Trailer Terrors: The Beastmaster (1982)

He’s like like Dr. Doolittle… but badass.

Released only a few months apart from Conan the Barbarian, Beastmaster was a modest box office hit, finding it’s audience much later thanks to the extended play on cable tv and through video store rentals. Directed by Don Coscarelli (Phantasm series, Bubba Ho-Tep) his flair for the imaginative, dark and even terrifying is evident throughout….from the ugly witches with the bodies of dancers to the cannibal batlike creatures, Coscarelli is at home here in the realm of fantasy, painting a world full of curious beauty and deadly horror….all of these elements helping to shape it into the cult classic it is today.

The movie follows the adventures of Dar, son of king Zed, who was taken from the womb of his mother by a witch acting under the orders of evil sorcerer Maax. Dar is saved from death by a passing villager, adopting the child as his own. As Dar grows,  not knowing his true birthright, he begins to slowly discover he has the ability to communicate with with animals telepathically (like Dr. Doolittle….but badass.) .  Not too soon after the Jun Horde, an army of savage barbarians who carry out Maax’s dirty work, descends upon his peaceful village slaughtering everyone in sight, leaving Dar the sole survivor.

Maax is not a nice man.

What follows is Dar’s quest for vengeance as he travels the strange and wonderful world he lives in encountering along the way a black tiger,  a pair of mischievous ferrets named Kodo & Podo, a topless Tanya Roberts, the truly menacing Sharak  (bat-people), Tanya Roberts in a bikini, John Amos as a badass warrior, more of Tanya Roberts in a bikini,  an insane berserker “Death Guard”, and Maax’s witches….just to name a few. Beastmaster is one wild ride, guaranteed to keep you enthralled from beginning to end.  Full of strange creatures, vicious badguys, and Tanya Roberts in a bikini, you can’t really go wrong here….I mean, c’mon….what’s not to love?

The Beastmaster was a childhood favorite of mine, one that I looked forward to watching each and every time it’d pop up on the ‘tube, one that I still enjoy now as much as I did when I was six. The music, the story, the animals, the monsters, the heroes… just brings out the inner child within me again and again. The movie spawned two direct to video sequels a tv series, but the less said of those the better. Nothing beats the first in terms of imagination and pure fun.

Written by Joe Hasson

Joe is just your average ordinary friendly neighborhood sociopath. When not busy watching Elvira reruns, staying up all night playing Splatterhouse, or re-enacting scenes from Conan the Barbarian to a horrified public, he can be found diligently writing his first comic book, taking his first steps into the realm of special effects mastery, and building his hybrid Megaforce flying motorcycle/time traveling DeLorean. He also plays a mean game of Pac-Man.

23 posts
  • LaDracul

    You have to watch the bit about the film on “I Love the ’80s”…hilarious.

    (Starts at 19:00)

    • Ahaha!! That’s great, I forgot they covered both Conan & Beastmaster on I love the 80’s. Great stuff, hilarious, thanks for that LaDracul!

  • as a kid this movie ruled my mind. even had gerbils named koto and poto.

  • what also made this movie so cool is i couldn’t see Conan because it was R but because this was pg moms all around the block sent their boys to the matinees to see this. totally ruled!

  • I’m almost embarrassed to think how many Saturday afternoons I spent watching this movie as a kid. Almost.