Wednesday, June 15, 2022

The Beastmaster: Standard Edition – Vinegar Syndrome (UHD/Blu-ray Combo)

Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1982
Director: Don Coscarelli
Writers: Don Coscarelli, Paul Pepperman, Andre Norton
Cast: Marc Singer, Tanya Roberts, Rip Torn, John Amos, Joshua Milrad, Rod Loomis, Ben Hammer, Ralph Strait, Billy Jayne

Release Date: July 27th, 2021
Approximate Running Time: 118 Minutes 27 Seconds
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 2160 Progressive / HEVC / H.265 / HDR10
Rating: NR
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 English, DTS-HD Stereo English
Subtitles: English SDH
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $49.98

“When he was a baby, Dar (Marc Singer, In The Cold Of The Night, TV’s ‘V’) and his royal family were cursed by an all-powerful wizard named Maax (Rip Torn, Men in Black) to prevent him from rightfully ascending as the leader of his people.  Stolen from his parents and about to be sacrificed, Dar is rescued by a kind villager who raises him as his own. While training with his adopted father, Dar realizes the curse has left him with a unique gift: the ability to telepathically communicate with all forms of animal life. Years later, Maax returns with the help of a violent band of marauders known as the Jun to all but wipe out Dar’s tribe, leaving him to fend for himself. Accompanied by his animal and human friends, Dar sets out on a quest of vengeance to destroy Maax and the Jun, and return peace to the land before it’s too late." - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 4.25/5 (4k UHD), 4/5 (Blu-ray)

Here’s the information provided about the transfer, "The following presentation of The Beastmaster is sourced from its 35mm Interpositive, which is best known surviving film element, as the original negative is believed destroyed.

Due to the many effect sequences created during the film's post-production, some damage was unable to be removed without compromising the integrity of the image. Furthermore, due to various lab techniques utilized during production, the size of color of the film grain will fluctuate. This is neither a defect in the film elements utilized to create this restoration nor in the disc itself. It is inherent to the film."

The Beastmaster comes on a 100 GB triple layer 4K UHD.

Disc Size: 88.2 GB

Feature: 86.6 GB

The disclaimer that's provided before the film perfectly summarizes what to expect from this transfer. That said, it is hard to imagine that this film could look any better than this transfer.

The Beastmaster original version comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 45.1 GB

Feature: 32.9 GB

The Beastmaster new FX version comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 45.6 GB

Feature: 31.3 GB

Audio: 4.25/5 (DTS-HD Stereo English), 4/5 (DTS-HD 5.1 English)

This release comes with two audio options: a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in English and a DTS-HD stereo mix in English. Both audio mixes sound clean, clear, balanced, and robust when they need to. That said, the stereo track is the more preferable of these two audio tracks. Included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles.

Extras:

Extras on the 4K UHD disc include an archival commentary track with director Don Coscarelli and producer Paul Pepperman, and an audio commentary with Don Coscarelli, Paul Pepperman, and moderated by filmmaker Joe Lynch.

The extras on the original version Blu-ray include a six-part making-of documentary titled The Beastmaster Chronicles, Chapter One: Gateway Coscarelli (10 minutes 31 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), Chapter Two: A Lion Doesn’t Have To Say He’s A Lion (19 minutes 42 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), Chapter Four: A Blade Of Grass (11 minutes 47 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), Chapter Five: Close Your Eyes And Write (10 minutes 10 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), and Chapter Six: Hey, Beastmaster’s On (11 minutes 52 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an archival commentary track with Don Coscarelli, Paul Pepperman, and moderated by filmmaker Joe Lynch), and an audio commentary with Don Coscarelli, Paul Pepperman, and moderated by filmmaker Joe Lynch.

Extras on the new FX version Blu-ray include a theatrical trailer (2 minutes 13 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), a stills gallery with music from the film playing in the background (Concept Art/Stills/Posters/Other Promotional Materials), silent outtake footage (2 minutes 25 seconds), super 8mm home movies shot by James Dodson with audio commentary by Don Coscarelli and Paul Pepperman (27 minutes 30 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an archival making-of documentary titled  The Saga of the Beastmaster (55 minutes 7 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an archival commentary track with Don Coscarelli and Paul Pepperman, and an audio commentary with Don Coscarelli, Paul Pepperman, and moderated by filmmaker Joe Lynch.

Other extras include reversible cover art and a slipcover.

Summary:

Outside of a few films that have had a few that have captured the audience’s attention. The Sword and Sandal films are a genre that has primarily remained on the fringe. With this genre’s most productive era being the late 1950’s and early 1960’s,

In the 1980's, there was a renewed interest in sword and sandal films due to the success of Conan the Barbarian. And though interest in most of these Sword and Sandal films from the 1980’s has waned over the years, besides Conan the Barbarian, another film that remains at the forefront of the Sword and Sandal films from the 1980’s is The Beastmaster.

However, The Beastmaster has all the elements that have become synonymous with the Sword and Sandal film genre. The Beastmaster's ability to take familiar elements and transform them into his own That's what sets The Beastmaster apart from other Sword and Sandal films.

From a production standpoint, The Beastmaster achieves most of its goals. There is a good balance of fantastical moments and action set pieces. And though there are moments when the special effects show their age, most of the special effects are well executed.

Performance wise, the cast ranged from adequate to good in their respective roles. with the most memorable performance being Rip Torn (The Man Who Fell to Earth) in the role of an evil sorcerer named Maax. Marc Singer (V) in the role of this film’s protagonist, Dar, more than fulfills the requirements of this role, and Tanya Roberts (Tourist Trap) in the role of Kiri, provides The Beastmaster with eye candy.

The Beastmaster gets a definitive release from Vinegar Syndrome that comes with a strong audio/video presentation, and a wealth of extras, highly recommended.

4K UHD screenshots.












Written by Michael Den Boer

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