The Beastmaster Reviews
This movie was played so often on TBS and HBO that they were dubbed "The Beastmaster Station" and "Hey, Beastmaters On".
A must watch for any fantasy fan.
Marc Singer as Dar is a ripped, Conan-like badass who many of us (as kids, sometimes as adults) pretended to be, mimicking his sword moves with a broken tree branch or praying we could have the power to see through the eyes of animals. There is a lot of fun to be had with the concept which in the end isn't put to use as much as it could have been; but, for what it was worth was amusing. Aside from a black tiger, and an eagle who eventually joins Dar in his quest for vengeance, the two ferrets, Kodo and Podo, are introduced in my favorite scene of the film (involving quick sand and telecommunication with the critters to get them to help him out of a 'sticky situation').
The tall, winged people who 'digest' their victims with their bat-like arms are unique, as are the mindless masked monsters (who I termed 'sado-warriors, because of their leather masked-and-spiked-glove features) created by priests as warrior-slaves.
The story may flow gallantly through the basic beats and rhythms all the way to its battle-filled conclusion, but fans of the genre can truly feel the inspiration flowing from Don Coscarelli's direction. The Jun Horde is brutal and merciless, as is Maax (Rip Torn), the sacrificer of children. They are both genuinely vile and worthy villains to our hero.
By the end, you may not feel the film has broken any new ground or created anything totally original, but for a pre-CGI low-budget film, you will be entertained with some pre-PG-13 rated topless female nudity, some dangerous, real-life stunts, and a satisfying and inspiring payoff.
*Random trivia bit: A real tiger was painted black for the production of the film. Unfortunately, the black dye was toxic, and the tiger died due to health complications and skin problems nearly two-years after production wrapped.