I HAVE THE POWER...to bankrupt a movie production company!

Reggie Fils-Aime, the president of Nintendo of America, he's the guy to blame for this. I mean not literally, as I am sure there were an army of people to blame for the actual "Masters of the Universe" film, I just mean the fact that this film is even still a thing. In fact, a great deal of today's culture is Reggie's fault, and, depending on how you feel about the 80's, that might be a good thing or a bad thing.

I guess I could elaborate on that one.

Before the walking wall of man took over the reigns of Nintendo, he was the head of the struggling VH1. You see, despite what common sense would dictate, music videos really aren't all that profitable, and VH1 had been avoiding the change over to non-music themed programming for years, and that decision almost killed the station. Enter Fils-Aime, who turned the brand around with new programming that shifted the focus of the music station to something completely different. 


Reggie Fils-Aime was the guy who brought us "I Love the 80's" and with that simple idea, the whole station turned around, and an entire generation began to look back at a decade of excess, terrible music, terribler clothes, terribler-er government and terriblest hair with fond, misguided love.

Thanks Reggie.
So now people actually remember "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe", but they only remember the things they can find on YouTube, or, in the case of those of us who were boys in the 80's, the various He-Man figures we could find at garage sales, or got for birthdays and Christmas. But no one actually takes the time to go back and WATCH the show or anything, so they don't remember that it was, by far the worst thing that has ever been made. The worst. Even worse than that thing that you did that one time.

You know the thing.

However, that being said, the toys were actually pretty cool. I mean there was Battle Damage He-Man and Skeletor, with their chest plates that would flip around to show damage. For a six year old, that shit is about as close to sorcery as a toy can get. There was that Mosquito looking dude too, who would have blood ooze in his chest when you pushed on his back. Oh and that guy who smelled bad! Stinko or something like that. Hells yeah. For as bad as the cartoon was (and good god was it bad), the toys were every American boy's wet dream. But like all good things, eventually it came to an end and other things became popular, like Ninja Turtles, or Ghostbusters. Such is the way of life. We moved on, got new toys and pawned off the old. Life was good.

Then the movie came out well after we stopped caring.

Because timing!

It really is too bad the He-Man movie came out in 1987, because, by all rights, it deserved to be a bigger thing than it ended up. The rights to the film were actually purchased before the cartoon was in production, and was based on the action figures and the small comics that were included in each one (which is why He-Man is not Prince Adam, nor does he transform in the movie, he is supposed to be more of a barbarian in this). Unfortunately, no one would touch a project about toys, mostly because the Robin Williams vehicle "Toys" was so terrible that it retroactively affected film making for decades. 

So the film bounced around Hollywood for years, finally falling into the hands of Cannon Pictures, a company famous for Chuck Norris films. They budgeted the film for 17 million and when the movie went well over that budget, they tried to pull the plug, only to start it again and then kill it again. This happened a lot. What we are left with is a film that, while enjoyable for a bit, falls apart in execution, with bad writing, a sloppy pace and terrible makeup effects. In the end, "Masters of the Universe" was a bomb, although it could be argued that it had less to do with Cannon and more to do with the fact that it was two years too late to the party, and the company never recovered, going out of business a few years later.

I do wonder though, what the movie would have been like with the proper care taken with it. If a real screenwriter had taken a shot at the jumbled mess of a shooting script they were working with, if a real director had taken the film under his wing, if the budget had been big enough to accommodate what the film makers had intended. I imagine it would have been one of the been Sword and Sorcery movies of the 80's, and might still be a pretty major film today. Alas, as it stands it is hard to watch.

That said, Frank Langella is flipping EPIC as Skeletor. The whole film is actually worth watching just for his performance.
Plans were in place to make a sequel in '89, but, obviously, it never happened. Cannon closed up shop and sold all of its assets (including props to be used for He-Man 2 and their upcoming Spider Man movie) those pieced ended up being used in "Cyborg" and "Cyborg 2" sooo, win?

If you are flipping around some Saturday afternoon and WGN is playing this (trust me, if it is on TV it will be on WGN), give it a whirl. There are far, far worse ways to spend a Saturday afternoon  Like watching programs remembering decades. Right Reggie?
Grade C-

And to wipe that "Superman-esque" music from your head...enjoy!

Just leave this running in the backround while you work.

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