Monday, December 9, 2013

The Beastmaster (1982)

 Director: Don Coscarelli

Writers: Don Coscarelli, Paul Pepperman, Andre Norton

Composer: Lee Holdridge

Starring: Marc Singer, Tanya Roberts, rip Torn, John Amos, Joshua Milrad, Rod Loomis, Ben Hammer, Ralph Strait, Billy Jayne

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Born with the courage of an eagle, the strength of a black tiger and the power of a god.

Plot: A sword-and-sorcery fantasy about a young man's search for revenge. Armed with supernatural powers, the handsome hero and his animal allies wage war against marauding forces.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

I dig Don Coscarelli's work but this felt like he bit off more than he could chew.  Shot between PHANTASM (1979) and PHANTASM 2 (1988), this was an unusual departure for Coscarelli.   At two hours, it's just too long.  Not only that but it's often clumsy, especially with the fight scenes.  They should have been tighter.   And can we all agree that Tanya Roberts is a poor actress?  Between this and A VIEW TO A KILL (1985) I'm stunned she got work.  Oh, wait, she gets naked in this. Yeah, I'm being harsh but I was really disappointed in this.  It's kind of fun for the first hour and the locations (Lake Pyramid, CA and Simi Valley, CA) are fantastic.  There are a few funny moments (once I got past the cheesiness of it all I kind of dug the ferrets) but the long running time and the questionable acting, fight choreography, etc about did me in.  I've had the soundtrack for 25 years but only just now got around to seeing the film.  Lee Holdridge is a fantastic composer.  His score for OLD GRINGO (1989) is wonderful but I couldn't help hearing that score in my head as I watched this. 

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