Friday, April 17, 2009

Beasts and the power to master them....

Well, now it's time to delve into that other most revered genre of movies heretofore undiscussed; in a word, Fantasy. Oh, I still mean seventies and eighties movies, but instead of commentary on the state of society or relationships, as most of my previous posts regarding film have covered, I now refer to those films that contain characters or worlds outside of the mundane. And what more perfect film to represent the genre in all its glory, I ask you, than Beastmaster? This movie has it all, man. Holy cow is it good. Basically, the main guy, Dar, (Marc Singer) a prince, is abducted by the minions of an evil sorcerer, Maax (RIP TORN!!!) at birth. The minion in question (a witch) is then overpowered by a hunter, who then saves the baby and takes him to his village. As the boy grows, he displays the power to communicate with animals. When he is older, Maax sends a horde to wipe out his village. Natch, Dar uses his talents and some friends to help him exact revenge. This is a VERY skimpy synopsis, because I have left out the myriad things that make this movie truly enjoyable, not least of which are his two ferret pals that go with him everywhere and are exceedingly cute to look upon. There are also life-sucking bat creatures and crazed berserk warriors with green worms in their heads, a scantily clad girlie named Kiri (Tanya Roberts, who also played Sheena. Don't get me started. I literally couldn't get enough of that film for about 3 months when I was a kid. Example: "Sheena, your hair smells great, what do you wash it with?" "Why, zam-zam berries. What else would a woman use?" Spoken from the back of a zebra, no less. Enough said.) I would like to point out that there are also a falcon and a bear and a TIGER in the pic, and all of these animals both help and lend their power to our protagonist in the course of his adventures. I am not doing the movie justice with my description, I guarantee it. Suffice it to say that if you like muscles, loincloths, animals, doltish fellows, creepy monsters, RIP TORN(!!), stupid sidekicks, eye gouging, witchcraft, crossbows, swords, and severed heads, you've got your pick right here. And don't try to make claims on behalf of Krull, Conan the Governor, or Dragonslayer. I am way ahead of you. (I'm not totally unsympathetic to arguments in favor of Krull, but the others are nowhere close.) Beastmaster trumps the others because of the ANIMALS. This is Naptiger, man. Of course! Who doesn't fantasize about communicating with animals? You don't? Liar.

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