The late 1970’s to the mid 1980’s were a veritable gold mine for fans of fantasy movies. We were showered with such classics and non classics as Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, Conan the Barbarian, Dragonslayer, Clash of the Titans, The Sword and the Sorcerer, Excalibur, Conan the Destroyer, The Dark Crystal, Krull, Legend, Sword of the Valiant, Fire and Ice, and even a segment of Heavy Metal. During this fantasy blitz we also saw the debut of The Beastmaster.
Directed by Don Coscarelli, the man behind the awesome Phantasm movies, The Beastmaster has achieved minor cult status over the years due in part to repeated showings on HBO and TBS during the eighties. Not on par production wise with the likes of Excalibur or Conan this movie nevertheless turned out to be very entertaining despite meddling by studio executives who always think they know better than the person they hired to make the movie. Idiots I say.
The Beastmaster tells the story of Dar, a man who was magically removed from his mother before birth and transferred into a cow (yes a cow). Born from the cow (C-Section) he grew to manhood and sought revenge on those who destroyed his people, I know what a shock huh? Due to his rather unusual birth he has the ability to communicate with the animal kingdom, he sees through their eyes, they see through his. On his quest for vengeance he befriends an eagle, a tiger ridiculously painted black, and two meerkats. He also meets a beautiful slave girl/warrior/airhead and two pilgrims on a similar quest to Dar’s.
Despite a somewhat cheap look and characters that aren’t all that interesting this is still a fun watch. Yet another movie that I wonder how it would have turned out without the interference of the studio. I don’t think we will ever know.
Amazing movie sequences #2: The witch versus the old dude –
The not so good:
Random thoughts and observations:
The original novel this movie is based on is set in the future on a human colony on a different planet. Don Coscarelli pulled a reverse Highlander 2: The Quickening on the story.
This movie spawned two incredibly bad sequels. I probably will not review them because that would force me to watch them again.