Although the film fared only modestly at the box office, it steadily built a strong cult following over the years. It subsequently received significant local TV and cable airplay in the USA, notably HBO and TBS where it became a TV mainstay and viewer favorite. Its replay was so common that some dubbed TBS "The Beastmaster Station", and HBO as "Hey, Beastmaster is On".
Dar's black tiger is actually a regular striped tiger dyed black. The dye would wash off around the mouth whenever the tiger took a drink, so throughout the film the stripes are often visible around the mouth.
Several of the actors appear in very small costumes, including loincloth-only garb. Though the film appears to be set in a warm climate, it was quite cold on the set and the actors would have to find warmth in between scenes.
There were about 25 ferrets on set, playing the parts of Kodo and Podo. Since ferrets can't really be trained, they were often baited with food to go or look where needed. Four tigers were used to portray Rhu, the main one named Kipling.
On Marc Singer's first day of filming, Billy Jacobi was filming the scene where young Dar first learns that he could control animals. The bear happened to be a Russian bear, and the only bear working in Hollywood at the time. As soon as he came out, the bear broke loose and attacked his handler, sending the rest of the crew fleeing into nearby vehicles for safety. As soon as the bear was recaptured and the handler was carried off for medical attention, the crew turned and told Marc that they were ready to film his scene.
The film originally started shooting with anamorphic lenses, but cinematographer John Alcott switched to spherical lenses early on because he did not think anamorphic gave him the sharpness and depth of field he wanted. The anamorphic footage - young Dar's encounter with the bear in the forest - was later cropped to match the 1.85:1 final aspect ratio of the spherical footage.
Director Don Coscarelli originally wanted black leopards to portray Dar's big cat companions, but the animal trainers told him that they were very skittish and notoriously hard to work with. When they suggested using tigers, he commented that he didn't like the stripes so the trainers consented to dying the tigers. Cases of Lady Clairol hair dye were often kept on-set for touch-ups. Despite this, the dye often washed off in spots, or the stripes showed through in certain lighting.