The Beastmaster

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The Beastmaster
The Beastmaster movie poster
Directed by Don Coscarelli
Produced by Paul Pepperman
Donald P. Borchers
Sylvio Tabet
Written by Don Coscarelli
Paul Pepperman
Music by Lee Holdridge
Cinematography John Alcott
Edited by Roy Watts
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
  • August 20, 1982 (1982-08-20)
Running time
118 min.
Country United States/West Germany
Language English
Budget $8 million
Box office $14,056,528

The Beastmaster is a 1982 fantasy film directed by Don Coscarelli and starring Marc Singer, Tanya Roberts, John Amos and Rip Torn. The film was marketed with the tagline "Born with the courage of an eagle, the strength of a black tiger, and the power of a god."


The Beastmaster tells the story of Dar (Marc Singer), the royal son of a king named Zed (Rod Loomis) who was stolen from the womb of Zed's queen (Vanna Bonta) by a witch under the command of vicious high-priest sorcerer Maax (Rip Torn). A poor villager saves Dar from being sacrificed and raises him as his own son, teaching Dar how to fight and witnessing the boy's ability to telepathically communicate with animals.

Their happiness is destroyed when their village is attacked by the evil Jun horde, a race of fanatic beast-like warriors controlled by Maax. Dar, the only survivor of the attack, vows revenge and journeys to his father's former kingdom to destroy Maax. On the way he befriends and teams up with an eagle, to whom he gives the name Sharak, a black tiger he names Ruh and a pair of thieving ferrets he calls Kodo and Podo; meets a slave-girl called Kiri (Tanya Roberts) and encounters an eerie half-bird, half-human race who totally ingest human prey, leaving only the bones. These bird men worship eagles, and when they see that Dar commands Sharak, they give him an amulet which will let him request their aid.

Zed is imprisoned in the central pyramid of the city, where Maax exercises total power and demands children to be sacrificed to his god. Dar and Sharak save the child of townsman Sacco from sacrifice. Dar learns that Kiri is Zed's niece and that she is being prepared for sacrifice in a temple. On the way to rescue her, he teams up with Zed's younger son Tal and his bodyguard Seth (John Amos). Together they save Kiri and return to the city to free Zed from the pyramid. Zed, who has been blinded, is mad for revenge; he rejects Dar as a "freak", and orders an immediate attack on the city that fails utterly. Maax is about to sacrifice Kiri and Zed when Dar reappears and frees Kiri. He fatally wounds Maax, but Maax has enough strength left to kill Zed. Maax is about to kill Dar, when Kodo leaps onto Maax and they fall to their deaths in the sacrificial fire. The Jun horde attack the city, but are defeated after a long fight. The bird-men consume the last of the Juns. Dar sets off into the waste with Kiri, Ruh, Sharak and Podo (who has given birth to two baby ferrets) on the path to new adventures.


Character Actor
Dar Marc Singer
Kiri Tanya Roberts
Maax Rip Torn
Seth John Amos
Tal Josh Milrad
King Zed Rod Loomis
Zed's Queen Vanna Bonta
Young Dar's father Ben Hammer
Sacco Ralph Strait
Young Dar Billy Jacoby
Jun Leader Tony Epper
Tils Paul Reynolds


This sword-and-sorcery film was only a modest box-office performer during its initial 1982 release, grossing roughly $14 million ($34.4 million adjusted) against an estimated $8 million budget ($19.6 million adjusted),[1] but it has steadily built a strong cult following over the years.[2] It subsequently received significant local TV and cable airplay, notably HBO and TBS where it became a TV mainstay and viewer favorite. Its replay was so common that some waggishly dubbed TBS "The Beastmaster Station",[3] and HBO as "Hey, Beastmaster is On". The film currently holds a 50% rating at Rotten Tomatoes.

The film spawned two sequels: Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time[4] (1991), and the made-for-television Beastmaster III: The Eye of Braxus[5] (1996), followed by a syndicated television series.[6] A special feature, The Making of Beastmaster 2,[7] was also produced in 1991, and another one, The Saga of The Beastmaster[8] (2005), was released on video.


The score was composed and conducted by Lee Holdridge; it was recorded in Rome with members of The Orchestra of the Academy of Santa Cecilia of Rome and the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Rome. The soundtrack album was originally issued by Varese Sarabande, and subsequently by C.A.M. In 2013 Quartet Records released a 1200-copy limited edition featuring the original album (tracks 1-13, disc 1) and most of the film's score (Holdridge wrote eighty minutes of music for the film; a few cues could not be found, but the album includes music that was not heard in the finished product).[9]

Disc 1:

  1. The Legend of Dar (Main Theme) (1:32)
  2. The Horde (The Destruction of Emur) (2:43)
  3. A Sword and an Eagle (The Epic Begins) (4:49)
  4. Friends of Dar (Suite 1): A) The Princess Kiri B) Kodo, Podo and Reu (3:35)
  5. The Pyramid (2:47)
  6. Night Journey (Suite 2) A) The Eagle B) The City (3:56)
  7. The Battle on the Pyramid (6:42)
  8. A Hero’s Theme (The Legend of Dar) (2:56)
  9. Heroic Friends (4:30)
  10. Escape From the Pyramid (2:40)
  11. Dar’s Solitude (1:28)
  12. The Great Battle (Dar’s Triumph) (3:37)
  13. The New Kingdom (3:22)
  14. The Beastmaster (Seq. 1 - Main Titles) (1:48)
  15. The Beastmaster (Seq. 2 - Stealing the Child) (3:12)
  16. The Beastmaster (Seq. 3 - The Ritual) (1:36)
  17. The Beastmaster (Seq. 4 - A New Father) (1:35)
  18. The Beastmaster (Seq. 5 - Jun Raid) (4:21)
  19. The Beastmaster (Seq. 6 - Sword and Eagle) (4:41)
  20. The Beastmaster (Seq. 7 - Ferret Chase/Quicksand) (2:13)
  21. The Beastmaster (Seq. 8 - Captive Panther/Fighting Juns) (2:53)
  22. The Beastmaster (Seq. 9 - The Bathing Scene) (1:20)
  23. The Beastmaster (Seq. 10 - Dar Pursues Kiri) (5:10)

Disc 2:

  1. The Beastmaster (Seq. 11 - Journey to the City) (1:31)
  2. The Beastmaster (Seq. 12 - Sacrifice Thwarted) (4:16)
  3. The Beastmaster (Seq. 13 - Death Sentence) (2:16)
  4. The Beastmaster (Seq. 14 - Eagle Vision) (2:22)
  5. The Beastmaster (Seq. 15 - The Rescue of Kiri) (2:21)
  6. The Beastmaster (Seq. 16 - Raft Escape) (4:12)
  7. The Beastmaster (Seq. 17 - Into the Pyramid/Corridor Ambush) (1:00)
  8. The Beastmaster (Seq. 18 - Stealing the Keys/The Cell) (4:41)
  9. The Beastmaster (Seq. 19 - The Escape Begins/The Escape Continues) (2:49)
  10. The Beastmaster (Seq. 20 - A Little Late) (1:27)
  11. The Beastmaster (Seq. 21 - Outside the Pyramid) (1:34)
  12. The Beastmaster (Seq. 22 - Through the Gate/Dar the Outcast) (2:44)
  13. The Beastmaster (Seq. 23 - Pyramid Battle, Part I (Alternate) (2:49)
  14. The Beastmaster (Seq. 24 - Pyramid Battle, Part II (Alternate) (2:18)
  15. The Beastmaster (Seq. 25 - Pyramid Battle, Part III (Alternate) (3:57)
  16. The Beastmaster (Seq. 26 - Preparations) (1:48)
  17. The Beastmaster (Seq. 27 - The Horde Attacks/The Moat/Dar vs. Jun Leader) (4:48)
  18. The Beastmaster (Seq. 28 - The Tide Turns) (1:30)
  19. The Beastmaster (Seq. 29 - A New King) (3:24)
  20. The Beastmaster (Seq. 30 - Finale) (2:05)
  21. The Battle on the Pyramid (Film Version) (6:42)


External links[edit]