Beastmaster III: The Eye of Braxus (1996) — Time to put this beast to sleep

“Your aim is poor for one with three eyes.”

Justin’s rating: For some reason, I have the Silverhawks theme playing in my head.

Justin’s review: For a third and final time, we return to the world of Dar, where a barbarian may commune with animals and use them for all sorts of legally questionable activities while never finding out the value of wearing a shirt. Honestly, I was kind of done with this series after the time traveling installment, but for the sake of completion, I felt that I needed to subject myself to Beastmaster III: The Eye of Braxus.

This made-for-TV movie may be better than this Conan knock-off series deserved, to tell the truth. Despite having the expected TV production values, there’s a surprising pep and zing to this that was missing in Beastmaster 2. And good for them for bringing back Marc Singer in the lead role. Despite pushing 50 at the time of this filming, Singer is more ripped than you or I would ever be. I just like him because he’s so straight-forward and friendly, which is not what you’d expect from your average beast-controlling barbarian.

It does feel as though the series started to lose track of its own details by now. For example, Dar’s giant cat companion went from being a “panther” in the first film to a tiger in the second to a lion here in the third. Also, this movie tells us that Dar has yet another previously unknown brother, which is not the gong you want to ring more than once.

King Tal, Dar’s brother, is played by Casper Van Dien in his pre-Starship Troopers period. Van Dien has to wear the most unfortunate of all wigs, making him look like a little kid who just raided his grandmother’s forbidden closet of mystery. Anyway, Tal gets kidnapped by Lord Agon (David Warner), who’s looking for the titular Eye of Braxus, which unlocks a demon-king. Fortunately, Tal gave the amulet to Dar before his kidnapping, so in return Dar and his new best friend Candyman (Tony Todd) have to go save him. Adventures! Excitement! A beastmaster craves such things!

Despite some solid acting pedigree and a fun concept that hasn’t been explored as much as it could be, Beastmaster III struggles against its low budget and unoriginal plot. Three times now, we’ve gotten some evil tyrant wizard dude with long hair who has motivations on par with Cobra Commander. And when Braxus himself arrives on the screen, whoo-eee, I’ve seen kids Halloween costumes that are more convincing than this. Comparisons have been made between Braxus’ outfit and that TV show Dinosaurs, and I can see it.

Its greatest sin is that Beastmaster III doesn’t embrace the sheer bloody weirdness that saturated the first and second movies (each in their way), and that’s a shame because it leaves us only with a somewhat generic fantasy adventure — and Dar’s ripped bod.

Didja notice?

  • Morphing! The ’90s treat!
  • Sword tossing. That seems practical.
  • Lions can maul people with absolutely no blood
  • Noooo! You shot a flaming arrow into that skeleton decoration! You savages!
  • Every time that priest shows up with his hands in the air, I’m screaming for someone to give him a double high-five

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