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