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
Leisure Investment Company
Beastmaster NV
ECTA Filmproduktion
Distributed by MGM/UA Entertainment Co.
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[1]

The Beastmaster is a 1982 fantasy film directed by Don Coscarelli and starring Marc Singer, Tanya Roberts, John Amos and Rip Torn.[2]

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."


In the kingdom of Aruk, the high priest Maax [MAY-aks] (Rip Torn) is given a prophecy by his witches that he would die facing the son of King Zed (Rod Loomis). Learning of Maax's scheme to murder his child as a sacrificial offering to the kingdom's god Ar, Zed exiled Maax and his followers from the city. However, Maax sent one of his witches to transfer the unborn child from the womb of Zed's queen (Vanna Bonta) and into a cow to be born. After his birth the witch brands the infant with Ar's mark, but is killed by a villager who takes the infant in his care and raises him as his own son. Named Dar while raised the village of Emur, the child learns how to fight while advised by his father to keep his ability to telepathically communicate with animals a secret. Years later, a fully grown Dar (Marc Singer) witnesses his people being slaughtered by the Jun, a horde of fanatic barbarians in league with Maax. Dar, the only survivor of the attack, vows revenge and journeys to Aruk to avenge his people. In time, Dar is joined by an eagle that he named Sharak, a pair of thieving ferrets he calls Kodo and Podo, and a black tiger whom he names Ruh.

Eventually, Dar meets a redheaded slave girl called Kiri (Tanya Roberts) before getting himself lost and ending up surrounded by an eerie half-bird, half-human race who dissolve their prey for nourishment. As the bird men worship eagles, they spare Dar when he summons Sharak and give him an amulet should he need their aid. Dar soon arrives to Aruk where Maax had assumed total control with the Juns' support and subjects the people to witness their children being sacrificed. After having Sharak save the child of a townsman named Sacco, Dar learns that Kiri is to be sacrificed. On his way to save her, Dar is joined by Zed's younger son Tal and his bodyguard Seth (John Amos), learning that Kiri is Zed's niece as the three work to save her. While Seth goes to gather their forces, Dar helps Kiri and Tal infiltrate the temple and save the now eyeless Zed and while escaping from the temple's beast-like Death Guards.

Consumed by revenge, Zed refuses to listen to Dar's warning against ordering an immediate attack on the city and rejects him as a freak. Forced to leave, Dar later learns that his friends are captured and races to Aruk to save them from being sacrificed. In the conflict that followed, Maax reveals Dar's relationship to Zed before slitting his throat and facing the Beastmaster. Despite being stabbed, revived by his remaining witch before she was killed, Maax was about to kill Dar when Kodo sacrifices himself to cause the high priest to fall into the sacrificial flames. But the victory is short-lived as the Jun horde are approaching Auruk, arriving by nightfall to face the trap Dar and the people set up for them. Tal gets wounded as Dar succeeds in burning most of the Juns alive while defeating their chieftain before the bird-men arrive to consume those remaining. The following day, though Seth learned that he is Zed's first born, Dar explains that Tal would make a better king as he leaves Auruk. Dar sets off into the wild 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), but it has steadily built a strong cult following over the years.[1] It subsequently received significant local TV and cable airplay, notably HBO and TBS and TNT where it became a TV mainstay and viewer favorite.[3] Its replay was so common that some waggishly dubbed TBS "The Beastmaster Station",[citation needed] and HBO as "Hey, Beastmaster's On".[citation needed] The film currently holds a 42% rating at Rotten Tomatoes.[4]

The film spawned two sequels: Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time (1991),[5] and the made-for-television Beastmaster III: The Eye of Braxus (1996),[6] followed by a syndicated television series (1999).[7]


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).[8]

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)


  1. ^ a b "The Beastmaster (1982) Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-03-08. 
  2. ^ Canby, Vincent (August 20, 1982). "The Beastmaster (1982) 'BEASTMASTER,' AN ADVENTURE-FANTASY". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ Browne, David (September 10, 1993). "Why The Beastmaster?". Entertainment Weekly. 
  4. ^ "The Beastmaster". Rotten Tomatoes. 
  5. ^ The New York Times
  6. ^ The New York Times
  7. ^ The New York Times
  8. ^ John Takis, liner notes, The Beastmaster: Expanded Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Quartet/Sugar, SCE076

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