A warrior named Dar, after a horde of cruel Jans destroyed his native village, goes to seek revenge. Marked with the sign of the beast god, he understands the language of birds and animals, and his companions – a huge night tiger, a couple of cunning ferrets and an eagle – help him not only to fight people, but also with unknown creatures that live in dark forests and damp dungeons.
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Late in the evening for the hundredth time listening to the magical musical accompaniment of Lee Holdridge, I suddenly felt hurt about the fate of such a wonderful film. In the bleak nineties, when video games and cassette players were the main home entertainment, my friends and I were staring at this VHS. It is still kept on my shelf, with an amateur translation, overwritten by printing and grooves on the film. But I will not exchange it for a similar DVD (if one is ever released), I will not, because the memories associated with it always give me nostalgic joy, as soon as I insert it into my old player.
For those who have not seen it, but perhaps want to see it, I will briefly outline the storyline. In the valley of Aruk, King Zed awaits the appearance of an heir, but the psychopath-priest Maeks demands that he bring an unborn son and his mother as a sacrifice to the god Aru. The king himself, of course, is not a psychopath, so he expels Maax and his priests into the steppe, where he finds himself a flock in the face of the Jann nomads. Before leaving, Maeks sends a witch to the royal chambers and she kills Zed’s wife with wild magic rituals during which the fetus from the mother’s womb is reborn in the belly of a cow. In the forest, where the witch is trying to kill the child, the prince is rescued by an Emuritan. He gives him the name Gift. The boy grows up in a provincial village among plowmen and herders. Very soon he has a magical gift, which, of course, you guess. Childhood ends when the Jannas attack the village. The gift remains the only one surviving. According to his father’s behest, armed with a sword and a cape, he returns to the Aruk Valley in search of his destiny. Meanwhile, our old friend Maeks is in full swing in Aruk, having fun with shameful infanticide …
This is how this fascinating fairy tale begins, brilliantly filmed by Don Coscarelli based on the books of Andre Norton. It turns out that the old classic knows how to shoot not only horror films. He manages dark fantasy just as well. There are several poignant moments in The Beast Mastery that can be attributed to the horror genre. In general, the classic fight between good and evil, but Maeks and Dar are not just enemies, they are connected by a common fate, which the witches predict for them. “Death by the hand of the unborn son of Zed.” Actually, therefore, Maeks decides to rebel against the king and capture the entire city. The plot is worthy of a book!
In addition, revenge is not at the forefront, as was the case with Conan or the total destruction of evil by Prince Colvin of Krull. The gift lives in a magical world, meets friends, tames animals, looks closely at the enemy (and the enemy to him). In fact, it only starts acting at the end. But how! Alone with a panther, to an epic melody, attack the pyramid in the city center to save your beloved! Its a pity that the people in the film behave simply disgusting, including the overthrown King Zed. Everyone indifferently watches as Dar and his friends fight first with the priests of Ara, and then with a whole gang of mounted Jannas. That’s why they are heroes to save weak spineless cowards.
Personally, I will add that the film for some reason I associate with the game “Gothic”. The world in her is just as dirty, cruel and damn attractive. God forbid to fall asleep in it and God forbid forget. “Master of Beasts” is a worthy example of black fantasy that has irrevocably dissolved in the ocean of modern computer graphics and budget blockbusters.
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (93.69 Mbps)
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kb/s)
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 (192 kb/s)