In 1987 a movie was made based on a cartoon and action figure collection that had been part of the collection of every boy in the 80’s. There was not a child around who was not familiar with the adventures of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. That film was also one that practically ignored the source material and just did it’s own thing. Sometimes that is a good thing, This is that film. (and for the record, it wasn’t a good thing.)
Todays Key Movie:
Ivan Drago Dolph Lundgren as He-man himself, Skeletor (Frank Langella) has taken over Eternia and it is up to He-Man to save the universe once more. Unfortunately for them, they are transported to Earth and must find their way back home.
Why this movie?
He Man and the Masters Of The Universe was one of my favorite cartoon series of the 80’s. With a great hero, a magnificent villain and an amazing universe, this was a terrific show that had everything a young kid could want. So when a movie was announced, how could it be a bad film when it was based on such a rich world?
Well, pretty bad in fact. Unfortunately this is basically the film that accomplished the one thing Skeletor could never do, kill He-Man. For some reason, instead of making a film based in the rich fantasy world of Eternia, the filmmakers opted to instead bring He-man and his compatriots to our world instead. For some reason they also choose to omit certain beloved characters like Battle Cat and Orko, replacing them with people like… Gwildor instead. Oh dear. why?
The first twenty minutes of the film is fantastic. Basically a rescue mission to save the Sorceress and Castle Grayskull from the clutches of Skeletor (played by Frank Langella) and Evil-lyn (Played by Meg Foster). She reveals that she has until moonrise before her powers are gone and He-Man must free her before that time. Of course this is thwarted by Skeletor and they are all transported to Earth where we meet Courteney Cox and
Ensign Tom Paris Robert Duncan McNeill who play teens who must help He-Man and friends get back to Eternia to save the day.
They fail. I mean, the heroes do win and succeed in destroying Skeletor (sort of) but they fail miserably to save the day as the movie is a horrible heap of missed opportunities. I’ll be honest though, I still love it no matter how bad this movie is.
Okay, you like this film, but is it really a ‘good film’?
No, didnt I just say it was bad? In this case however, it is so bad that it is good. Okay, that’s really not fair, it’s so bad it’s really bad but it’s like two negatives, it can make a positive. Maybe?
I remember being so excited for this film. Finally the adventures I loved growing up would be translated to the big screen and in real life. Everything looked amazing, the trailers looked perfect and then…well while I did have fun it wasn’t what I wanted. I was so very disappointed in this film as it was not the He-Man I knew and loved. In many ways this film feels as if they were attempting to blend Power Rangers and He-Man into one franchise and came out with this insane bastard child.
The actors really do their best in this one but when you have a terrible story, a terrible script and a giant budget to accentuate the terribleness, there is nothing anyone can do to save it. Even Dolph does a halfway decent job despite him being obviously out of place with everyone else.
As I have gotten older, I have revisited this film and found that I really like it for it’s campy attempt at being something it is not. If you can seperate yourself from your fandom for a moment, you can really appreciate the 80’s campy aesthetic that is presents. It is pure cheese and for that I love every goofy moment if this film.
And, pro tip, there is an end credits
stinker stinger at the end of this one. Even a bad film like this did it before Marvel.
OK, where do I get this movie?
This is one that you can pick up in pretty much any bargain bin in the world. I have seen it in displays in grocery and department stores for as little as $5. To me, it is totally worth the fun camp. You can grab a digital copy here for around $10, sometimes cheaper. If you dig 80’s cheese, it’s a blast. Although this movie is terrible I even bought a digital copy so I could review it for you today, that’s how much I love how bad this film is, so yeah, it’s worth it.
Of Course, the trailer:
Late To The Game 07/21/2018
Thank you for reading today. I hope you enjoyed the review. If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and also a complete review of Star Trek Discovery. We also have a fun Retro TV Review series in which we are currently reviewing the entire Star Trek The Next Generation Series, episode by episode.
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