Thundarr was my gateway drug, but then along came Dar and I was hopelessly hooked on the barbarian barbituate. Conan would come later, but for most of my formative years, Dar was my faithful companion. Looking on it now, it’s clear that I spent way too much time with this oiled down, near naked man swinging his sword around. Seriously, it’s a miracle that I like women.
For those not familiar with the majesty that is Beastmaster, Dar (played by Marc Singer), is the hero, born from a cow’s uterus (long story), who grows to be a man with the ability to communicate with animals. Not only can he talk with them, he can also see through their eyes. As a ten year old kid, that was the super power I wanted. I had always had a pet dog, and there was nothing cooler than to think that he and I could talk with each other.
Beastmaster was released in 1982 and was shown on cable pretty much non-stop throughout the 80’s. If you had cable, you could not avoid seeing this movie. It was rated PG, but the 80’s PG is not the PG we have now.
This movie has the beautiful actress, Tanya Roberts, in all her glory, and it also had plenty of violent scenes and creepy nightmare fuel. There are 12-foot tall guys with wings that will liquefy you with a hug, and who can forget the ravaging berserkers with their spiked leather gloves? Shivers.
Beastmaster is the one movie that instantly came to mind when I thought about what I would always revisit on a lazy Saturday afternoon. I would flip through the pay channels and hope it was being shown, and whenever I found it, I would transport myself to that wonderful place where a man can run with the ferrets and fight alongside his panther.
In preparing for this blog entry, I rewatched the movie, having not seen it in a few years. It really does hold up amazingly well. If you haven’t seen it, and you enjoy the sword and sorcery genre, you should definitely check it out. For whatever reason, Netflix doesn’t offer the movie, but some blessed soul posted the whole damn thing on Youtube, so go watch it for free!
(P.S. The first person who mentions Beastmaster 2 in the comments is banished from this website forever. You have been warned.)
This blog post was part of the weekly topic of the League of Extraordinary Bloggers.
Read what other bloggers chose as their favorite Saturday matinee movies.