A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Movie 267 – The Beastmaster

The Beastmaster – November 22nd, 2010

As we continue our bad movie marathon we can’t really be too picky about what we watch. For one, we do own all of these, so we’d be watching them anyhow. For another, the whole point of watching the worst of our collection (or rather, the worst we know about ahead of time) is to sort of suffer in sympathy for the Desert Bus crew. So really, something tedious is fitting. And while I am well aware that this movie is widely regarded as an action cheese classic, I can only get on board to a degree. It’s action cheese, to be sure, but it’s also not nearly as entertaining as other action cheese I can think of.

To be honest? I find Ator more appealing than Dar. Granted, I’ve made my feelings clear about guys with too many muscles, but it’s not just a looks thing. It’s a potential sexual assailant thing. Cause seriously, Dar? Meets his love interest by stealing her clothes and forcing a kiss on her. That’s pretty loathsome. He emotes like a block of wood and I think it’s probably for the best that he doesn’t do a lot of talking. I don’t like him much, though I guess he’s slightly more likable than Barry from Punch Drunk Love, but only because he has ferrets.

Despite all that, however, this really is a cinematic masterpiece in comparison to last night’s movie. Last night’s movie wasn’t a B movie. It was a D+ at best. Tonight would be a solid B- I think. There was money spent on this movie, both on sets and actors (they might not be A-listers, but hey, Rip Torn with a fake nose!), though I do maintain that they spent the costume budget on the animals instead, because goodness knows there wasn’t much material used to cover anyone’s butts. But there are special effects and some impressive creature makeup and costuming in places and someone actually wrote a script for it and got trained animals. So, there’s that. If only it didn’t feel so interminable.

So there’s your typical prince-in-exile sort of thing going on here, but with some bizarre twists. Dar is kidnapped out of his mother’s womb before birth (and carried in the womb of a cow) so that the evil priest Maax can try to avoid a prophecy that King Zed’s son will kill him. A dude who has no spoken name saves baby Dar and raises him to be all buff and they discover that Dar can communicate with animals. Then the bad guys show up and slaughter the village except for Dar, who vows revenge. Yay revenge! So off Dar goes, collecting animal friends like Pokemon. The thing is, I really felt like every section of this movie took an hour. I looked up at the clock all the time during this movie, hoping we were approaching the end, or perhaps the climax, maybe? And it was never quite as close as I hoped it would be. Dar meets up with Kiri, the woman he assaults who, of course, totally falls for him for no good reason (chicks obviously dig that sort of thing, and if you can’t tell that I’m being sarcastic you fail). After that he meets up with Seth and Tal, Tal being yet another prince in exile and Seth being his guardian. Together they break into the fortress where Maax is holding Zed prisoner and break him out and then things keep happening!

Really, there’s fighting, and then more fighting, and then running around, and rallying people to attack the city, and more fighting, and it just goes on and on and on. Each fight sequence feels like it’s a year long. And it’s not all that fast. I felt like I could see them counting off their fight choreography in beats. It felt labored at best. Really, the best parts of the movie for me were the animals Dar has with him (a falcon, a tiger and two ferrets) and the bit where he meets up with a bunch of bizarre bat people who hug people to death and suck all the life out of them. And the makeup and costuming for those bat people are really quite good. I liked them. So yes, the animals (aside from the poor tiger being dyed black) and the bat people? Fantastic! And really, I liked Seth and Tal, who both kicked a decent amount of ass.

Looking back, I think I liked a decent amount of this movie, but the hero was painful and tiresome and unpleasant, which is a frustrating thing. It keeps this movie from being a classic to me. That and somehow I missed seeing it in my copious viewing of Up All Nite and the Channel 56 Movie Loft. How? I don’t know. I saw Red Sonja and Conan the Barbarian at least twice each, and this one? Nope. So it’s just not one of my personal classics. And I refuse to feel guilty about that.

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November 22, 2010 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , , ,

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