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The Beastmaster

4.2 5
Director: Don Coscarelli

Cast: Mark Singer, Tanya Roberts, Rip Torn


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This low-budget entry into the sword-and-sorcery cycle of the early '80s wasn't successful during its initial release, but has steadily built a strong cult following over the years. The Beastmaster tells the story of Dar (Marc Singer), the son of a king who was stolen from his mother's womb by a witch under the command of vicious sorcerer Maax (Rip Torn). A


This low-budget entry into the sword-and-sorcery cycle of the early '80s wasn't successful during its initial release, but has steadily built a strong cult following over the years. The Beastmaster tells the story of Dar (Marc Singer), the son of a king who was stolen from his mother's womb by a witch under the command of vicious sorcerer Maax (Rip Torn). A poor villager saves Dar from being sacrificed and raises him as his own son, teaching Dar how to fight and witnessing the boy's ability to telepathically communicate with animals. Their happiness is destroyed when their village is attacked by the evil Jun horde, a race of beast-like warriors controlled by Maax. Dar vows revenge and journeys to his father's former kingdom to destroy Maax. Along the way, he falls in love with gorgeous slave girl Kiri (Tanya Roberts) and teams up with former royal guard Seth (John Amos). Dar also uses his powers to enlist the aid of an eagle, a panther and two adorable ferrets named Kodo and Podo. Together, Dar and his unlikely but brave team square off with Maax in an impressive two-part finale that involves a swordfight on the side of a pyramid and a showdown with the Jun horde near a flaming moat. The resulting film was full of action and eccentric surprises, but failed to make an impression at a box office already glutted with fantasy films. However, The Beastmaster eventually became a serious cult favorite thanks to home video and extensive exposure on cable (it is the second most aired movie on TBS after Gone With the Wind). This enduring popularity led to two sequels and a syndicated television series chronicling the further adventures of Dar.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Don Coscarelli's follow-up to his horror hit Phantasm lacks the polish and consistency to reach the epic heights it aspires to, but still has plenty to offer the cult film fanatic. The script often lacks coherence (just how does Maax's witch sneak into the king's chamber?) but moves at a breathless pace that delivers plenty of action and all the necessary ingredients of a good pulp adventure: a stoic hero, colorful sidekicks, a hissable villain, and plenty of cliff-hanging action sequences. The Beastmaster also benefits from an array of colorful performances. Marc Singer makes a likable unpretentious hero, John Amos provides solid support as the ever-stoic Seth, and Rip Torn delivers a thoroughly over-the-top interpretation of Maax that perfectly suits the pulpy material. The only weak performance comes from Tanya Roberts, who is fetching but a bit wooden as Kiri. Coscarelli directs the material with a solid eye for budget-priced spectacle and creates some often surprisingly spooky moments, the best being a unsettling night scene where Dar stumbles upon a lair of creepy bat-people. The special effects vary in quality, with the visual effects working quite nicely, but some of the makeup effects (most notably Maax's nose) looking a bit rubbery. However, the photography by regular Stanley Kubrick cinematographer John Alcott is quite stunning and Lee Holdridge's symphonic score lends the right touch of epic grandeur. All in all, The Beastmaster may seem a bit quaint and hastily crafted to modern eyes, but it remains a swashbuckling treat for anyone nostalgic for Hercules-styled pulp epics.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Starz / Anchor Bay
Region Code:

Special Features

Closed Caption; Widescreen presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs; The Saga of the Beastmaster - An all-new documentary directed by Perry Martin featuring interviews with writer/director Don Coscarelli, Writer/producer Paul Pepperman, production designer Conrad E. Angone, and actors Josh Milrad, Tanya Roberts and Marc Singer; Audio commentary with writer/director Don Coscarelli and writer/producer Paul Pepperman; Theatrical trailer; Production skills/Behind-the-scenes photos/Poster, production & advertising art; Talent bios; DVD-ROM: Original screenplay; Fold-out poster and liner notes

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Mark Singer Dar
Tanya Roberts Kiri
Rip Torn Maax
John Amos Seth
Josh Milrad Tal
Roi Loomis King Zed
Ben Hammer Young Dar's Father
Ralph Strait Sacco
Janet de May Witchwoman #1
Janet Jones Witchwoman #3
Tony Epper Jun Leader
Vanna Bonta Zed's Wife
Paul Reynolds Tils
Bruce Barbour Marauder
Linda Smith Kiri's Friend
Larry Randles Death Guard Rider
Jeremy Whelan Jun Priest
Hank Hooker Jun Priest
Thomas Huff Jun Priest
Hugh Armstrong Jun Priest
Mike Kirton Jun Priest
Gary McLarty Jun Priest
Eddie Hice Jun Priest
Billy Jayne Young Dar

Technical Credits
Don Coscarelli Director,Screenwriter
John Alcott Cinematographer
Conrad E. Angone Production Designer
Tom Benko Production Manager
Donald P. Borchers Associate Producer
Steve M. Boyum Stunts
Hank Calia Stunts
Erik Cord Stunts
Kerrie Cullen Stunts
Frank DeMarco Special Effects
David R. Ellis Stunts
Gary Epper Stunts
Roger George Special Effects
Bill Hart Stunts
Lee Holdridge Score Composer
Gary Jensen Stunts
Gray Johnson Stunts
Fred Lerner Stunts
Betty Pecha Madden Costumes/Costume Designer
Mike McGaughy Stunts
John Meier Stunts
Bob Minor Stunts
Frank Orsatti Stunts
Paul Pepperman Producer,Screenwriter
Chuck Picerni Stunts
Jon Conrad Pochron Stunts
Roberto Quezada Production Manager
R.A. Rondell Stunts
James Sbardellati Asst. Director
Sylvio Tabet Executive Producer
Bob Terhune Stunts
Buddy Van Horn Stunts
Roy Watts Editor
George Wilbur Stunts
Jerry Wills Stunts
Henry Wills Stunts

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. The Prophecy (Main Titles) [5:55]
2. Unholy Ritual [5:05]
3. Dar's Power [4:41]
4. Attack of the Juns [5:17]
5. Circle of Fire [4:49]
6. The Beast Master [9:00]
7. Kiri [4:27]
8. Nest of the Birdmen [4:19]
9. Human Sacrifice [8:24]
10. Assassins [6:11]
11. Comrades in Arms [5:22]
12. Battle of the Shore [5:13]
13. Pyramid of Terror [10:11]
14. Escape From the Temple [4:16]
15. Gates of Death [1:01]
16. Dar and Kiri [4:11]
17. Sacrifice at Sunset [3:37]
18. Beast Master Triumphant [9:37]
19. The New King [9:24]
20. End Credits [4:14]


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The Beastmaster 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie had a lot of quality, what with the talking money and back-talking robot, but I must say that the Beastmaster could have done more with his beastiness. I would have made that jaguar do a lot more tricks and scratch my enemies real hard. I didn't really think it necessary for the main characters to have so much clothes on. I would have liked to have seen the bird people turn more bad guys into goo and maybe the beasmaster morph into a camel or something. I don't know. My God, we have to do something to jazz things up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Magic, love, swords, monsters, warriors, warrioress, animals. This movie has them all put together in a grand adventure. This is entertainment for any one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like movies, where the nice views, and the great sounds mixtures with a good story about many things, like honor, loyalty, kindness, true love and hope, you can´t leave this world without seeing it, my senses always were filled everytime I had the luck to see the movie...the only one good from the trilogy, the first one...
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best of the three Beastmaster movies. The others seem to have been produced as a way for the creators to cash in,with poorly produced re-makes in a similar vein. The Beastmaster is a diverting and enjoyable Sword and Sorcery film which at moments seems to make fun of itself and the genre which spawned it. For all this however, it is fun to watch and has it's moments. Marc Singer as Dar, doesn't look bad either which can't hurt especially with female viewers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am always sceptacule of "beast vs. man" movies or where a man can communicate with animals, but the animals usually when me over. The plot line in this movie is more thicker than the other said movies and with its cult following, it will remain enduring for awhile.