10 of My Favorite Bad Movies – #10 BEASTMASTER
Let’s face it, we all love bad movies on some level. Even better are the bad movies that get touted as major releases that no one goes to see and then get released on DVD like 6 weeks later and then shown on TBS endlessly. The Beastmaster definitely falls in this category. Of swords and sorcery movies, Conan The Barbarian is the measuring stick by which all movies of the genre should be judged. While not 100% authentic to Robert E. Howard’s vision, it gets most of it right just enough that you walk away satisifed. Sadly, the first Conan movie led to its terrible sequel and the less we talk about Conan The Destroyer the better. The thing is Conan pavedthe way for so many knockoffs that a moviegoer would want to take the same path that Robert E. Howard did (oh for fuck’s sake, look it up on Wikipeida, I’m not feeding you every detail of Howard’s life).
The king of these Conan knockoffs though is Don Coscarelli’s The Beastmaster. This was that movie that always came on after Pro-Wrestling on TBS on a Saturday night. It stars Marc Singer in the role he was born to play, a freak theat talks to animals. By Crom look at this cast and you’d think this was some utterly epic can’t miss project. We’ve got Singer… ok bad example… then you’ve John Amos, Rip Torn and Tanya Roberts. How can you go wrong with such talent?
The sad thing is, I’m not sure if the last sentence in that paragraph is me being sarcastic or not. I mean John Amos is a damn fine actor and I’ve loved him in everything I’ve seen him in, I mean he was James on Good Times Damn It!. Then there is Rip Torn, whose claim to fame is that he has been in as many bad movies as good ones. Rip Torn is a Hollywood survivor on an epic scale. How else can you go from being in the brilliant Defending Your Life to Robocop 3. Then there is Tanya Roberts, she who was on exactly one season of Charlie’s Angels AND got to have Roger Moore’s skin flake off onto her in his last James Bond movie A View To A Kill (because there is no Bond, like a sexagenarian Bond)!
Then we get to the ‘Star’ of this movie, Marc Singer. Actually, I can’t bad mouth Marc Singer. He was making a poor man’s Conan based on a less than well-known Andre Norton fantasy novel series. I mean when your story hook is “I’m an outcast prince, born from the belly of a cow which imbued me with the power to communicate to animals”, the term ‘Method Acting’ really doesn’t come into play. I mean if it did, I’m sure the tales of Marc Singer trying to communicate with goats at the local petting zoo would’ve been all over Hollywood by now. Actually, it would explain why we haven’t seen Marc Singer in anything except the sequels to this movie of which there 2 of no less! 2 more Beastmaster movies and a TV series where Singer made a guest appearance!
Did I mention the rest of the cast is animals?
See since he was born from the belly of a cow (for fuck’s sake) Singer’s character, Dar, has the ability to talk to animals. So along the way he befriends a pair of ferrets (Kodo and Podo), a Black Tiger named Ruh and the falcon Sharak. How good is he at talking ot animals? So good that he convinces the ferrets and Ruh the tiger to help him pick up women, most notably Tanya Roberts as Kiri. See the ferrets steal clothes and then Ruh… you know what never mind. This isn’t something that words can do justice to. You have to WATCH the movie to appreciate the sheer stupidity of it. All things considered, Dar is actually pretty clever about it. He could’ve just been like “Hey girl-type person, you are so sleeping with me” to which Kiri would say “I Don’t think so Mr. Wears Nothing But A Loincloth”. “Well my friend Mr. Tiger here says diiferent” would be Dar’s clever response. From there it would lead to…
NO! NO! NO!
I am not turning this article into Beastmaster slash fiction! I’ll safe that crap for the creeps on Yiffstar (don’t ask, just look-up ‘WHOSE RESPONSIBLE THIS’ on google for a good laugh).
So what exactly is the plot to this movie anyway?
Simple, A king banishes an evil wizard named Maax, the least threatening bad guy name ever. I mean h could be named Maax Vanderevil or something. Anyway, Maax uses the power of the Nom witches to transfer prince Dar from his mother’s womb to the womb of a cow (I hate myself for bringing this up 3 times now). The Queen dies from… well, giving birth TO A FUCKING COW! The cow gives birth to a child and one of the witches takes baby Dar and brands his hand and looks to kill him when wandering nomad saves him. The Nomad adopts Dar and takes him to his village. Dar grows up, talks to animals meets John Amos wearing leather bondage gear and attempts to pick-up Kiri via means of suggested tiger rape. Dar then joins John Amos and Kiri in overthrowing Maax Von Evilklooter. In betwen all this there is fighting and something about Maax being aligned with the Jun horde, who show up and then get eaten by these slimy flying creatures that befriend Dar at like the beginning of the movie.
That is Beastmaster. Sure I could write a more vivid synopsis, why bother? I’m not really trying to make you go out and WATCH this movie. Consider this as more of a warning. I mean as unbelievably bad as this movie sounds, can you imagine how bad the sequel is? Especially since that deals with Dar and company using a mystic gate to come to our world? FUCK! It just hurts to type that last sentence.
So if you have to watch any of The Beastmaster movies, just make sure it is this one. PLEASE! I mean at least in this one you get to see Tanya Roberts topless!
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