Posts Tagged ‘Beastmaster’

Next up, a magical journey to the past to save the future! No wait, that actually makes sense.

Continuing our long ( possibly never-ending?) quest of watch all the Barbarian films we encountered an oddity- yes, a time traveling barbarian movie! Generally not a lot of those exist (possibly because Sword and Sorcery and the City doesn’t really go together all that well ) Beastmaster 2: Through The Portal of Time being one of the only notable exemptions from that rule. Also, the movie is directed by B- movie writer Joseph John Barmettler (of Skyscraper fame), and the lead is none other than Deron McBee aka Malibu of American Gladiators (1989).

Our Barbarian King Doran (McBee) likes spending his time strolling the woods, fighting an occasional masked savage(yes, there are different levels of savagery) and scaring his woman with a masked he stole from said savage. So generally good times. He is also the last in long line of Kings (we use this term very broadly ’cause his kingdom is like 10-15 men) entrusted with a mystical amulet with inamaginable powers (including but not limited to space/ time manipulation).  The sacred amulet was originally gifted to his ancestor by a powerful Sorceress for non- disclosed reason.

Ill-advisedly he decides to leave on a hunting trip with his pal while all the barbarian woman engage in some skinny dipping in the river along with some nude gossiping too. Just at that time the evil wizard Mandrak (yes, not really an original name, is it?) decides to strike. Now, Mandrak attacks with his three or four men – he really should have invested in more henchman,  instead of his (limited) magic arsenal. I mean I can find more henchman right now and I have no delusions of world domination or wish to raid any barbarian villages.

Now the protective powers of the amulet are nowhere to be found because Madrak crusifies Lystra between the two trees and then rapes her repeatedly. Probably because he lost a hand in his raid against nude women! Dorin arrives (predictably) too late with Mandrak and his mini- horde all gone along with the amylet. Then he vows vengeance and begins his quest to find the mystical sorceress and right the wrong. Unfortunately at the first step of his “epic” journey he and his friend end up ambushed and his friend pays with his life. I wouldn’t want to be Dorin‘s friend given his recent track record.

Dorin ends up being captured by the savages who sacrifice people to the Lovecraftian deity but eventually Sorcerers show up pretty pissed that he lost her amulet. Now ,Sorceress has a bit of that passive/ aggressive thing going on ’cause she frees him in the end and gifts him with the magic sword from the stone (where have I seen this before?) to help him on his quest of recapturing the sacred amylet?

I wonder what kind of magic is she using for that hair?

And as we all now the only place where a mystical artifact can take you is the Los Angeles in the 90’s Magic simply works that way. Now we see a reporter named Penny who’s just trying to report on rising street violence (kinda like April O’Neil in TMNT), but she becomes a victim of the said violence  in no time. She gets viciously attacked even loosing her shirt in the process (as is mandatory in B-Movies). But our hero shows up just in time, and starts throwing gang members left and right (it seems people have gone soft during the centuries). Reporters deduce that he is from some Nordic country because yeah, in those countries people walk around half naked with swords like it’s the middle ages.

Ok, this dude is the exception.

Now, having a bit of a head start in our brave new world you would expect the Evil Wizard to be ruling L.A. by now. Ok, maybe not the whole city but surely he had taken control of numerous street gangs and made them into his own private army of terror! Nope, not really, he and his only remaining henchman (now sporting a punk rock haircut) are robing random people of the street and spending their money in a seedy bar (with a single hooker). That bar also has probably the ugliest bartender in all the history of cinema

Man this dude is ugly, I still can’t get my head around it

Fascinated by his size the reporter Penny (bearing uncanny resemblance to his dead wife) takes him home and shows him the wonders of modern technology, and also the wonders of modern sex (ok, it hasn’t really progressed that much). Now,  Mandrak’s sees his nemesis on the TV (throwing people around like a crazed WWE wrestler) a spark lights inside him finally lights up. Will his genius finally shine again?  In mere moments he develops a devious plan to defeat the foul Barbarian– to attack him first! To attack him first? Man, he sure is rusty in this plotting evil schemes thing. Well, at least he decides to even the odds by using FIREARMS! Yeah, pure genius. No way he can block the bullets with his magic sword (only he can).

He threatens the goon as seeks the location of Mandrak’s and manages to kill him before he speaks. Thankfully cameraman dude shows up, and somehow they figure out Mandrak’s locations. That location is shockingly just a random warehouse (I guess that’s the only thing crew had available) and the otherwise pathetic finish out to be hell of a lot of a fun because of a simple thing- a hand! You see Dorin was wearing Mandrak’s severed hand on his belt for like a whole hour of the movie and now we know why- to pimp slap the Wizard with his own hand!!! He might act like an idiot in every other scene but here he is comical genius.

Now, after finally defeating the Wizard, reclaiming the amulet and finding the love of his life against all odds, across  the whole space and time what does our hero do? He activates the power of the amulet and strolls back home, walking down the railway too- he is just that stupid. Penny continues her best April O’Neil impersonation by narrating about Dorin’s heroic deeds on camera. And that is all.


Verdict I absolutely understand all the budget constraints (first part of the movie is mostly just forest + a smoke machine) and some thing you can chalk off to 80’s clichess but other things- not so much. For example in the case of Conan the Barbarian Arnold was never given too many lines and that coupled with his incredible physique sold him as formidable and even menacing. On the other hand when you have McBee with his California blonde hair and horse-like teeth (actually quite useful in another role *see Trivia) just blabbing along like a schoolgirl, all of that muscle can’t save him from looking ridiculous. Now, to his credit MbBee sticked to acting even to this day and he actually got a LOT better (see his guest spot on Veronica Mars, episode You Think You Know Somebody if you want proof.)

Trivia: Daron McBee (as if American Gladiators and Time Barbarians weren’t enough) went on to star  in another movie worthy of the WM Crew list. Yes,he appeared in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation as Montaro. Dont’ tell me you’ve forgoten all about this- I mean he is really hard to miss!

“Without your weapons, you are no match for Motaro.”

From the legendary Z-movie/Porn director (and occasional pro wrestler) Fred Olen Ray comes a story of a heroic gunslinger and hot cyborgs! Enter the CYBERZONE…

The movie starts with a typical SF crawl that explains the post- 8.9 earthquake life (used also in the setup of Escape from L.A.). After some random footage of stars we go back to Earth just in time to witness a rugged, good looking bounty hunter getting almost killed. And it’s freakin’ Mark Singer- Beastmaster himself! Anyway he survives all thanks to the hidden pistol and then he puts his victims head in the bag? He is cyborg so it’s all Ok.

He naturally proceeds to the local bar (with a mutant stripper no less). Also for some reason bartender looks like a pirate.  Then we meet our other protagonist/ antihero Hawk (Matteas Hues),who collaborating with a Predator (?) finds some illegally distributed Pleasure Droids.

PleasureDroidsThese are the droids you are looking for!

Jack Ford (Singer) gets a job offer that takes him to the fancy upper levels of the city. There he’s informed of the terrible theft of the Pleasure Droids from one of the Jupiter’s colonies. After some back and forth he is forced to except the company of Bethany, one of the firm’s leading technicians. She doesn’t seem too happy with the pairing but you just know she’ll worm up to him eventually.They head out to the layer of a fat face- painted criminal lord (something like a human Jabba the Hutt just more pathetic). Ford gives him the cyborg head (remember the beginning) and tries to get some information out of him. Unfortunately the fat one is collaborating with a thief and all Ford gets is killers, including Droid Hunter on his ass.

Ford continues the search and visits some whorehouses to do so. Also that’s an excuse for the cute technician to dress up as a whore herself. Just as they were on their way out they get attacked by Fatso’s men and there we witness the cyber martial- arts training of Bethany (eat you heart out Matrix) and street smarts of Ford. Now the twist- it turns out the killers were in fact from New Angeles (a religious ultra- conservative mecca controlled by seemingly benevolent founder Charles Humberstone). Ford ties to find a way to smuggle them in New Angeles but unexpectedly Droid Hunter shows up and almost kills him. Thankfully Bethany knew his weak spot of his days of bounty hunting would be numbered.

 

 

Strangely, Hues is just now porting the New Angeles underwater town with pleasure Droids masked as nuns. and one of them misteriosly missing- how the hell do you wind out in a situation like that? He gets into the verbal confrontation with Charles (in fact a Crime Kingpin) over the lost Droid but he has to settle for less money. Kiberzona.avi_002914840This man loves his job

That prompts Hawk/ Ford meeting in the same exact bar we already visited numerous time during the movie. Dissatisfied with his earning he strokes a deal with Ford to steel back the droids. That proves surprisingly easy because they masked the technician as the pleasure droid. Nobody saw threw their scheme until it was too late. Now being the gentlemen that he is Ford returns to save Beth too and Hawks being cool cat himself decides to help him. Pressed by superior numbers Hues heroically dies (shout out to the Western influences of this film).

Kiberzona.avi_004797240  “Just make sure I get my cut”

 Beth and Ford return to the company to pick up the check and Bethany decides to quit having found her wild side down in the slums. And just when you think it’s all over the last Droid shows up- to help down on his luck homeless person. I have to presume that her help was greatly appreciated.

BumI guess he finally found his faith…

Verdict: As always Ray dosn’t have much in the financing department to show us the scope of the world but he does good with what he has and (as always) when he rans out of ideas he uses the old trick of adding some half- naked ladies in the scene.And sometimes that even works (not in the case of a mutant stripper but in other cases). Anyway this movie is one of those “what you see is why you get” kind of deals. If you wanted to see Beastmaster shooting people, Matheas Hues being kinda emotionless and heavily mascular and cool, and some slutty droids too- you’ve came to the right place. Otherwise find another dystopian future to enjoy.