Monday, September 5, 2011

bad/awesome flixxx review: Masters of the Universe (1987)

"Men who crave power look back on the mistakes of their lives, pile them all together and call it... destiny." - Sorceress

"I ache to SMASH YOU OUT OF EXISTENCE! To DRIVE your cursed face FROM MY MEMORIES FOREVER!" - Skeletor

"Good Journey. It is an old Eternian saying. Live the journey, for every destination is but a doorway to another." - Man-At-Arms

Welcome to the WORST FUCKING MOVIE THAT CAME OUT DURING MY LIFETIME. That is a bit extreme. Because, really, it CAN'T be the worst ever. And I've most definitely seen worse probably from the same year. So maybe, let me rephrase this and say THIS IS THE BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF A MOVIE THAT HAD POTENTIAL TO BE ONE OF MY FAVORITES of ALL time (so far calculated). I was THE biggest He-Man/MOTU fan growing up. I (still) have every action figure & vehicle that came out except for a few weird things that were pulled right at the end when Loreal (the makeup company that bought Filmation) canned the whole series, effectively even shutting down the Mattel toy line. This movie was built up in my mind to make a reality of a world that I had dreamed about for a few years, and played and set up over and over again in my own house, pretending to be on another planet- Eternia. But what did they do in the film? They cheaped out on special effects and brought our hero TO EARTH!!!!??!? I actually had that moment that Ralphie from A CHRISTMAS STORY had when he's in the bathroom deciphering the Lil Orphan Annie decoder pin. "please remember to drink your -ovaltine? -SONOFABITCH!" In any case, Dolph Lundgren, Meg Foster, Courtney Cox, and the bald guy from Mallrats ruin MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE!!!!

Let me start off by pointing out why an 8 year old dude would have problems with his cartoon heroes come to life. First of all, let me begin with the women. Yes, even as an 8 year old, the women of cartoons have been an influence on young men's lives for years. Jane or Judy Jetson, Betty Rubble, Daphne from Scooby-Doo. Then we come to Teela and the Sorceress. In the cartoon, the Sorceress was a super hot young Wiccan chick who wore like a white eagle's pelt on her head and down her back. She basically had a low cut bathing suit on for an outfit. In the movie, she was an old crone, made even uglier when Skeletor started draining her power, but she should have been hot in the first place. She was basically powerless to do anything from keeping Skeletor at bay. He was more ruthless, self-centered & cunning and less bumbling in this flick. She instead had a weird ice capades crown on her old head that looked stupid. By the way, no mention of King Randor or Queen Marlena. Back to Teela. In the cartoon, Teela was a proud, headstrong redhead who wore a golden warrior bathing suit trimmed in white and showed a lot of leg. In the movie, she was a messy haired brunette who wore a grey body suit, that was, well, i guess it was okay. Man-At-Arms (Duncan) looked ok actually. He may have been one of the only ones. He-Man NEVER wore a cape in the cartoon, yet he wore one through most of the flick. I feel like this was super early in Dolph's career, as he could barely deliver these lines. He said, "I have the power", twice in the flick and the first time when he was fighting Skeletor, I swear I even thought as a little kid, "are you serious? Did they just go with the first take of that?" It sounded like some drunk uncle said it, or even better, Stallone as Rocky. "Adrian, Adrian- I have the power!"

Over on the other side, Skeletor looked pretty good. He could have laughed a more sinister laugh, but let's not split hairs. There were plenty worse things to point out. Beast-man didn't speak, Evil Lyn looked ok, and they invented the rest of the characters for the movie instead of using his usual henchmen. Blade, Saurod, and Karg?? Where was Trap-jaw, Cyclops, or Mer-man?? Must have been some copyright issues which is FUCKING BOGUS!!! If you couldn't get the goddamned rights to the characters, why make the fucking movie??? Then the biggest weird thing of all. Instead of Orko the space magician, we get Gwildor the orange haired midget. This guy is some kind of keymaster that brings everyone to Earth. And there you have the lame ass story. Which, being a bit forgiving could have ended up being ok, if all those other things hadn't been so blatantly wrong wrong wrong.

A quick plot summary: Skeletor steals a magic key from Gwildor giving him access to Castle Greyskull. He-Man goes to fight and win Eternia back before Skeletor is there when the moon rises and lines up with an eye in the throne room, bathing him in magic powers. They run into Gwildor who has a 2nd key, go into the Castle and try to fight, but they end up having to bail, and Gwildor's key takes them to guess where? Earth. On Earth we meet young Courtney Cox who's parents have been killed in a plane crash. She is saying goodbye to her musician boyfriend and moving cross country. They find the key that is separated from our heroes in the time portal. The dude turns it on, allowing Skeletor and his minions to track He-Man to Earth. There are so many subplots with a dumb cop named Lubick, a big concert the boyfriend is supposed to play, her parents coming back to life. Its ridiculous.

Finally Gwildor builds a new key after Skeletor comes and snatches the first one from Earth stranding them there and kidnapping He-Man. Skeletor becomes a golden god, and beckons He-Man to kneel. He-Man gets rescued. He-Man fights Skeletor, Skeletor falls into a pit. All is saved, the girl is healed, Lubick decides to stay in Eternia because he's such a dick, no one likes him on Earth. They send the couple back to Earth. Her parents are ok. None of this has anything to do with He-Man. Basically this movie ruined a lot of dude's childhoods. Its the perfect bad/awesome movie because it is for sure bad bad bad. But it IS about He-Man, and I guess even if it sucks, that's still pretty awesome.

**********UPDATE************** Also- Stormtroopers? This was a late thought here, but seriously? Skeletor never had Stormtroopers! What a lame way to fill out the cast man. BOGUS!


  1. i thaught he man was the shit with his rad ass mullet but even with that he still didnt get any awsome earth poon such a shame. you should cover the movie
    trolls 2
    or the "iron monkey" kung fu movie
    both are equally depressing

    your homie graham

  2. I can understand every single word. The whole Masters of the Universe craze was pretty much long gone even here in Scandinavia when I was old enough to understand it, but after finding some He-man comics and figures from the attic of our summer house I got hooked instantly. I even had a He-man haircut at some point.

    My cousin had this movie on video, but since my mother thought that skeletal monsters, space magicians and sword swinging muscle dudes were invented by Satan, there was no way she let me watch the movie. When I finally managed the borrow the film and found a way to sneak the cassette into our house, I was shocked. Instead of an awesome and mind exploding trip to Eternia, the filmmakers offered me a 100 minutes of rotten crap. The whole movie was just messed up. I was so angry about the fact that Orko was missing and about all the stupid characters that weren't part of the original thing. Every single thing just plain sucked.

    Still today, when I feel too happy and satisfied with my life, I just watch this movie and the world's gray again.

  3. one of the worst adaptations of Jack Kirby's Fourth World...

  4. (disguised as a so-so He-Man movie, obviously)

  5. I remember seeing this in the theater when it came out, and I also remember being confused and let down. The only other time I've ever seen it is when it was being shown behind the bar during a Lionize/Flatfoot 56 show at Emo's in Austin.

  6. I love this movie, even if it strays from the mythology of He-Man. A childhood favorite and a very nostalgic film for me.