Admittedly, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Beastmaster III: The Eye of Braxus. With the trend set by the last two movies, and the fact that Beastmaster II made about 20% of what it cost, I figured that the dreaded third installment would be a snoozefest and little else — a nauseatingly low-budget heap of offal that would more or less play things safe and try not to piss too many people off. I certainly didn’t expect it to be as bad as the movie that came before it.
I was half-right. While it was a nauseatingly low-budget heap of offal and I’ve seen SCA events that were better-funded and better-acted, that other stuff I said about playing it safe… well… just nope. Beastmaster III did what I thought was impossible — it was as bad as Beastmaster II.
Barely, of course, since being as bad as Beastmaster II is no easy feat. But daaaaaamn did it do its best.
Like last time, let’s start off by making fun of the continuity.
- Sharak, the “eagle,” now has long tail-thingies leading me to believe that he has transformed into some kind of hawk.
- Kodo and Podo are back… despite the fact that they were both left in L.A., in another fucking dimension. No mention is ever made of how they reappeared.
- Dar’s sword, which actually had a sort of significance in the first film, has been replaced by a really stupid and gaudy one with a bunch of animals glued onto it.
- And, worst of all…
- Ruh, the tiger which changed coats between the last two movies…
- …is now a lion.
A lion, guys.
Pictured: A lion.
Before you go, “wait, maybe it’s just a different animal altogether!” it’s not. Its name is Ruh. It’s his old friend and it’s been a lion all along. Not a color-confused tiger, as he was in the last few films. He’s a lion.
This has to be a record for how quickly a movie has left me fuckin’ speechless because I came around to this jaw-dropping fact around five minutes in. These people aren’t trying to make this movie good. They’re not even trying to make it palatable. They give absolutely zero fucks. I’m shocked that Sharak didn’t transform into a stork, and that the — capable of independent dimensional travel — Kodo and Podo didn’t turn into foxes or maybe beavers. Because as long as something belongs to a similar animal kingdom it can’t be told apart from every other member of that animal kingdom.
Okay. Sorry. Deep breaths. We’re just a couple minutes into Beastmaster III. There’s so much more.
The main villain of this film may or may not be the decaying corpse of Ricardo Montalban, named Agon (which, after Arklon and Arok, leads me to wonder when the Beastmaster franchise will ever get bored of naming things with the same small selection of letters). His quest is to use the power of Braxus, with the help of some old dude wearing normal clothes and modern spectacles, to grant him eternal youth. Of course, to do this, he needs the Eye of Braxus, something I’m certain none of you saw coming. The Eye of Braxus is an amulet and blah blah zzzzz….
Did I mention this movie’s really boring, too?
Anyway, the movie starts with Dar rescuing some hapless villagers from bandits, which leads to the first asinine bit of dialogue. When asked who he is, he responds “My friends call me Dar.”
Firstly, Dar, you don’t have any friends. You have animal buddies, and they don’t speak, or call you anything at all.
Secondly, if you did have friends, and those friends did call you Dar, they’d call you that because it’s your fucking name and has been from the very beginning. You don’t need friends to validate the fact that you own a name.
…Just ask me….
“Not so rough!”
Anyway; I forget how it came about, since my eyes were already starting to glaze over from boredom at this point, but Dar finds out about the Eye of Braxus and seeks it out. This leads him to the kingdom of Casper Van Dien (of Starship Troopers semi-fame), whose hairless figure, flowing golden locks, and perpetually-exposed puffy pink nipples lead me to wonder how in the world he’s gotten this far in life un-raped. Dar gets his hands on the amulet and wanders off to go stop Agon, since obviously the amulet is safest when it’s as close as possible to the guy who really wants it.
With Dar goes Van Dien’s personal manservant/adviser/bodyguard/love slave/who knows, portrayed by Tony Todd (probably best known as the Candyman, but only slightly less known for being in everything else ever – including one of my favorite films, Sushi Girl). This character may or may not be supposed to be funny, but with the stupendously lackluster direction, yes, this movie managed to wring a bad performance out of even Tony Todd.
Not the only bad performance it will treat us to.
On their way to whatever the fuck they were doing, they meet up with a saucy blonde warrior chick who’s name I’ve already forgotten because I’m not sure it was ever even mentioned. Since this is Beastmaster, however, and she’s a woman, she is either a functionally-retarded bimbo or a capricious vixen, so let’s roll a die….
<grabs a six-sider>
Okay, odds are bimbo, evens are vixen….
Surprise, surprise! She’s a turncoat temptress who wants the amulet so she can return it to Agon. She’s also so obviously evil that the only person who can’t see it is Dar, who gives it to her Beastmaster-style. Which, for the record, apparently means “with everyone watching.” Like eight minutes later she has the amulet, leaving Dar and Tony Todd to a band of savages who blah blah blah zzzz….
Sorry. Sorry. I’m awake. What was going on again?
Oh, jeez. Scratch what I said about Casper Van Dien not getting raped. Looks like the tentacles got him. Well, you can’t say I didn’t call it.
Have fun, bud.
Okay, so they escaped the cannibals… aaaand….
Right, there we go, clowns.
Or, clown, to be specific. Honestly this character was pretty welcome, since I like clowns, and even though his “acrobatics” were pretty lackluster (consisting of handstands, backflips, kip-ups, and nothing else), he’s probably the character I hate least. He joins the party out of sheer determination, and with him comes a witch, Tony Todd’s ex-flame who can “totes cast spells and stuff for reals.”
Bizarrely, Dar seems unconvinced by her magic until it’s proven, despite the fact that he can telepathically communicate with animals, has experienced dimensional travel first-hand, his aunt is swamp thing, he’s witnessed multiple animals transform into a different species, and this movie franchise is still alive and twitching. Nonetheless, after what seems to be no more than fifteen minutes of motionlessly making out with Tony Todd, he exclaims that she “still has her tricks” (she must do some really freaky tongue stuff, groovy), and she provides proof of her wizardry by transforming Dar’s animal buddies into smaller, cuter versions of themselves. No denying her mystical powers, now!
After that she apparently betrays Dar, only to reveal that she didn’t, and actually helps smuggle the animal buddies into Agon’s castle along with Tony Todd and the cute clown guy. Madame Capricious Vixen also shows up to help save the day (which consists of helping Tony deal with inept guards), while Dar gears up for the climactic battle.
The climax involves the Eye of Braxus consuming Agon’s body, replacing him with the actual Braxus entity.
Which ends up being the dad from Dinosaurs.
Which one’s Braxus? You tell me.
And thus; Dar, clown-boy, Kodo mk.3 and Podo mk.2 work together and use their wits to bring the monster down in the middle of his “rule the world” litany, sending him back to Hell where he belongs (because I guess the Beastmasterverse has a Hell). And so ends Beastmaster III.
OR DOES IT?!
No! It doesn’t! This has more endings than Return of the King and we have to see what happens to each and every character we don’t give half a fuck about. Casper Van Dien is rescued and reinstated as king (though likely is plagued by nightmares for the rest of his life), and is nice enough to flat-out give Tony Todd to Dar like an unwanted puppy. He claims it’s so that the rather impetuous Dar can have some guidance from a more experienced wanderer, except that Marc Singer looks like he’s about fifty goddamn years old and should be able to experience himself right into a retirement home at this point.
Meanwhile, the capricious vixen has been more-or-less forgiven, but since Dar likes to stick to his habit of hitting it and quitting it he puts her on a horse and kindly allows her to get lost. Clown-boy is desperate to be Dar’s sidekick, and since the animals voted “yay,” he’s allowed to stick around… as long as he rides bitch on the back of Dar’s horse.
And so, the land of Arok was saved, they all lived mediocrely ever after, and another Beastmaster movie was never made.
No, I’m not going to review the fucking TV show. For Christ’s sake, what more do you people want from me? Have I not suffered enough? HAVE I NOT SUFFERED ENOUGH?!
But seriously, I’m not going to review, or even watch, the live-action television series. That will be a task for another critic. For now, and hopefully forever, this chapter of my many trials has come to an end.
Achievement Unlocked: Perseverant
Next up on Dungeons and D-Listers…
He stalks death.