The Beastmaster is a 1982 fantasy film directed by Don Coscarelli that starred Marc Singer, Tanya Roberts, John Amos and Rip Torn. It was loosely based on ideas from Andre Norton in her seminal science fiction novel The Beast Master, although it did not use plot, setting, or characters from the novel. The film was marketed with the tagline "The courage of an eagle, the strength of a black tiger, and the power of a god."
The Beastmaster tells the story of Dar (Marc Singer), the royal son of a king named Zed (Rod Loomis) who was stolen from the womb of Zed's queen (Vanna Bonta) by a witch under the command of vicious high-priest sorcerer Maax (Rip Torn). A poor villager saves Dar from being sacrificed and raises him as his own son, teaching Dar how to fight and witnessing the boy's ability to telepathically communicate with animals.
Their happiness is destroyed when their village is attacked by the evil Jun horde, a race of fanatic beast-like warriors controlled by Maax. Dar, the only survivor of the attack, vows revenge and journeys to his father's former kingdom to destroy Maax.
Dar, the son of a desert-dwelling king and queen, is robbed of his birthright by the power-hungry priest named Maax and his demon, Norn-like witch. While still in his mother's womb, Dar is magically transferred to a cow by one of the witches, rendering the King powerless to save his son or his queen, who is killed by the heinous witch. The witch takes the cow to which baby Dar was transferred to a remote place, where she removes him from the animal, brands his hand, and is moments away from killing him when he is saved by a passing peasant.
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