12 April 2006 | unbrokenmetal
Creative 80s barbarian movie
Following "Conan the Barbarian", there were a lot of Barbarian trash movies in the 1980s. The best of them all was "Beastmaster" because it had creative production design, colorful photography and even some ideas of its own. Dar, the Beastmaster (Marc Singer), can see through the eyes of animals and command them whenever he needs help. The evil priest Maax (Rip Torn) holds Dar's father, the king, prisoner as well as the slave girl Kiri (Tanya Roberts) whom Dar fell in love with. In this action-packed movie, we meet a lot of bizarre folks, like the scary batmen who can suck their victims dry if they catch them under their wings (and still these are some of the good guys!) or the berserkers who carry green worms in their brains to drive them crazy. Director/script writer Coscarelli was also in charge of the very successful horror movie "Phantasm", and that shows in the darker scenes. Tanya Roberts looked so good in rags she went on to make "Sheena" with equally little to wear. Marc Singer's muscles were memorable enough to get him signed many years later for 2 sequels which weren't half as good as the original, but still way better than the politically correct TV series 20 years later.
Comparing the 113 minutes "director's cut" (British DVD) to the old 91 minutes German video tape version, these are the most important scenes previously omitted: 1) 8 1/2 minutes of introduction, in which we learn how Maax was threatened by the king, hears the prophecy about the king's unborn son and asks a witch to abduct the baby (from his mother's womb!). Probably it was felt it takes too long until we see the grown-up hero. The disadvantage is that we know less in the short version about Maax and his motives. 2) Still in the first third of the movie, a funny scene was cut in which Dar falls into quicksand, needs help from the animals - and rescues one of them in return. This scene is a charming illustration of the beginning of his friendship with the animals, but not necessary to understand the story. 3) In the last third of the movie, 3 scenes were cut in which the injured young prince is carried into a house, gets better and receives a gift from the Beastmaster. It seems this was cut as it slows down the movie and gives information about the boy only - who is not one of the main characters, anyway. There are also smaller cuts along the way, sometimes due to violence. Anyhow, go get "The Beastmaster" in this longer version!