The courage of an eagle, the strength of a panther and the power of a God. The epic adventure is back like never before!
-The Beastmaster tagline
A fantasy movie from Don Coscarelli that became best known for its repeated late-night airings on cable throughout the 80s and 90s.
Maax is a twisted cult leader out to steal the throne of King Zed, but when Zed banishes Maax, he sends one of his three witches to steal Zed's unborn son. Ripping him right out of his mother's womb with magic and placing it a cow's womb, she took him to die. But a brave hunter killed the witch and rescued the young boy. Naming him Dar, they find out at a young age that he possess the power to communicate with animals
. But Maax sends his thugs called the horde to wipe out his peaceful village, thanks to a brave dog
, Dar survived again and makes plans on using his powers to kill Maax to avenge his people and his foster father.
Followed by two sequels, including a television series
that qualified as a somewhat vindicated-by-reruns
This movie has examples of:
- Adored by the Network: Back in the 1990s, most TV watchers referred to TBS as "The Beastmaster Station" because of its frequent showing of the film.
- HBO got into it too, leading it to be dubbed "Hey, Beastmaster's On."
- Animal Eye Spy
- Barbarian Hero: Dar
- Battle Butler: Seth
- The Beastmaster: Guess
- Big Bad: Maax
- Big Damn Heroes: The Bat People, when they show up at the end in time to save the city
- Butterface: The witches in the original movie have extremely sexy bodies and horrible melted faces.
- Celebrity Paradox: The second movie shows just how silly it is to avert this trope. As Dar is in a car driving down the street, they pass a movie theater that is debuting Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time. Dar is as confused as the audience.
- Covers Always Lie: Noriyoshi Ohrai got a bit carried away. This movie is not as awesome as it looks.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The bat people (who get a Big Damn Heroes moment when they show up at the city just in time to make a difference)
- Decapitated Army: Inverted. The evil barbarians Maax allied with come to attack the city after he dies
- Distressed Damsel: Kiri
- Elite Mooks: Death Guards
- Evil Laugh
- Fan Disservice: All over the place, but particularly with the grotesque witches.
- Follow the Leader: The film is clearly imitating the success of Arnie's run as Conan the Barbarian, hence why it disposes of most of the more elaborate and fantastical things about Andre Norton's novel.
- Friend to All Living Things: Dar
- Heroes Want Redheads
- Heroic Sacrifice: Kodo
- The Horde: The tribe who allies with Maax
- Jerkass: King Zed towards Dar, until he realized he's the son he lost.
- Kissing Cousins
- Mage in Manhattan: Arklon in the second movie.
- Ms. Fanservice: Kiri.
- No Animals Were Harmed: Sadly averted. Sultan, the tiger who played Ruh in the first movie, died two years later due to being poisoned by the dye they used to make him appear black. As a result, the sequel featured a tiger without dye.
- Noisy Nature: Kodo and Podo are ferrets. Ferrets don't make anything approaching the sounds that the animals in the film make.
- Non-Indicative Name: The subtitle of the sequel is Through the Portal of Time despite the fact that Kyranna explicitly states that it's a dimensional portal and no time travel is involved.
- Panthera Awesome: Ruh.
- Power Perversion Potential: Dar commands his ferrets to steal the clothing (if it can be called that) of a nubile bathing beauty, luring her into the woods so he can pretend to scare off his own panther in a not-so-elaborate plan to seduce her.
- The Remnant: The army that attacks at the end
- Ridiculously Cute Critters: Kodo and Podo, hands down.
- Rightful King Returns: Subverted a bit, Dar hands the job to his younger half brother.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something
- Scary Black Man: Seth in a thong
- Secret Legacy: Dar
- Someone to Remember Him By: Kodo and Podo's kids
- Sure, Let's Go with That: When Dar has his hawk companion rescue a young child from the evil priest's sacrificial fires and flies her away to safety. The priest, after a second of thought, cries out that this is indeed an omen that the deity wants child sacrifices.
- Surprise Incest: The Love Interest is the cousin of the the hero's younger brother. Whether the couple are actually blood relatives, and to what degree, is not made explicit; the implications are not explored in the film
- Team Pets
- The Time of Myths
- Thud and Blunder
- Too Dumb to Live: The heroes find out Maax knows of their surprise attack. Seth tries to talk King Zed out of leading the attack, but he wouldn't listen as he wants revenge for the loss of his son.
- Villainous Rescue: The bat people as mentioned under Dark Is Not Evil. Although they will eat random people, they rescue Dar in a Big Damn Heroes moment because he is a Beastmaster and therefore commands the hawk whom they worship.
- Villains Blend In Better: Played straight in the second movie, but justified; Arklon can Mind Rape locals on present-day Earth to gain knowledge of how society works. Dar is every bit the confused hero, prompting both the police and animal control to come after him.
- Virgin Sacrifice: Kiri is supposed to be one.
- Weasel Mascot: Kodo and Podo.
- Wicked Witches: Their faces aren't much to look at but they certainly have nice bodies.