This is the greatest movie I've ever seen in my life!!
It's like if Deathstalker actually had a budget, was more inventive, and was you know, good. How this movie performed average at the box office is beyond me but thanks to VHS it's grown a cult following that still runs strong today. I was very impressed with this movie, it had my attention from the start but by 20 minutes in I was living for this movie! The plot is once again simple but the creative decisions in terms of character and plot is what makes the movie so damn enjoyable, with an evil high priest warned of his coming demise by the king's unborn son who through one of the most bizarre acts of magic I have seen in cinematic history is born from an ox, yes I'm serious, and is almost killed before being rescued by a commoner from a small village. Through some magical means the young boy grows into a fine young man named Dar who has the unique ability of controlling animals and eventually sets his sights on the evil priest. He meets a young woman named Kiri, a skilled warrior named Seth (very ancient warrior name I know), and an assortment of animals. The cast like in Deathstalker are fully commited to their roles and are actually really really good, Marc Singer is all sorts of awesome and is a great lead, Tanya Roberts is heart shatteringly beautiful, John Amos being in anything is an automatic win, and while Rip Torn doesn't have much of a presence he still does good work. The technical aspects as well are most impressive, with good effects including miniatures and quite decent creature designs, great cinematography at points with good use of color and camera movement, not to mention the fact how very well trained the animals are. Do not get me wrong I am a practical worshipper of cats but even I would be just the tiniest bit apprehensive around a tiger. For a PG movie it has some serious balls, not only do they have zero issue showing the death of a child, but there are three instances of frontal nudity in this movie. This...PG movie. To quote a better internet critic, "Oh bless the 70s and 80s. Our movie's PG, bring the kids! We got tiddies and everything!". Again, nothing but hardcore respect and admiration for anybody to be nude in a film, you have to be incredibly comfortable in your skin to do that on film, where countless people will be able to see you for all of time, and Tanya Roberts is one of those people. Boy, kind of makes me wonder how many pre-teen kids saw this back in the day. Probably got quite a few rentals from the video store. But there is seriously a very competently and well made film here, I was having a complete blast with this movie and fully understand why it grew a cult following. It's pretty awesome, I won't lie to you for a minute. If you can look past the occasional absurdities and the fact that you know, a guy can communicate with ferrets so they can go steal shit, you can have a great time with this movie. It really reminds of sort of the same avenue Highlander went down, a lesser known but completely awesome film which got horrifyingly ruined in the sequel, but people still love it to this very day. And I'm proud to call myself a fan of both. Like, I am going to buy this movie on any format that I can. 4 stars, screw it I'm giving it a 7.5/10, could not recommend it enough!
And now we got to 650 reviews. Good God. No doubt we'll hit 700 before the year is out with some special months coming up, zip a lip on that though, you'll just have to be patient.