Ferrets, Falcons, Tigers and Tanya Robert's Tits!

Our Review

In the words of our beloved Suit-Up Scene founder and overlord, Kirk Clawes, "Conan The Barbarian" is a tale of tits, swords and high adventure. But a year after it launched Arnold Schwarzenegger onto the cinema landscape, a far superior film would follow in its wake... Don Coscarelli's timeless fantasy, "The Beastmaster"!

So the question begs asking: Is "The Beastmaster" a poor man's "Conan The Barbarian"? Or is it the other way around? I mean, don't get me wrong. I love Arnold as much as any other self-respecting film geek. But can his thunderous pecs rival Marc Singer's blazing abs? Can Conan's puny sidekick, Subotai, compete with Dar's jungle friends? We're talking a black tiger, a falcon, and don't forget, not one, but two awesome ferrets named 'Codo' and 'Podo'! Does James Earl Jone's 'Thulsa Doom' out-do Rip Torn's 'Maax' in pure dread? (Doom may indulge in orgies, but Maax throws toddlers into sacrificial fires!).

Let's also talk ladies. Does Conan's squeeze, 'Valeria', come anywhere close to Tanya Robert's incredibly smoking slave girl, 'Kiri'. Before you answer, remember that Tanya Roberts has a topless scene in "The Beastmaster", and that Dar actually uses his tiger to help him scam his way into making out with her! Gotta love the sleaze factor.

"The Beastmaster" gains additional points for having a nice horror factor, as evidenced by The Deathguards, those creepy bird men who 'absorb' victims in their acidic wings. It's no surprise that Coscarelli had come off directing "Phantasm" three years later.

Leading man Marc Singer comes with his own bag of treats. The dude's not only a black belt in Kung Fu, but he's cousins with director Bryan Singer.

With such a fine pedigree as this, I was thrilled to find that this early 80's delight did indeed have a suit-up scene. It happens soon after Dar's village, family and friends are burned to the ground. Dar is rescued by the local dog (see how much animals love this guy?) and dragged to safety. Soon after awakening, he surveys the destruction, vowing to get revenge. It's time to suit!

Now, with such an exciting build up as that, you're probably going to be shocked and appalled to find that the suit-up scene in "The Beastmaster" is a little bit of a letdown. I don't think this is so much the fault of the director, as it is the costume designer. See, Dar is half-naked most of the film, in nothing but some leather tassles covering his naughty bits. So shit... what's the dude really expected to suit-up into?

Therefore, we are only treated to about a three second suit-up. Nothing inspiring here. Just three quick cuts of Dar's most important and useful items. His gloves; which cover the mark he was branded with at birth, that deemed him an enemy (and bane) of the evil high priest, Maax. His capo; which belonged to his father. (think of a scary boomerang that likes to lodge itself in people's backs). And of course, Dar's sword; a rather unceremonious antique that looks like something the filmmakers pawned off a peasant in some market in Acapulco.

Dar may be the master of the beasts... but he sure ain't be mastering the suit.

Comments

Cody's picture

Poor man's Conan, this is a poor kids He-Man! lol

Kirk's picture

Haha, I agree with Cody!

Dennis's picture

Keep that tone up and I'll send Codo and Podo in to steal your underwear!

Haas's picture

This movie is pretty harsh, but don't forget "V" the '80s mini series. Marc Singer was top shelf in that shit.

What really makes me scratch my head is knowing that before he owned McDowell's, John Amos went traipsing around in that leather get-up. He looks like a member of the tag team Demolition.

Despite the points you raise about seducing Kiri (sleaze or otherwise), I still have to vote for Valeria all the way.

Dennis's picture

Wow. Okay, you asked for it.

Sandahl Bergman (Valeria)

Sandahl Bergman

VS.

Tanya Roberts (Kiri)

Tanya Roberts

Kirk's picture

If you're going to pick and choose, at least be fair. As a character, Valeria was WAY HOTTER.

Dennis's picture

You're nuts.

Haas's picture

Yeah, that first photo of Sandahl was pretty bad. At least now I know what her father looked like as a young man.

The question here isn't, "Which one of these warrior women is hot?" As far as I'm concerned it's, "Which flavor do you happen to be in the mood for?"

Teela or Evil-Lyn?

Dennis's picture

Guys, it's a no-brainer. Stop embarrassing yourselves. ;)

Kirk's picture

Not to mention that this started out as a simple discussion over which is the better Fantasy-Epic. And Clearly Conan is the winner.

And I believe the saying is "That body be bangin"

Dennis's picture

Dude, she's got a dog face. Look at that schnoz. And those brown pools of liquid she calls eyes are... ummm... interesting?

Cody's picture

I hope they make a He-man 2. I like his little gerbils.

And his bangs.

Shits-n-giggles aside, though... Tanya Roberts all the way. Bergman reminds me of one of those chics in your high school that played softball, but you never really knew if she was just playing to watch the other girls shower or because she was just brutish and dudely.

Hola Chorros!
Neither brutish NOR dudely.

Haas's picture

I don't see anything wrong with Valeria joining the softball team to watch the other girls shower.

That Tanya picture doesn't really do her justice. Reminds me of another girl standing on a beach, making a silly face:

Except Felissa has better posture.

Dennis's picture

Yeah, shame on you, Cody. With pictures like that, I'm not sure I want your support. ;)

I think I could fit my entire head into that mouth.

Tanya Roberts is FABULOUS. I mean, she's not the greatest actress here—but who could be?—but she's still got a certain fabulousity that raises her above it all.

An interesting debate, given that the characters of Kiri and Valeria are among my top favorites for female fantasy.

Perhaps yes, it comes down to what taste you might have. Of the two, Kiri is my favorite. She spans the course of Beastmaster’s story as a not-entirely-helpless slave girl, but helpless enough, as she is rescued from death and peril more than once.

90% of the character is Tanya Robert’s fine work; she puts an extreme measure of femininity into her performance. Kiri the slave girl gives us a level of weakness and helplessness that’s always a satisfying thing to see, at least to those of us that enjoy the hapless heroine role or damsel in distress. While it may have put a different tone on the ending of the story, having Kiri face a terrifying and even ignoble end in the story would have been also satisfying, in the same sense of watching the requisite scream queen buy it gruesomely in a slasher pic. I likely digress as that’s not the genre or tone of Beastmaster.

While Kiri’s slave costume is not nearly as provocative as Valeria’s ‘Thulsa Doom temple raid’ costume, it’s enticing nonetheless, particularly with its impracticably short skirt that gives an occasional panty flash. The one way to guarantee it as the best costume would have been to have Tanya topless for much of the movie, being as the character IS a slave.

Sandahl Bergman in all the movies I’ve seen her in seems to have a fitter physique than Tanya Roberts. Like Lucy Lawless after her, she’s just toned enough to stay feminine but look convincing kicking ass with a sword. I would not put Valeria into the category of brutish by any means, but if she’s the type that was on the girls’ softball team to watch the other girl shower, as someone suggested above, then certainly I’d like to voyeur in and see what she had in mind there.

I guess the choice comes down to this: Either you want Valeria with sword drawn and guarding your back, or Kiri on a chain leash and on all fours. I vote Kiri.

Ya i Like this