Movie of the Week: The Beastmaster (1982)

My best friend in the seventh grade couldn't stop talking about this movie. Every day for a week, on our long walks home from school, he'd detail everything that happened in the film and how great it was. That weekend, the two of us were dropped off at the theater by his dad, so he could see it a second time and I could finally experience the magic. I fell asleep within the first 40 minutes (of a two-hour movie) and didn't wake until the lights went up and the end credits were rolling.

I was disappointed, of course. I didn't get to see much Beastmastering, but at least I made it to the part with Tanya Roberts' titties. And that was no easy feat in the pre-internet era for a 12-year old, let me tell you. In a PG-rated film, no less. Anyway, I had my chance to catch up on the rest via cable TV for many years after. It was such a programming mainstay by the mid-80's that the HBO network was jokingly referred to as an acronym for "Hey, Beastmaster's On".

No wonder. Despite being lengthy, it's an entertainment juggernaut, standing up to repeated re-viewings, whether in whole or in part. It's almost like a collection of Saturday morning serials. Directed by Dan Coscarelli, genius behind possibly the greatest of all movies, Phantasm (1979).

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