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Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time
1992 Intrada

2013 BSX Records

Composed, Co-Orchestrated, Conducted, and Produced by:
Robert Folk

Performed by:
The Berlin Radio Concert Orchestra

Co-Orchestrated by:
Peter Tomashek
Richard Bronskill

Labels and Dates:
Intrada Records
(November 24th, 1992)

BSX Records
(February 27th, 2013)

Also See:
In the Army Now
Toy Soldiers

Audio Clips:
2. Dar the Hero (0:29):
WMA (193K)  MP3 (239K)
Real Audio (168K)

4. Through the Portal (0:32):
WMA (211K)  MP3 (269K)
Real Audio (189K)

7. Travel Montage (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

16. Key to the Heart (0:33):
WMA (213K)  MP3 (269K)
Real Audio (189K)

The 1992 Intrada album was a regular U.S. release, eventually escalating to $25 in value after going out of print. The 2013 BSX Records album is limited to 1,500 copies and available for $15 through soundtrack specialty outlets.


Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time
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Buy it... if you're a sucker for high-quality, orchestral fantasy and adventure scores, always in search of the genre's hidden gems.

Avoid it... if the genre of 1980's spin-off fantasy music sounds tired, derivative, and badly dated to you, especially when it attempts to borrow frequently from James Horner's vintage techniques.

Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time: (Robert Folk) You really have to wonder what original "Beastmaster" novelist Andre Norton thought of the wretched path this concept took through theatres and cable television over a two-decade span. With the original Beastmaster film (which was among the many fantasy adventure follow-ups of the early 1980's to the surprising popularity of Conan the Barbarian) enjoying a significantly lucrative second life on cable television, it was decided to haul a now aging Marc Singer into his title role on the big screen once again in the early 1990's, hoping (successfully, as fate would have it), that the film would rake in similar cash on cable. Halfway along that road to rebirth, one that yielded another sequel with Singer after this, as well as a spin-off television series, Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time stayed in the theatres just long enough to receive an appropriately brutal slashing from critics, who didn't need much intelligence to notice all the ways in which corners were cut to meet a smaller production budget. In many ways, Beastmaster 2 mirrored the earlier "He-Man" film Masters of the Universe in its laughable failures; with no black paint to once again portray one of the title character's animal companions as a panther, it's simply a tiger this time around. And, like Masters of the Universe, much of the movie is shot in modern America, with a "portal of time" introduced by a witch played by Sarah Douglas (the evil superwoman of Superman II, reflecting the best of "He-Man"'s Meg Foster, including even more cleavage), giving ancient times the lovely threat of nuclear annihilation. Seeing Singer run around Los Angeles in a loincloth is about as good as it gets here, except, of course, for the obligatory, hilarious scene of upscale department store destruction and the usual overachieving score by composer Robert Folk. Interestingly, Folk would produce for Beastmaster 2 exactly what Bill Conti had provided for Masters of the Universe: a score that exceeds the film in quality to such a degree that it sounds badly out of place in context. Then again, Folk, whose career had been defined by Police Academy and Ace Ventura music, has seemingly always tackled projects like this one (and countless others) with such energetic enthusiasm that his work is always worth appreciation apart from the film. He had just completed Toy Soldiers the same year, and the two scores stand among his very best despite their awkward positions in their pictures.

Folk's work on Beastmaster 2 is, despite overplaying its hand, an understandable endeavor. Even the trashiest old-world adventure films of the 1980's tried to compensate for their lameness by saving much of their budgets for overwhelming orchestral scores. Despite composer Lee Holdridge's equal abilities in overproducing in the genre, his music for the original Beastmaster film would not be as well refined as his music a decade later, and Folk, with the encouragement of the director, opted to abandon Holdridge's themes for the sequel. This choice turned out to be no great loss, for Folk has always been talented at the art of catchy melodies, and for Beastmaster 2 he provides a variety of standard but well executed themes for the genre. The heroic idea for the titular Dar is ambitiously muscular without becoming outright hokey, referenced as necessary in full fanfare mode. The secondary themes of romance are where this score really shines, "Creature's Story," "Jackie Alone on Desert," "Travel Montage," and "Key to the Heart" presenting the softer material in melodramatic harmonic bliss. Still, more memorable than his themes in this relentlessly powerful score are Folk's consistently satisfying rhythmic progressions, tonal sensibilities, and wildly orchestrated romp of a performance. Like Conti in Masters of the Universe, Folk never gives in to the temptation to insert modern-day musical tones for the scenes in Los Angeles; outside of some subtle synthetic accompaniment a la Basil Poledouris of the era, the music for Beastmaster 2 is a massive symphonic movement born from the ranks of Poledouris' Conan the Barbarian and James Horner's Krull. Don't be surprised if you hear a fair amount of vintage Horner material bleed through in Folk's mannerisms, begging temp track questions. Always frenetic in its pace, Folk layers his music wonderfully with several lines of action at once, never wasting the opportunity to run each section of the ensemble over each other in harmonious but independent lines. As such, Beastmaster 2 may not have any singular cues that really stand apart from the rest, but the whole consistently impresses from start to finish with a spirited performance by the 96-member Berlin orchestra (which is overwhelmed by the composition at times, but does its valiant best). An original Intrada album from 1992 fell badly out of print before long, and BSX Records re-pressed the same contents onto a limited CD in 2013. On either product, you will not be disappointed by Folk's overflowing enthusiasm for the kind of orchestral majesty that waned in popularity in the industry just a few years later. **** Price Hunt: CD or Download

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 3.09 Stars
Smart Average: 3.13 Stars*
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 Track Listings (Both Albums): Total Time: 56:10

• 1. Main Title (1:52)
• 2. Dar the Hero (9:49)
• 3. Creature's Story (2:22)
• 4. Through the Portal (5:09)
• 5. Jackie Alone on Desert (1:29)
• 6. Swamp Creature Attacks (2:35)
• 7. Travel Montage (3:08)
• 8. Mind Suck (2:05)
• 9. Police Escape (1:06)
• 10. Jackie Gets Some Sleep (0:51)
• 11. I.D. Badges (4:25)
• 12. Get Arklon (1:47)
• 13. The Great Escape (4:26)
• 14. Sharawk Leads the Way (3:32)
• 15. Neutron Detonator (5:40)
• 16. Key to the Heart (5:32)

 Notes and Quotes:  

The insert of the 1992 Intrada album includes a note from Folk about the score. That of the 2013 BSX album features extensive notes about the film and score.

  All artwork and sound clips from Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time are Copyright © 1992, 2013, Intrada Records, BSX Records. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 3/15/97 and last updated 3/24/13. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 1997-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.