'The Beastmaster' director enlists fans to help track down lost negative for the cult classic

Tom Beasley
·Contributor
·2-min read
Marc Singer in 1982 fantasy film 'The Beastmaster'. (Credit: MGM)
Marc Singer in 1982 fantasy film 'The Beastmaster'. (Credit: MGM)

The director of cult movie The Beastmaster has launched a campaign encouraging fans to help him track down the original negative for the film.

Released in 1982, the swords and sorcery adventure followed the conflict between a man who could talk to animals and an evil wizard, portrayed by the late Rip Torn.

Filmmaker Don Coscarelli, who is also known for working on the Phantasm series, has asked eagle-eyed fans to assist in his attempts to find the lost cans of film.

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On a new website dedicated to the quest, Coscarelli revealed that the rightsholder for the movie allowed his attorney to store the negative in his own basement rather than a climate-controlled vault.

The attorney then sold the home without moving the negative, leaving its fate uncertain.

Don Coscarelli attends a special screening of the restored "Phantasm" during Ain't It Cool News' 17th Annual Butt-Numb-A-Thon on December 13, 2015. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)
Don Coscarelli attends a special screening of the restored "Phantasm" during Ain't It Cool News' 17th Annual Butt-Numb-A-Thon on December 13, 2015. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)

The campaign wrote: “It boggles the mind that the negative to a movie photographed by legendary cinematographer John Alcott (Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, The Shining) could be lost.

“If it could happen to The Beastmaster, it could happen to any film. The loss of this negative would be a tragedy.”

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Launching the campaign, the 66-year-old told EW: “We have this fervent hope that maybe we can reinvigorate this fan base of ours to go out and help find it."

The website suggests that the negative will be in six metal film cans with a barcode and labels on the outside identifying it and the places it has previously been stored.

Cover art for the Blu-ray release of 'The Beastmaster'. (Credit: MGM)
Cover art for the Blu-ray release of 'The Beastmaster'. (Credit: MGM)

The Beastmaster was not a financial hit on its original release and it received mixed reviews, but it built a cult following due to regular airings on HBO.

It spawned two sequels — 1991’s Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time and Beastmaster III: The Eye of Braxus in 1996 — as well as a syndicated TV series.

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The new website also explains that Coscarelli and co-writer Paul Pepperman have regained the copyright, paving the way for a new take on the character and the world.

It states: “There is a generation of fans of the original film who would welcome a big-screen reboot of the original sword & sorcery classic and Coscarelli and Pepperman are determined to make that happen.

“The bronze-age hero and his furry fighting force may be coming soon to a theater near you.”