The Beastmaster… who knows how such things come to be…?
In the wake of Conan the Barbarian’s (1982) success, there was a new genre of film being born. Filled with wizards, witches, the Djun Horde, beautiful damsels in distress, weird winged sucker creatures and corruption reaching up to the highest levels of the kingdom’s hiarchy, a band of social outcasts fight with integrity and courage to reclaim the throne to the rightful heir in The Beastmaster!
For the record, this played like EVERY Saturday afternoon, just before Kung Fu Theater took over the air waves! So I watched this one a lot.
Marc Singer (tv’s V) plays Dar, abducted by a witch who induces his premature birth, Dar the lost son of the King, grows to be a strong warrior. Some of Dar’s powers include the ability to communicate with animals, which is good because his traveling companions are a Hawk, Black Tiger and 2 thieving ferrets named Kodo & Podo that bail Dar out of more than one tight spot. I myself have never been able to tell which one is Kodo and which is Podo. But that’s no problem for Dar!
Soon, the peaceful village that has taken Dar in and raised him as though he were one of their own, is wiped out by the evil Djun Horde. As the soul survivor of his village, Dar is now on his path to seek revenge against the Djun’s, thus setting in motion, the prophecy and the reason for Dar’s prematurely induced birth.
Other players in the The Beastmaster theater include, John Amos (Psych) Tanya Roberts (Charlies Angel’s) and Rip Torn (Men in Black 3). The Beastmaster is written and directed by Master of Horror’s alumni, and 1 of my personal favorite film makers Don Coscarelli. Coscarelli of course brought us other genre greats, Phantasm and BubbaHo-Tep! Beastmaster, would also continue with a number of sequels as well as a TV show in the mid 90’s. Sometimes it takes the regular public a while to appreciate true genius.
So if you’re in the mood to see a tiger painted black, but still see the orange stripes through the black paint, or want to see Rip Torn toss children into a fire pit in ritualistic sacrifice… Boy oh, boy… is The Beastmaster the right movie for YOU!