Most of the letters I receive in response to this web site are passionate about the film, probably because (like me) these people love their guilty pleasure, and are always ready to share it with someone (like me) who is complicit in it. Below I have posted just a couple of the e-mails I've received along with some of my responses.
Please keep the e-mail coming.
|JANUARY 19, 2002|
Like so many others, Beastmaster was a film I encountered when young. During the late 1980s, I believe, it was the late-night movie on the local affiliates. Svengoli, a horror movie host for Chicago's WGN, once ravaged the film, reserving the escape-with-Tanya-Roberts-on-the-raft-scene for his Mystery Science Theater-esque comments.
My approach to the movie was unusual - it would come on my (non-cable connected) TV late at night, and I'd watch it out of the corner of my eye while completing junior-high homework. I must have seen the second half-hour of the movie dozens of times; I never saw the movie to completion until I rented a copy in fall of 1999! Before that, the most I managed to see of the movie before going to sleep was the scene where Marc Singer and Tanya Roberts descend into the dark temple to rescue the king.
Why do I like the B-sword & sorcery flick? It did not create its own universe (I hated the sequel). The characters were cardboard, and the plot predictable. While some critics call it "camp," the first movie wasn't; it attempted to be an epic, complete with the almost-laughable dialogue. The special effects weren't very good.
I honestly think BM is simple enough to be a child's fantasy tale, as long as one ignores the blood and gore (the original versions I saw on WGN cut these out). You don't find the depth and loss of Robert Howard's "Conan universe," nor do you have to deal with complicated love stories ("Ladyhawke") or Tolkien-ripoffs ("Willow"). It is a tale, black and white, good and evil. No more. I liked it as a kid, and that fondness remains, strong enough that I just grabbed (last week) my own copy of the DVD. I make no apologies for that.
Thank you for creating a fan site for BM. For more than a decade, I wondered if Dar ever rescued the king, or if Maax would ever be defeated. I usually kiss off old memories like that.
|JANUARY 8, 2002|
Great page! I love the original Beastmaster movie. The sequels? Bleh. I think I can answer your question as to the woman with the large butt on the British video cover. She seems to have been lifted from a painting by British artist Josh Kirby. I forget the title of the painting, but it is in a book of his artwork that I bought a while ago in a used bookstore. I know some artists do this when under pressure to produce something by a deadline. Also, they are probably asked by the studio to "spice it up" action or sex-wise.
I saw the movie on it's first release and enjoyed it tremendously. This to me, was a triumph of imagination over budget. I think this is why it has such a following. Sure, the pyramid didn't match Ron Cobb's Mountain of Power in Conan...but I think they had more than twice the budget. The things I loved about it were the designs. I first saw the pre-production artwork in an issue of Fangoria and fell in love. I liked the living dead mutant soldiers, the witch-hags, and most freaky of all, those creatures that wrapped victims in their membranous wings and dissolved them! Plus the fact that the scene took place at night if I remember. Marc Singer was a believable hero, not too Mr. Olympia for the role, he was realistically lean and mean. His sword was one of the great movie swords in my opinion. It looked like it could cut through anything.
Keep up the good work! Let's all make the DVD a best seller!
|JANUARY 4, 2002|
Oke, first this, I never tought that there where more people who had the same feeling that I had when I first saw the movie. The first time I saw the movie was when I was 11 years old or something. I kept playing it over and over again, the story, the music in the movie, everything was perfect, a movie like no other. I don't know how old the internet site is where I have read this story of you about the Beastmaster.
I have 1 question: Is there any soundtrack of the Beastmaster. I am searching for it for a long time, (from the first movie)
I hope to hear from you.
Response: As far a soundtrack goes, I think it is long out of print, but the score for The Beastmaster was released together with the score for the TV show Beauty and the Beast, both of which were written by the prolific Lee Holdridge.
|NOVEMBER 5, 2001|
Dear Mr. Kendrick; I was at least seven years younger than yourself(not that you are a geriatric by any means) when "The Beastmaster" was released, but was mesmerized nonetheless after a young lady who lived a block away introduced it to me a few years later. As you have hinted at, we are apparently not alone for the WB network has no doubt plunged Ms. Norton deeper into the sea of chagrin by unleashing its "Beastmaster" series recently, also with a heavily(and poorly) revamped storyline.
As you probably already know, the early scene in which the hag induces the queen's little bundle of joy into teleportation from her belly and into the cow has been an integral factor in the film's immortality, and I think that I merely echo the curiousity of many by asking if you by any chance know where Coscarelli recieved the inspiration for such an endeavour. My suspicions intimate that this was folkloric in origin, yet I have never in my own reading come across such a tale.
P.S.-Try getting a scene like that past the MPAA knowadays!
Response: Thanks for the e-mail, but I must say you've got me on this one. I have no idea where Coscarelli and Pepperman came up with the "supernatural ob-gyn technique," as you put it. I just watched the new Anchor Bay DVD last week and listened to the audio commentary, and during that scene neither one of them made any mention of where the idea came from. They talk a lot about the special effects, but not about the genesis of the idea itself. I would assume that it was borne (no pun intended) out of their need to explain where Dar gets his powers, and what better way than to be birthed by a cow?
|NOVEMBER 2, 2001|
Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your review on the website. I was 14 in 1982 when my sister came home from seeing ROCKY III and said that they advertised a sword and sorcery flick called THE BEASTMASTER. I was intrigued and went to see it with my father. I liked it a lot more than CONAN THE BARBARIAN which I had seen in May of that year.
Oh, the Summer of '82 - hands down the best summer for me as a movie-goer. Never saw so many movies that I wanted to see and actually ended up loving. And there's the catch - my age. Like you, I saw these films through a certain pair of eyes. THE BEASTMASTER is also ingrained in me that if I saw it for the first time now I would not have thought twice about it. But there was something so special about it - the relationship between Dar and the animals, the music, the cinematography, and, of course, Tanya Roberts who I went absolutely gaga over when the film came to video. I bought the film on the now-defunct RCA Select-A-Vision CED system and watched the film over and over, especially Tanya's introductory scene. :)
I think that the film makes me remember a time when life for me was much simpler and happier, where creativity blossomed and I was still new to alot of movies. DRAGONSLAYER is another accomplished entry in this genre.
I disagree with you about Tanya up to a point. I thought that she was good in FINGERS, TOURIST TRAP, and HEARTS AND ARMOUR (which I still want to see in its uncut version). But you're right - SHEENA is pretty bad! But, she did look great in it. She hasn't done anything noteworthy since about 1983.
Thanks again for the review!
|AUGUST 16, 2001|
Are you all Fags? What the hell, cut out the middle man and just sign up for the playgirl website now. You all are giving off way to many homo vib's not to be gay. Please do us all a favor and don't wear a condom when each 'BeastMaster's ' mount each others rectums wearing only a loin cloth with ferrets strapped to each hip. This is probably one of the only films that the AIDS virus effects its viewing audience.
Remember spread the germ.
One individual who Hate's the movie with a passion, who stumbled on this 'den of perversion' while looking for TBS/'TNT/TBN email addresses to complain about the horrible continual looping of this suckie movie.
Response: Actually, I never responded to this guy. This was the first (and so far only) negative e-mail I've ever received about The Beastmaster, and I think I was so shocked by his vitriol (not to mention his violently pathological homophobia) that I just couldn't think of what to write back. Very scary people in this world ...
|JULY 31, 2001|
Love your site, but was wondering if you knew what the differences between the standard version and the director cut avai;able in the uk. The running time on the uk DVD is a shorter 113 mins.
Response:As far as I can tell, there is absolutely no difference whatsoever between the U.S. standard version of "The Beastmaster" and the version that is advertised as "The Director's Cut" in the UK. I bought a Region 2 PAL DVD of the UK version hoping to see something different, but I could detect absolutely no differences. My suspicion is that the BBFC required a few cuts to the movie when it played in the UK theaters back in the '80s to get a general audience rating, and the "complete" version has since been released on video, hence it being called "The Director's Cut." The running time is different simply because PAL video has fewer frames per second than NTSC video, thus running times for a movie in PAL are shorter than the exact same movie in NTSC. There are only 24 frames per second in PAL format while NTSC has 25, so the reel time of the movie on video is 113 * 25 / 24 = 118 minutes.
|JULY 7, 2001|
Id like to congratulate you on a fantastic site, ive just read your revies of the frist movie (ive never dared watch the rest) and was impressed by your honesty, and was grinning when reading about your love for a film that you admit to yourself is no cinematic classic. But in my opinion, simply through budgetary constraints.
My reason for writing is this; the reason the bear scene apparently solves the problem of filming with the child is simple editing. Having watched the film last night on DVD for the first time in a couple of years, i noticed things i hadnt as a child. One of these was the editing, at no point do you see the child, or indeed the fellow that dies moments earlier, appear in the same shot as the bear. BUt cut together correctly, its a seamless trick.
Thanks for reading my ramblings...
|MAY 18, 2001|
6. Why don't you like the "Beastmaster" sequels? Because they suck. Stop wasting my time.
I love your comment!!!
I was thrilled when I saw "The Beastmaster" on cable. Then I watched it -how disappointing. It doesn't do justice to the original movie. I amtotally mystified why people would think that this is anywhere close to theoriginal - unless they never have seen the original. When I found yourwebsite - I was thrilled but cautions this time. No need to worry. Icompletely love your site. Keep up the great work and info.
Linda P.St. Louis
|JANUARY 15, 2001|
Hello,Vanessa from downunder in Australia, I just want to say that I LOVE LOVELOVE LOVE LOVE the Beastmaster Movie and have for the past 18 years. I am agreat fan of the original Beastmaster movie and must say that the sequalsare exactly what you said "THEY TOTALLY SUCK" in the second sequal they makeDar look stupid. I am a great animal lover and will never get sick ofwatching the film. I have the soundtrack, movie and drive my husbandcrazy everytime I watch it. I absolutly admire Tanya Roberts not just thisfilm but others she has done and think that Marc Singer was a real hunk backthen.
Your website is one of the best on the web. Great one!
|NOVEMBER 23, 2000|
Love your site. At the time I first saw Beastmaster, which was on HBO, agirlfriend said how could I like a movie where the cat they spray-painteddied from the dye used on it. Knowing animal handlers care of theirinvestments, I found and still find this hard to believe. I've never foundmention of this anywhere. Is she right?
Response:That's a good question and I've heard that rumor before. Like you, I am skeptical of its validity because tigers, especially trained tigers, are worth a lot of money, and I have a hard time imagining that they would be dumb enough to spray it with a dye that would kill it. It's not inconceivable, but highly unlikely. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you for sure one way or the other.
|NOVEMBER 23, 2000|
I must commend you on a terrific website devoted to a most deserving film. This is a movie that I have grown up on. My sister and I both love the movie and everything about it. Be it the dyed tiger, the acrobatic hags, the eyeball ring or the nude-bathing scenes...what's not to love! I have one question however, what is the Panther's name? In one of the earliest scenes, the Panther makes a noise, something like..."Whroo..." Then it sounds like Dar says "I will call you Whroo."??? My sister and I have watched it over and over trying to figure it out, any help would be much appreciated. Thanks for your time!
Alex G. Bowman
Response: You're just about right with the sound--that is his name. The way I have always seen is spelled is Ruh.
|NOVEMBER 20, 2000|
I wanted to say that I enjoyed the movie and have seen it several times.That still doesn't mean that I'm not ticked off at it as well. According tothe credits it was based on the novel "Beastmaster" by Andre Norton. I readthe book several years before I saw the movie and they have almost nothingin common. Do you have any clue as to how this happened?
Response: Actually, I believe that if you look at the credits for the original Beastmaster, Andre Norton's name is nowhere to be found. She demanded that her name be removed because she didn't want to be associated with the movie in any way (apparently she changed her mind with the sequel, because there is an opening credit about it being "based on the novel" by Andre Norton, even though the sequel has even less to do with her novel that the first movie!).
This is what happens in Hollywood all the time. Hollywood producers and writers do not care about remaining faithful to their source material: they just want to craft a movie that sells according to currently popular trends. In the early 1980s, sword-and-scorcery flicks were popular, and they probably liked Norton's basic idea and decided to adapt it.
Sometimes, producers don't even take the basic idea. Take, for instance, the 1991 film Stephen King's The Lawnmower Man. It is "based on" a short story by Stephen King, but if you've read the short story and seen the movie, you will see that they have absolutely, positively nothing in common outside the title. But, the producers figured that having "Stephen King" in the title would sell the movie better than just The Lawnmower Man.
|JULY 27, 2000|
Hello there. I just want to add my support for this wonderfully done movie. Why do I like it? Marc Singer. I first saw him in If You Could See What I Hear and found myself mesmorized by his portrayal of Tom Sullivan. He has very good screen presence. I guess I don't understand why he doesn't get more top of the line movies to star in, since has proven he can play in many different arenas.
Beastmaster is still my ALL TIME favorite sword and sorcery movie. Why? Because Dar was visually a more realistic warrior than Conan. As a teenager, I could see myself role playing more as Dar then as Conan. The same goes for Marc Singer's portrayal of Mike Donovan in the V series. Excellent role and he did it perfectly. Every time I watch Beastmaster or V I immediatly head to the gym and hit the weights. :)
Beastmaster has it's faults, yes. But it's still better then Star Wars: Episode 1. Really! Let me explain. George Lucas is quoted on my MAKING OF STAR WARS video tape saying "A movie with all special effects and no plot is a very boring thing to watch". I agree, except he forgot that when he made Episode 1. Star Wars: Episode 1 had excellent special effects and NO PLOT! Beastmaster had a good plot and good special effects. Not a great plot, a good plot. Not great special effects, good ones. Yes, I still cringe at the scene where Dar is dragged out of the burning hut by his pet dog. Didn't anyone realize that when the dog stops pulling Dar's body, Dar is still moving? "Hey guys, stop pulling on the rope!"
It's still a movie I watch at least 3 of 4 times a year. Heck I even audio taped it so I can listen to it on the road. I didn't do that with Star Wars.
Calvin from DeForest, Wisconsin.
|JUNE 24, 2000|
I'd just like to say how much finding your site brightened my day. Like almost everyone else here, I have fond memories of this film. It was on telly in the UK in late 1986, and was the first movie I ever recorded on video - an old betamax! I watched it again recently, after a long while... It has that rare quality, in that you are willing to forgive almost any amount of inconsistancy, or cliche, because it has a warmth, a joy that few films these days can match.
Thanks for taking the time to create this site. Now, if anyone could tell me where to get hold of the book and the cd soundtrack...
|MAY 16, 2000|
Quick note ... Visited your site ...I also get off on the Beastmaster.Do you watch the TV series?Daniel Goddard is no Marc Singerbut he ain't too bad.
Here a quick little jpeg I threwtogether as a Thanx for thepleasure of visiting your site.
|FEBRUARY 24, 2000|
I saw The Beastmaster when I was 12. The idea of a bronzed skinned well-muscled sword wielding warrior wearing little more than a loincloth captured my interest. He not only kicks ass but also communicates and shares a unique connection with animals.
I was watching it in MY room and my mom's cousin's hyper Christian hippocritical wife (Oh by the way I don't have anything against Christians. I love Jesus.) said she was going to tell my mom that I was watching a movie with child sacrifice in it. Well she must have not read the Old Testament because it is in there too! She didn't take the time to find out what the movie is about. I just smiled, laid back and continued to watch...
Your site is really cool! It was a pleasant surprise to find it. I love all the pics and articles. I am now a 28 yr old woman who still enjoys The Beastmaster. I will tell anyone who asks. I don't feel guilty at all! : )
May the Force be with You...
|FEBRUARY 9, 2000|
ok -- i read the review. and yes, i am an addict, tho' i haven't got a copyof the movie and i hate to watch it cut to shreds on the minimalist screen.unlike the rest, however, i have to admit i enjoyed both II and III -- well,for one thing, that is still the greatest breechclout on film and dar's lowkey humor is a wonderful break from all the way too self taking seriouslyheroes out there. (except for the wonderfully lunatic deathstalker II whichleft its serious side somewhere in omaha)
so, here's another vote for one of life's pleasures -- only not so guilty,in my case, i have 15, 10 and 9 year old aiders and abetters on this one --the 9 year old is equally fascinated with BMII and Godzilla (any big G).
thanks for a really nice review of a fun fantasy movie.
now, how do you feel about the series? ::shudder::
|JANUARY 16, 2000|
So, In 1982, I was only 4....but, thanks to my father, I'd seen this movienumerous times in my childhood. Since then, I've watched it whenever I notice it's on. In fact, I just finished wathing it on the local network station, at 2 in the morning. College life.....
Anyway...I got online, and wanted to find out the heroine's name (I had acrush, too, of course....)...and, here I am. I thought you did a great job with the site, and defended the sometimes questioned love of movies like this one rather well.
Keep up the good work, and never stop watching the good stuff.
|JANUARY 2, 2000|
I've seen Beastmaster at least a hundred times and my friend bought me the third one for X-mas. When i was eight they would show this movie twice a day on Showtime and when TBS (The Beastmaster Station) began showing it monthly I would watch it whenever I could. I love film, I love cinema, I love art, I love this movie and it pains me to so fondly recall a movie that is really just crap. But your site is a hell of a good read and I especially enjoyed the reviews from the real media. Nice work.
|DECEMBER 31, 1999|
Love the Beastmaster tribute page. Me and my friends were a little olderthan you (8th grade) when it came out, but everyone I speak to loves thismovie--and we're not a bunch that's very forgiving of the genre. Ithought the original Conan was a real bore in comparison and the chattingon the IMDB database keeps calling Beastmaster a "Conan rip-off," but myextremely fallible memory keeps telling me that Conan came out later inthe year, closer to Christmas, making Beastmaster the first. Am I wayoff?
Even if Conan came out first, Beastmaster would've been in production orpost-production by the time anyone could have seen the Schwarzeneggerflick, so it still couldn't have been jumping on the bandwagon.
Thanks for the great site. I've passed it on to many. When my website isfinished, I'll have a link.
Mark A. Elliott
Response: In answer to your question ... according to the Internet Movie Database,Conan the Barbarian did come out before The Beastmaster. Conan was released in the U.S. on May 14, 1982, while Beastmaster debuted some time in mid-August. However, even if The Beastmaster had come out first, Conan has existed as a character since the pulp novels in the 1930s, and in Marvelcomic books since at least the 1970s. Any way you slice it, Conan was outthere first.
However, I think that accusing The Beastmaster of being "a Conan rip-off"is a tad extreme. I think in some people's minds, any movie that features abarbarian-like character (that is, a long-haired man in a loin cloth whoswings a sword) is naturally a Conan rip-off. I disagree. I think TheBeastmaster is a wholly different film and idea than Conan, so it is hardlya rip-off. Dar had the misfortune of coming out so close to Conan, and Ithink many people just lumped them together.
Hope that helps. In some ways, I think The Beastmaster is aging better asa movie than Conan. It is certainly shown more on cable.
|U>NOVEMBER 28, 1999|
My wife and I both love the original Beastmaster movie. We soinfrequently find a movie we both love equally so it has a special placein heart. When we saw the new TV series I decided to go out and checkweb sites on the movies and the series. I was surprised to find noneother a promotional page for the TV show with no information on it. Ifinally found your page after going through four search engines ( Ifound it on yahoo). Thanks for let us know there are others out therethat love this movie too.
|SEPTEMBER 25, 1999|
Hi! I'm the guilt ridden person you quote on your web page... I am the only person willing to admit that I do have this secret desire to watch Marc Singer run around in a loin cloth...you guessed it, my name is Lisa Erven. My only comment is that Entertainment Weekly left one word out of my quote... I said it was a "glorious CAMPY movie" I'm not sure why they left that word out. Anyway, I stand proudly with shoulders back (and a guilty smirk on my face) and say to the world...YES, I have seen this movie many many many times and I've only seen Citizen Kane once so what does that say? Enjoyed your page!
Lisa Erven (now of California)
|SEPTEMBER 21, 1999|
I found your site yesterday. My name is Philip and I am the self-proclaimed greatest Beastmaster fan that ever lived. I have seen the movie too many times to count. I have memorized the dialogue. I know everything. I can reproduce Dar's eagle-scream with precise accuracy and do so on a regular basis. My friends have incorporated phrases from the film into our everyday vocabulary. I had the temple-brand tatooed to my left bicep. Your site is the best I've seen. Keep up the good work.
|AUGUST 27, 1999|
Just wanted to tell you that I love your website! The Beastmaster is, and shall always remain, one of my favorite movies. My mother bought it for me for my 18th birthday and I brought it with me to college I am often ridiculed for my love of the movie by my friends who consider themselves too intellectual for such a film (I wont even tell you what they say about Legend). I maintain that they are merely incapable of appreciating it for what it is; the movie you watched over and over as a kid and loved every minute of. Although I must concede that it is in no way a masterpiece of American film by any standards, it is still, in my opinion, one of the greatest movies of all time and I wanted to thank you for creating this website, the only one of its kind.
|JULY 1, 1999|
Just wanted to say that I thought your webpage about the Beastamster was cool. That movie brings back a lot of fond memories. I was in the fourth grade when I first saw it. I had to admit, I did not want to see it at first, however, I'm glad I did. I saw at an old drive in with some friends. It was one hell of a good movie. Marc Singer and Tanya Roberts really lighted the screen. I will admit, I do like Beastmaster III-The Eye Of Braxus, only because it went back to its original roots. They were both wonderful movies.
Keep Up the good work on the site.
|SEPTEMBER 12, 1998|
Great website, I discovered it just today and wanted to write to say howmuch I love The Beastmaster and also to thank you. I thank you becauseyou linked to a site that I created. I am the owner of the BeastmasterFan Page. I made it last year and had totally forgotten even what theURL was. By far the original Beastmaster is the best of the 3 films, butI enjoy the other two for certain reasons also. Anyway, keep up thegreat work.
|AUGUST 26, 1998|
I am so glad to find someone who appreciates this movie as much as I!!I have seen it so many times and have a hard time finding it. It is a trueclassic.
I had a copy of it once and my idiot boyfriend taped over it!! : (Thank you for giving the chance the share in yours and my love of thisfilm!!
|JULY 3, 1998|
The Beastmaster is one of my all-time favorite "B" movies as well, and I found your review of it in the IMDb really funny. My friends and I are interested in finding out the name of the author who wrote the book uponwhich the movie is based. We work in a hospital and one of our patientsinsists he is the author of the book, and he has not demonstrated anydelusional behavior yet! I'm not sure if the book was titled the same as themovie. Please help! Thanks very much ... Looking forward to hearing fromyou.
P.S. YOur inner child was right: the Beastmaster is a masterpiece!
Beth and Lisa
Response: I suspect that your patient is lying because you referred to him as a "he" when it was a"she" who wrote the book that inspired the movie. The novelist's name is Andre Norton, and she has written more than170 sci-fi books. The original book was called The Beast Master, and it waspublished in 1959. I haven't read it, but from what I can gather, it's vaguelythe same story (a man who can talk to animals seeks revenge), but I think it'sin a futuristic setting. If I remember correctly, Norton hated the movie and didn't want her name associated with it, which is why you don't see her in thecredits anywhere.
Anyway, if you go Yahoo! or any other search engines and type in "Andre Norton,"you will find a plethora of web sites devoted to her by her fans. Apparently,she has quite a cult following.
|DECEMBER 31, 1997|
I just read your review of "The Beastmaster" starring Marc Singer and I have to agree with everything you've said. I'm writing this now becauseTNT is showing the whole "Beastmaster" series today. I think when Ioriginally saw the movie I was a 'tad' older than you :-D and MarcSinger definitely turned me from a admirer of over-muscled guys to anadmirer of the tall, leanly muscular variety (plus you just can't beatthat leather breechclout!). Anyway I just thought I'd mention that TNTmentioned The Beastmaster is now =the= most played movie on cable. Ifit's not great movie making it's still a lot of fun.--