What Would You Use a Tiger For?

You can see the sum total of Marc Singer’s acting ability march across his face in Beastmaster as he furrows his brow at a pair of ferrets, one clutched in each mitt like furry dumbbells, and pronounces with great solemnity, “I will call you Kodo and … Podo.” Singer portrays Dar, a very fit man wearing a loincloth who can talk to animals and who is charged with the awesome task of avenging the death of his adopted family. Over the course of his quest, he befriends a black tiger (who almost certainly didn’t start out black and who seems to have been altered with house paint) who helps him stage an attack on a sexy chick, who he then rescues and demands affection from this is actually one of the more plausible scenarios offered up for viewers’ consideration. Rip Torn is truly terrifying as the power-hungry priest, Maax, who engineered the death of Dar’s family. Torn spends most of his onscreen time gnashing his teeth, growling, and giving every impression that he is on a great deal of amphetamines. Beastmaster is part of the Castro Theater’s “Pre-CGI Fantasy Films of the '80s” series, and plays as a double feature with Matthew Broderick/Michelle Pfeiffer vehicle Ladyhawke, in which Broderick comes to the aid of Pfeiffer, who is doomed to turn into a hawk (or is it hawke?) every night at sundown.
Aug. 9-14, 4:40 & 9:20 p.m., 2008

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