as he fabulously turns it up with plenty of flavour and John Amos is acceptably solid as Seth. Then you got the well-trained animals that impress and charm when on screen.
"The Beastmaster" is extremely goofy, but at the same time this humorous corker makes for great comic-style entertainment. There's nothing spectacular to it, but this cult fantasy flick (which gained popularity on cable TV) is one of the better genre efforts.
# Dar's black tiger is actually a regular striped tiger dyed black. The dye would wash off around the mouth whenever the tiger took a drink, so throughout the film the stripes are often visible around the mouth.
# The eagle often refused to fly on cue so in order to shoot footage of it in the air it was dropped from a trapdoor in a hot air balloon.
# The actor playing the young deposed prince was not allowed to be on the set at the same time as the tiger, so a short stunt person in a wig, photographed from behind, was used in those shots.