Posted by David on May 18th, 2011
This week, I didn’t seek out a movie for So Bad It’s Good. This etherial memory of my youth found me through a series of events involving the robbery of a friend (seriously) and our Friday Movie Night. Jess, old buddy. This one’s for you.
Beastmaster is, to say the least, not as I remember it. As a child, I viewed it as an epic story of a man’s gift to commune with nature and seek vengeance for the cold-blooded murder of his people. What my adult brain processes is virtually the same, only with the addition of some strangely sexual overtones and creep date-rape kissing scene. Now, I’m aware that this may not sound good, but let me asure you: it is.
The movie begins with a baby being stolen from his mother’s womb by a sexy witch with a butter face. The witch’s purpose is to murder the boy (why is never made clear, but it’s probably due to a prophesy), but she’s interrupted and killed by a noble hunter who saves and raises the boy. Through a Rocky-like training montage, we see the boy become a man, and that man watches his entire village get murdered.
Because rules are rules and you just don’t screw with the Beastmaster, he sets off for adventure in a newly-donned and randomly found short-shorts and gold tiara.
Along Beastmaster’s (also known as Dar, so you can see why he goes by Beastmaster) quest, he befriends
a bevy of beastly benefactors some animals. First, he meets the ferrets Kodo and Podo, who are expert thieves, if mostly of keys and women’s clothing. Then there’s Ruh, a black tiger who menaces women into having sex with Beastmaster. And finally Sharak, a falcon who mostly flies around and watches stuff happen. Before you ask—no, I didn’t remember their names. I looked it up on Wikipedia, like a normal person.
As soon as his posse has assembled, Beastmaster wastes no time, having them kill all of the evil barbarians who murdered his family. The end. Actually, he gets distracted by naked women and, as mentioned, has his animals help steal their clothes, then pretends to rescue them from his pet tiger. A class act, this one.
Kiri, the object of Beastmaster’s creepy, kiss-forcing affections claims to be a slave girl. And while she’s grateful for him “saving” her, she runs off before he gets the chance to introduce his ferrets. Some women just don’t know how good they’ve got it.
Next, Dar runs into a hoard of nightmares from my childhood. Near-faceless bat-like creatures who wrap their wings around their victims and leave behind nothing but a pile of bones and a smell you’ll never get out of your loincloth. These moronic creatures don’t kill Dar because his falcon is the symbol for their god and I can’t help but notice how amazingly coincidental this all is.
The plot attempts twists at some point but they’re not worth paying attention to, much like I didn’t when I was a kid.
Dar soon meets his brother , who is set to succeed a blind king who was removed from power by the evil wizard Maax. Maax is played by the one and only Rip Torn, who, if you’ve been watching The Larry Sanders Show as much as I have lately, you’d expect to say, “Fuck it, I need a scotch,” at almost any moment.
In the finale, Beastmaster beats the crap out of Rip Torn (Beatsmaster, am I right?), and goes to celebrate, but not before Rip comes back for seconds and gets a face full of ferret. Unfortunately, he falls into a pit of fire and the ferret dies as well. This happens right before the end of the movie, which is a downer to say the least.
In a deus ex bat creature from earlier sort of ending, an outnumbered Beastmaster and friends get rescued by those falcon-loving freaks from before and all is well with the world… except for that smell. That smell is never coming out.