By the Power of Grayskull!

Last year, when I won a stash of terrible DVDs in our Oscar pool, I promised I'd blog about one of them - the Masters of the Universe movie. So this is me, making good on that promise by live-blogging (live to tape) as I watch the film for the first time. That's right, never seen it. I used to collect Masters of the Universe figures when I was a kid (my mom subsequently gave them to charity), later watched the cartoon with my younger siblings (of course), and I read that Concrete story based on Paul Chadwick's experience doing design work for the film, but that's the extent of my familiarity with the film. I'm coming to it fresh. And I'm not just doing this today, I'm going for multiple posts by splitting the film into smaller bite sizes (well, I don't want to hurt myself doing this, gotta take it slow). So lets go back to 1987 for some Eternian fun...

Dolph Lundgren... Frank Langella?!? (Nixon IS Skeletor)...
What's the point of doing it live action if it's all going to be cartoon backgrounds? Wait, what's this? Aurora Borealis? NO!
80s titles!!! Man, that score really wants to be John Williams' Superman theme, doesn't it?

Courteney Cox?!? Robert Duncan McNeill?!?? Meg Foster? Nobody ever tells me anything. A Goddard film. Well, GARY Goddard.

Let's get into this story, which takes place in a galaxy far, far away... apparently.
Oooh, check out Skeletor's cool cowboy boots! I guess there wasn't much of a cachet in having Langella in your movie back then, because who can tell?
As our story starts, it seems he's already won, but the Sorceress is still pretty peppy. He-Man's still alive and she's got a groovy crystal crown to keep her happy.
Plus, magical orgasms. Skeletor lets it be known via big screen holograms that he'll destroy anyone who opposes him. He-Man is not impressed.
He's even kinda bored, actually. After some standing around, he takes to the battlefield (Vasquez Rocks, I'd know it anywhere) and stabs/shoots some of those Darth Vaders, until he's reunited with one action figure I had, and another I never managed to own. Can you tell which is which?
If you said I had Man-at-Arms and not Teela, you're dead wrong. I made her Beast Man's girlfriend and everything. They rescue a dwarf named Gwildor (sorry Orko, you're not in this), because movies like this need a dwarf. It's California law. Gwildor takes them to his version of Bag End where he explains the plot. See, Skeletor is after him for having built, the Cosmic Key.
Also, for beauty tips. Basically, the Key is a Boom Tube, and Gwildor/Metron let himself be seduced by Evil-Lyn/ Amazing Grace into giving the secret to Skeletor/Darkseid. It's a story as old as Kirby dots themselves. Then they get rumbled by Beast Man/Kalibak, but he's too late.
Also, not quite as orange as I remember. The heroes have run for the caves beneath Grayskull, sucka!

In Grayskull, it's "too quiet". That's B-movie-speak for "you're about to get jumped"! He-Man/Orion wants to get the Sorceress/Highfather in drag free, but she won't stop talking zen nonsense/Source Wall quotes. And then Skeletor walks in. Blablabla, fight breaks out, and the only way out is through a Boom Tube. As Gwildor does his best impression of Tatoo on Fantasy Island with "The door! The door!", they take the leap.
At 16 and a half minutes and already we're beset by questions: Where will they land? Will Skeletor's forces track them down? How far did Evil-Lyn go with Gwildor and would he kiss and tell? Which is most heinous, Dolph's acting or pompadour? Stay tuned, Readers of the Universe. I'll be back tomorrow for more!

6 comments:

Michael Hoskin said...

Re: the poster

So, Frank Langella is a pretty girl?

ShadowWing Tronix said...

That's actually not Beast Man. He comes later. This was one of two original villain characters created for the movie. I forget his name off-hand.

De said...

ShadowWing: I believe his name is Karg.

I kinda dig this movie, cheese and all (of which there is no shortage).

Mitchell Craig said...

Gwildor was portrayed by Billy Barty, who appeared in a lot of these things in the 1980s (there was some sort of SAG by-law which required his participation in cheesy fantasy films, I think).

Bill D. said...

I saw Frank Langella on CBS Sunday Morning last year where he talked about how he actually really enjoyed playing Skeletor because his young-at-the-time son was a big He-Man fan. So there's proof that at least one person actually enjoyed working in a Golan and Globus production. Who knew?

Austin Gorton said...

I was a huge He-Man fan as a kid, and remember dying to see this movie in theaters (one of my first movie going experiences that I remember).

As I result, I have still have a great deal of affection for it, due to a combination of nostalgia and the batshit insanity on display.

Man, that score really wants to be John Williams' Superman theme, doesn't it?

For the longest time, as a kid, I had no idea it wasn't the Superman theme, and always thought it was odd that the two films shared themes...

...the Sorceress is still pretty peppy.

In a continuation of the weird casting in this movie, the Sorceress is played by Christina Pickles, who will eventually play Monica's mom on Friends. So there's a bit of a Friends future reunion going on in this movie...

 

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