In High school, I once spent an entire class sifting through a dumpster in search of my retainer, which I had placed inside a milk container. I don't mind trash much.
So it is without guilt, without handi-wipes, without anti-bacterial soap nearby that I proudly tell you to watch The Beastmaster as part of the Trashy Movie Celebration Blog-A-Thon over at The Bleeding Tree.
Marc Singer in a loin cloth for one. This guy is B Movie glory. Promising once as the blind man in If You Could See What I Hear, Singer surrendered to what was inevitable: a career filled with TV cameos and cheap Corman knock offs. He stars as Dar, the heir to King Zed (I say that as if it means something important). Dar has special powers because he came from the belly of a cow. Let me say that again... he came from the belly of a cow. He's an old-timey Dr. Doolittle with the animals being able to communicate with them and see through their eyes.
Next up is the red-headed Tanya Roberts, Charlie's bad angel. She sheds what little cloth she's wearing to show off what God gave her, and in case you're wondering, those two fellas are glorious to behold. It's only a taste of what her later movies would reveal, but it's a sweet sweet taste. I can't remember what else she does in this movie.
Rip Torn plays the evil guy Maxx. Larry Sanders Show be damned, this is Rip's best comedic performance to date. He's all evil with pointy eyebrows and a schnoz that rivals Cyranos. He sacrifices babies and wants to take over the kingdom from King Zed. He wants Dar dead because it is prophesied that Dar will rise up and kill Maxx (I say that is if it means something important).
And then Holy Shit here comes John Amos. He plays Seth (Seth?) a staff wielding guard of King Zed who helps Dar get his great revenge against Maxx. His two nostrils co-star with him and man are they pissed. Their names are Jeff and Frank and they spend the entire movie in full-flare.
And the last character of note is Don Coscarelli, the director. Everything this guy touches turns to bizarre. Phantasm still haunts me to this day and Bubba Ho-tep is something else completely.
But this movie is more than a who's who of crazy movie careers. This is swords and sorcery. This is greased bodies, swinging swords and flying arrows. This is good versus evil with three witches in pasties thrown in for good measure. If Conan The Barbarian is the Rolex of this genre, then The Beastmaster must the Bolex. Just as good at half the price.