Trivia: Over the decades, one persistent Internet rumor maintains that the tiger used in the first Beastmaster film died a horrible, lingering, 2-year death from skin cancer as a result of having his entire coat dyed black with toxic chemicals. As usual for Internet gossip, the details of this story are dreadfully confused, at best. According to director Don Coscarelli (speaking during an interview with author Staci Layne Wilson for her 2007 book "Animal Movies Guide," page 350), an executive producer brought in a different animal handler who wanted to dye more than one tiger black for the first film. Just to be clear, none of the tigers became diseased or expired from the non-toxic black vegetable dye. It was necessary, however, to anesthetize the tigers before applying the dye to their coats; and, unfortunately, one of the tigers simply never woke up from the anesthesia (a known problem with cats). Coscarelli felt horrible about the unexpected death; but, in fairness to him, the decision to anesthetize and dye the tigers was not his decision.Charles Austin Miller
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