Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Beastmaster |
Actors: Marc Singer, Tanya Roberts, Rip Torn, John Amos, Joshua Milrad
Director: Don Coscarelli
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
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I Have My Eyes...I Have My Cunning...And Now I Have Strength
Mr. | USA | 11/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Beastmaster is a cult favorite that was a modest success in its initial release, but found an audience through home video and repeat (and I mean repeat) TV viewings. HBO doesn't stand for Home Box Office, it stands for "Hey, Beastmaster's On!" - Dennis Miller Called a Conan the Barbarian ripoff, even though it was released shortly after that film which would've made it impossible to copy it, The Beastmaster stars Marc Singer (V: The Miniseries, Beastmaster II & III) as Dar, the last surving member of his tribe, who has the power to communicate telepathically with animals. His sidekicks include a black eagle (really a hawk), a black panther (actually a Bengal tiger painted black) named Ruh, and two cute ferrets named Kodo & Podo. They're on a quest to save the lovely slave girl, Kiri, played voluptuously by Tanya Roberts (Sheena, A View To A Kill, TVs That 70's Show) who also happens to be the cousin of the son of a king imprisoned by the evil Maax, played with an added beak nose by Rip Torn (Men In Black). The film blends a good amount of adventure, action, drama, romance, and heart to make any moviegoer satisfied. But my personal favorite scenes involve Dar playing with his animals (especially Kodo & Podo). Marc Singer is truly an animal lover who cares for them with honesty and sincerity, which gives the movie it's added zeal. Throw in John Amos as Seth for dramatic acting effect and you've got a perfect movie! Gotta love those creepy Birdmen as well as the evil Jun Horde!The DVD Special Features are pretty good. You of course get the film in it's original widescreen aspect ratio (1.85:1), which is also enhanced for 16x9 TVs. There's an audio commentary by co-writer/director Don Coscarelli (Phantasm 1,2,3,&4) and co-writer/producer Paul Pepperman (Phantasm) which is informative but lacks in part due to both men not talking enough about Marc Singer or Tanya Roberts, and more about how disappointed they were in those bad effects shots (the Jun Horde army riding in the distance and the black eagle having to carry the little girl in mid air) and how they got the animals to do their work (FOOD!!). There's also an added bit of Behind the Scenes Home Movie footage with both Don & Paul providing commentary. Plus you get the Theatrical Trailer, original production art, poster still galleries, Talant bios and a really nice 16 page booklet with sketches and liner notes. And for those who don't know, there's a great "easter egg" hidden feature of the cut love scene between Dar & Kiri. Just click on "Extras" at the main menu, then once you're there go down to "Main Menu" and go right. When you hit enter you'll see the "Eye Ring" come to life and then the bonus scenes will begin! The Beastmaster - A Cult Classic!"I see through their eyes...they see through mine. They know my thoughts...I know theirs" - Marc Singer as Dar"
Great cheesy sword and sorcerer fun in "Beastmaster"
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 01/23/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There's something to be said for the "do-it-yourself" approach to making movies. Director Don Coscarelli followed up his smash horror film "Phantasm" with a fantasy adventure inspired by Andre Norton's fantasy novel The Beastmaster. Unfortunately, this project couldn't be entirely self funded so Coscarelli had to go to outside sources. That's where the trouble began. Although he finished the film and was overall quite satisfied, what followed was a battle of wills where the film was taken away from him, he was locked out of the editing room initially but finally the story does, indeed, have a happy ending of sorts.
Dar (Marc Singer) the son of a King stolen from his mother's womb and transported into an animal, seeks revenge against the evil Overlord Maax (Rip Torn) a fanatic who has stolen Dar's kingdom, murdered his parents and tried to sacrifice him when he was an infant. With the assistance of his father's former bodyguard Seth (John Amos) and a freed slave girl Kiri (Tanya Roberts), Dar moves against Maax in a winner-takes-all battle involving magic, swords and a fight to the death. Placed inside an animal by an evil witch intent on sacrificing him at the direction of the nasty overlord Maax (Rip Torn), Dar survives and is adopted by a local peasant. Whne Dar discovers his origin and learns of the murder of his parents by Maax's henchmen, Dar speaks to animals in their language and can make them do his bidding. Dar
What you really need to know if you've purchased this before is whether or not there are any differences between this edition and the previous one. Boasting a wonderful new transfer using Anchor Bay's Divamax high definition transfer method and a 6.1 Dolby Digital EX/DTS soundtrack, The Beastmaster looks and sounds wonderful. This re-release boasts a rich, textured image that more than does justice to the wonderful cinematography of the late John Alcott (Barry Lyndon, A Clockwork Orange). Digitally remastered for this special edition the warm colors and rich detail presented in this edition make it an essential upgrade for fans of the first film. While the 6.1 presentation of the soundtrack can't make optimal use of the format (this was originally made in the early 80's), the warm and detailed soundtrack still sounds tremendous here with an amazing amount of detail. I haven't seen the film in awhile so don't know if the dialogue track was slightly out of synch with the original film. That's the case on this DVD. I can't say it's a flaw of the DVD yet because I haven't had a chance to compare it to other editions yet.
A new documentary directed by Perry Martin was especially commissioned for this edition. Featuring new interviews with Writer/Director Coscarelli , Writer/Producer Pepperman, Production Designer Conrad Angone and actors Josh Milrad, Tanya Roberts and Marc Singer, we get an inside glimpse into the origins of the film and the conflicts that almost derailed its success. Coscarelli ran into constant interference from his overseas financer and co-producer almost immediately. Since Coscarelli had arranged the financing of his previous movies and all had been under a million dollars, he had never run into interference of this sort before. Also, on his previous productions he and Pepperman did almost everything behind the camera and in post production. Here, for the first time, both had to work with others and trust the professional crew they had hired. The real koo for the production was wrangling veteran Kubrick cinematographer John Alcott to shoot the movie and composer Lee Holdridge to write the wonderfully evocative score for the film. We also get the original theatrical trailer (which demonstrates how much work went into restoring this film for its Divamax presentation), production stills, behind-the-scenes photos and all the poster/advertising art that survived. The talent bio and DVD-ROM with the original screenplay are icing on this already moist cake. Coscarelli also contributes liner notes on the insert that has a reproduction of the original poster. A marvelous job from Anchor Bay.
An informative, funny and charming commentary track from the director and producer of the film. We get all the trivia you'd always want in a commentary track plus occasional bits of trivia about Coscarelli's film Phantasm and some other projects as well. Both Coscarelli and Pepperman do a great job here.
A fun sword and sorcerer adventure, The Beastmaster looks outstanding on this special Divamax Edition of the film. Packed with extras including a great documentary on the making of the film, production notes, a marvelous commentary and a top notch transfer, Anchor Bay has outdone itself here. The only thing missing from this film that might have improved it was commentary and/or interviews with Rip Torn.
A+ in the B-movie genre!
Bobby Brady | Georgia, USA | 02/16/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you're looking at this then you probably already like the movie. Repeated viewings on TBS have made this one of my favorite "comfort" movies. After a stressed out day you can sit down with The Beastmaster and trivial real world stuff just drifts away. It's like a great song. Am I right? It's also a great way to waste a few hours on a rainy day. From the cheesy opening titles to the back-to-back perfect timing sequences that save our heros from certain death - it's forgivable fun. When watching Lord Of The Rings recently I was reminded of Beastmaster (Xena, Hercules, Dragonslayer and all my favorite RPG computer games too). You can *just tell* when the actors are going through the motions and when they are having fun. Beastmaster (and Lord Of The Rings) is the latter. Swords and witches are what it's all about. If that's your bag then read on!The DVD presentation is much better than I though it would be. The picture and sound will please most. Good color and sharp images. The extras are numerous and vary in quality. However, at this price, why complain? Some of the "behind the scenes" stuff reminds me of someone narrarating their own home movies; introducing family members and whatnot. But seeing the locations and the construction of the villiage and the pyramid used in the film was interesting. The rest is good for a quick look. I haven't watched it with commentary turned on yet but look forward to it. The Beastermaster DVD is a good value for fans. I wish all B-movie DVDs (or ALL DVDs period) were at least this well presented. Perfect score!!"
A Great Fantasy Film
D. A Wend | Buffalo Grove, IL USA | 08/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Beastmaster is a fabulous fantasy film with plenty of imagination behind it. This was a big film for writer/director Don Coscarelli whose prior ventures had all been low budget: his love of film making and passion for his subject is clearly on the screen for this film.
The hero of the film is Dar, who is the son of the king but was stolen (actually transferred from the womb to a cow), by Maax (played by Rip Torn) because there is a prophecy that the child will kill him. Dar is about to be killed by a witch but is saved and becomes the member of a small tribe. Dar has remarkable powers of communication with animals that he demonstrates early on when he saves someone from a bear. The village is destroyed by a band of barbarians and Dar is rescued by his faithful dog becoming the only survivor: he sets out to avenge the massacre.
From this point, Dar uses his powers with animals and gathers some important friends. He first meets a golden eagle whom he names Sharak, two ferrets (who are playfully stealing Dar's bag) that he names Kodo and Podo and a black tiger named Ruh. The film is truly set apart by the presence of the animals in the film and how they aid Dar in his quest. Along the way, Dar meets Kiri (played by Tanya Roberts), a slave girl but in reality a cousin, Tal (a son of the king who is, of course, a half-brother to Dar) and Seth (magnificently played by John Amos) who is helping Tal to free his imprisoned father.
The film is pure adventure with Dar getting in trouble and defeating evil with the help of his animal companions. Dar is nicely played by Marc Singer who looks the part and displays a nice range of emotions. Rip Torn is a great villain, a role he played "like a turkey vulture." The principle cast members Tanya Roberts, John Amos, Josh Milrad, Rod Loomis and Ben Hammer (Dar's adopted father) are all terrific in their roles. The credit for this goes to Don Coscarelli who inspired his actors and worked well with everyone to see the project through.
The story is by turns humorous, sad, scary and filled with adventure. Beastmaster has been unfailrly called a rip-off of Conan but the only similarity is that both main characters have their homes destroyed. The film has been beautifully transferred to DVD and the addition of the documentary about the making of Beastmaster makes this the preferred DVD to own.