Music By Lee Holdridge
Disc 1: 23 Tracks/Disc Time:
Disc 2: 21 Tracks/Disc Time:
Total Time: 135:18
Sword and Sorcery films were the rage during the early 1980's in which saw the birth of one of the more iconic characters in the history of the genre in "Conan The Barbarian", which has enjoyed the most success more than three decades later. However, there were more films in the genre that also enjoyed solid success, but not in Conan's box office calibur that included the underrated and exciting "The Sword And The Sorcerer" and this film, "The Beastmaster". "The Beastmaster" which was written and directed by Don Coscarelli, who had a sensational splash with the hit horror film, "Phantasm" years prior to this film features Marc Singer ("V") as Dar, a special kind of warrior who has the gift of communicating with all animals which includes a panther, an eagle, and two farrets as he heads on a quest to avenge the death of his father and his village. Along the quest, he joins forces with Kiri (Tanya Roberts, "Charlie's Angels") who's on a quest to rescue her blinded father from the manaical Maax (Rip Torn, "Men In Black") the very same man who destroyed Dar's village. Dar and Kiri are joined by Seth (John Amos, "Die Hard 2", "Coming To America") to battle Maax and his horde with some much needed help from a rather unexpected source.
The film was a surprise hit when it was released in the Summer of 1982 coming on the heels of the great "Conan The Barbarian", and had become a very popular staple on endlessly airing on HBO during the decade which added to the film's cult status and eventually leading to a sequel "Beastmaster 2: Through The Portal Of Time" in 1991. What both films have in common are great scores without a doubt and this was started by then fledging and masterful composer, Lee Holdridge who was at the time establishing himself with the hit film "Mr. Mom" starring Michael Keaton and written by streaking hot auteur the late John Hughes and aiding the music of the late great Miklos Rosza, conducting his final score to the Steve Martin comedy homage "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid." For this film, Holdridge wrote a full blooded and exciting score in the mold of the Golden Age composers of decades past. The music features a grand memorable theme, full of great sweeping moments of pure excitement and energy.
Highlighted by the original Varese Sarabande album that's featured on Disc One and the for the first time ever released, the complete score as it was featured in the film featuring some of the film's more stellar moments that include "The Beastmaster (Seq. 12 - Sacrifice Thwarted), The Beastmaster (Seq. 15 - The Rescue of Kiri), The Beastmaster (Seq. 23 - Pyramid Battle, Part I (Alternate), The Beastmaster (Seq. 24 - Pyramid Battle, Part II (Alternate),The Beastmaster (Seq. 25 - Pyramid Battle, Part III (Alternate), The Beastmaster (Seq. 26 - Preparations), The Beastmaster (Seq. 27 - The Horde Attacks/The Moat/Dar vs. Jun Leader) and The Beastmaster (Seq. 28 - The Tide Turns) that feature Holdridge's signature rousing style mixed with his poignant theme ("The Legend of Dar (Main Theme)" established on the original album and this score) that is some of the best and more memorable material that he's written. Holdridge also has some fun with his other material as Dar goes on his journey that includes "The Beastmaster (Seq. 6 - Sword and Eagle)", "The Beastmaster (Seq. 7 - Ferret Chase/Quicksand)", "The Beastmaster (Seq. 8 - Captive Panther/Fighting Juns)", "The Beastmaster (Seq. 9 - The Bathing Scene)", and "The Beastmaster (Seq. 10 - Dar Pursues Kiri)", which is the lightest material the score has to offer and works in a very memorable way.
Quartet Records' album is a wonderful release because it reissues the original 1983 album and features all the music that was contained in the film in fine sound quality and fans of both Holdridge and the film will enjoy this album immensely which was long overdue! "The Beastmaster" is a sparkling adventure score for a fun, enjoyable film that still hasn't lost its' charm after thirty plus years! Recommended! Solid Thumbs up!