Sometimes people just don’t know when to leave well enough alone. That goes especially true with Hollywood, as they tend to run a movie into the ground with sequels. That is kind of the case with today’s movie. To be perfectly honest, I thought this movie was the pilot for the TV series but that wasn’t the case because A) this movie came out 3 years before the TV show and B) the series starred Daniel Goddard as Dar. Anyways, I remember randomly seeing bits and pieces of this movie on TV a couple of times but never watched the whole thing. Once again, this was never made available on DVD so I had to use outside means to acquire today’s movie, Beastmaster III: The Eye Of Braxus.
The plot: An evil warlord named Agon uses a ceremony to temporarily regain his youth, but tells his servant Maldor that he must find the Eye of Braxus in order to fully regain his youth and his kingdom. Meanwhile, a family is fleeing a kingdom that Agon recently conquered when they are attacked by bandits. Dar manages to rescue them but a tribute that they were bringing to seek audience with King Tal was broken so Dar offers to meet them outside the kingdom to ensure an audience. Outside his kingdom, Tal is receiving tributes but complains to his adviser Seth that he feels bad for doing so. When the family approaches but says they have no tribute, Seth starts to turn them away until Dar appears and says they should listen to them. The family tells about Agon conquering their kingdom and when Seth asks why, as it holds no known military value, the father says that it is because their kingdom houses the ancient fortress of Braxus, an ancient god. Tal orders Seth to gather his best warriors so that they can liberate the kingdom and after Seth leaves, Tal asks Dar to join them but Dar refuses, saying the mark on his hand makes him an outsider. Tal has Dar follow him into his tent and shows him a necklace, saying that their father, King Zed, gave it to him before he died and told him to keep it safe. Tal then shows Dar that the necklace can separate into two pieces and hands one to Dar, telling him it represents the bond they have as brothers. That night, Agon’s forces attack Tal’s camp with flaming arrows, setting the camp ablaze and killing several of Tal’s soldiers before they leave with a captive Tal. In the hills, Dar sees the lights from the fire and sends Sharak to investigate, seeing the ruined camp through his eagle’s eyes. Racing back to the camp, Dar learns what happened and, blaming himself for Tal’s capture, he sets off to rescue his brother. The next morning, he encounters three of Agon’s soldiers but, with Seth’s help, he manages to chase them off. The two head off to rescue Tal but run across a trap set by Agon’s soldiers which traps them in a dense fog. At Agon’s temple, Tal is brought to face Agon and he grabs the necklace that Tal is wearing then has him locked up. Agon heads to a statue and places the necklace in it, revealing it to be the Eye of Braxus, but when nothing happens, he realizes that he only has part of the eye. As he grows weaker, he tells Maldor that he must get the other half so he can open the sealed door behind them, then orders Maldor to bring him more prisoners to sacrifice so that he can regain his powers. Meanwhile, Dar and Seth make it out of the fog, with Sharak’s help, but have no idea which way they should head and though Seth wants to wait and start fresh in the morning, Dar refuses to stop and sets off. They soon encounter 4 men accompanying a woman and when they men attack them, Dar and Seth quickly send them running. The woman is upset and knocks Dar and Seth to the ground, telling them she is Shada, a member of a warrior tribe, and refuses to help them at first but when she sees Dar’s necklace, she changes her mind and decides to show them the way. That night, Shada attempts to steal the necklace but Dar grabs her hand only to notice that the necklace is missing. Seeing it in the bag with Kodo and Podo, Dar has them bring it back to him, then places the necklace around Ruh’s neck, believing it will be safe there. Back in Agon’s fortress, Agon sacrifices a prisoner to regain his youth then heads to Tal’s cell to question him about the necklace. When Tal refuses to answer him, Agon places him in the Shroud of Agony in order to torture him into answering. The next morning, Seth wakes Dar to tell him that Shada has left only to have her return and tell them she found the route to Ahmbeth and leads him to it, then tells them that she must travel in a different direction. As they make their way down the route Shada pointed out, Seth is wary of a trap as he tells Dar that they are not heading towards Ahmbeth, just as Ruh is trapped in a net and Dar and Seth find themselves surrounded by a native tribe. As Dar and Seth are taken to the natives’ camp, Shada approaches the trapped Ruh and manages to get the necklace off of his neck, then leaves with Dar’s sword. At the natives’ camp, Dar and Seth manage to get free with the help of Kodo, Podo, and Sharak but when a native is about to shoot Dar with a poisoned dart, he is killed by the bandit leader Dar spared earlier. The bandit explains that the tribe works for Shada and says that she has been recruiting mercenaries for Agon to search for an amulet. Dar and Seth head back to rescue Ruh, then chase down and capture Shada, who tells them she had no choice but to get the amulet or else Agon would have killed her. Back in Ahmbeth, Agon learns that Tal gave Dar the other half of the eye and sends his soldiers to find him, just as Dar, Seth, and Shada arrive outside the city. As Dar and Seth try to think of a way into the city, Shada attempts to run off but trips and lands in front of a cobra. Dar is able to keep the cobra from striking her and send it off, and she offers to come with them to help but Dar refuses, saying he can’t trust her and lets her go. Dar and Seth head to a gypsy camp to try and get there help in getting inside and meet Bey, an acrobat who helps the camp’s leader, Morgana. When Seth sees her, he tries to leave, as they were once lovers but she was a witch, but Dar insists he talk to her and get her help. Morgana agrees to help Dar and his animals get inside the city and uses her powers to transform his animals into harmless creatures (a cat, a dove, and two mice), but she then summons Agon’s soldiers to capture Dar and he is knocked unconscious. Dar is taken to the city, where Agon grabs the necklace from him and leaves him suspended over a pit but before he falls in, Shada rescues him. Meanwhile, Seth, Morgana, and Bey enter the stronghold and after meeting up with Dar and Shada, Morgana changes the animals back to their original forms. Seth says they have to stop Agon but Dar refuses, wanting to rescue his brother first and heads towards the dungeons with Shada, leaving Seth, Morgana, and Bey to fend off some of Agon’s soldiers. Dar reaches the dungeon holding Tal, and, with Bey’s help in getting the key, they rescue him but when Dar wants to get Tal to safety, his animals refuse to listen to him and Tal says that they know what he must do. Dar has Shada get Tal to safety, then heads off to face Agon but Bey is captured by Maldor in order to be sacrificed to Agon. Dar manages to stop Agon from sacrificing Bey but after trapping Sharak in a cage, Agon forces Dar to surrender. Agon places the reassembled eye in a statue, causing the spirit of Braxus to take over his body and reshape it to his form. Braxus then places the eye on his forehead and kills Maldor and Agon’s guards before opening a pit and begins to summon creatures from out of it. Dar and Bey try to stop Braxus and Dar is able to rip off the eye and knock Braxus into the pit. When Braxus climbs up and grabs Bey, Morgana tells Dar to destroy to Eye and Dar stabs it with a dagger, causing Braxus to lose his powers and fall back into the pit. Later, as Morgana tends to Tal’s wounds, Tal tells Seth that he dismisses him from his service and asks him to go with Dar and help him and his quest to help people in need. Dar goes to leave and asks if Shada wishes to join them but she chooses to stay behind as Ahmbeth’s guardian and the two share a kiss before she rides off. Bey says his goodbyes as well, saying that he and Dar would have made a great team and Dar reluctantly agrees to let him join them as they ride off.
Ugh, ugh, and ugh some more. That’s about the best thing I can say to describe this movie. The acting was a mixture between being barely decent and completely over-exaggerated, making for some pretty terrible moments at times. The plot itself was good, and I liked how it forced Dar to question his own decisions in living as an outcast and not helping people more. However, once again they decided to change up the animals. In this movie, Ruh is a lion, WHICH MAKES NO SENSE SINCE HE HAD ALWAYS BEEN A TIGER BEFORE. I mean, did the original Ruh die so he found a new tiger, which he decided to call Ruh as well, and then that tiger died and he couldn’t find another tiger so he just grabs a lion and decides to call it Ruh. Then there were the ferrets, because the Beastmaster must always have a pair of ferrets. In the last movie, Dar left Kodo and Podo on Earth with Jackie. Though he never calls the ferrets by name in this one, it can probably be assumed that their names are Kodo and Podo in this one as well. The special effects and camera editing in this movie were absolutely terrible and cheap looking, making it rather painful to watch at times. If you want to be a completionist, then go ahead and watch but otherwise, you will probably want to skip this one.
Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5