The Beastmaster... is also a sword master.
For the past week we have been living in our own celluloid fantasy worlds of swords & sorcery, wondrous creatures, enchanted islands, mad cyclops, fierce amazonians and a blue-eyed man ape who has a certain way with women.
Yes, it is fantasy theme week on Cultpix with a bunch of new classics spanning from the first three-strip colour science fiction film and Ray Harryhausen’s Dynavision stop-motions animation to fantasy monkey loving by Prince’s muse Vanity.
The Beastmaster (1982) - He can talk to beasts and fights evil wizards. He is Dr Doolittle-meets-Gor! Surprisingly this swords-n-sorcery epic was not a commercial hit when first released in cinemas, but became a mainstay on HBO (so much so that Dennis Miller jolked that it was short for, "Hey, Beastmaster's On") and TBS ("The Beastmaster Station"). This film spawned two sequels and popular TV series.
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) - The first of three Sinbad films, this was made famous by Ray Harryhausen's stop/motion VFX, called Dynavision. Sinbad battles lots of monsters on his quest, but it is the sword fighting skeleton that proved the most popular, resurrected in Jason and the Argonauts, and arguably inspired the original Cyberdyne 101 Terminator model. Also one of the best movie scores ever by Bernard Herrmann.
Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977) - The third voyage of Sinbad and Ray Harryhausen spent a year and a half on the VFX, but the stop-motion started to look dated in the age of Star Wars. Still a good kid's fantasy epic, with a baboon playing chess with Jane Seymour. Sinbad has to face down an evil witch, but it's the creatures we remember.
Dr Cyclops will see you now.
Dr Cyclops (1940) - Dr Cyclops has a lab deep in the jungles of South America where his atomic experiments (see above) enable him to shrink living creatures. When four explorers try to stop his dastardly megalomaniac plans for humanity, they find themselves shrunk to doll size. Try battling a dog or a cat, let alone crossing a jungle, when you are the size of a barbie doll! It was the first science fiction film shot using three-strip Technicolor and it looks stunning.
Amazons (1986) - Roger Corman produced several films in Argentina in the 1980s, including the swords 'n' sandals (and not much else in the way of costumes) about the legendary all-female warrior tribe. "This is a definite "so bad it's good" movie.The acting is nothing short of atrocious,the fight scenes are incredibly clumsy,the dialogue about equal to an Ed Wood movie and the facial expressions are priceless!" says $TEVE McD's IMDb review. It is hard to disagree.
Tanya's Island (1982) - Tanya tries to escape her abusive artist boyfriend by dreaming herself away to a fantasy island, inhabited by a blue-eyed man-ape. But her monkey-lovin' enrages her BF and love triangle ensues. Stars Canadian singer-model Vanity, known for the Vanity 6 song "Nasty Girl" by Prince. She went from 'Nasty' to Born Again Christian after this.
There are also plenty of other Fantasy films already on Cultpix.
Be sure to catch all the musical action in our Fantasy-tic Spotify playlist.
Amazon delivers - a kick in the nuts!