Movie of the Day – Masters of the Universe
August 30, 2012 13 Comments
Holy shit balls! I got to continue with my so bad it’s good movie streak here and Masters of the Universe is just plain bad, but surprisingly a train wreck of a movie to be enjoyable in the Mystery Science Theater sense. The trailer was just bringing up memories of terrible acting, wooden characters, shitty 80s special effects and a poor Flash Gordon-esque movie that is based on the He-Man toy property. Its got everything I want in a bad movie that I just downright love it.
Dolph Lundgren stars in this live-action film version of the popular television cartoon series (based on a collection of Mattel action figures). Lundgren is He-Man, a well-muscled super-hero, battling the evil Skeletor (Frank Langella) for control of the universe. Skeletor has designs on conquering the planet Eternia, a ravaged utopia ruled over by the Sorceress of Greyskull Castle (Christina Pickles). He-Man is summoned to stop Skeletor’s plans. But when the wily dwarf Gwildor (Billy Barty) utilizes his Cosmic Key, He-Man and Skeletor finds themselves transported to California. There, a waitress named Julie (Courteney Cox) and her boyfriend Kevin (Robert Duncan Mitchell) come across the Cosmic Key and become embroiled in the intergalactic battle between He-Man and Skeletor. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi
I have never seen so much feathered in my life than in this movie. I mean, this is like a time capsule for the 80s if there ever was one. But I am not into talking about the time that this was made in, rather I just want to talk about how terribly awesome this movie was. I remember watching this when I was like 8, but never ever playing with the toy line it’s based on. Rather I saw this movie purely for the spectacle and even at the age of 8 I thought this was just dumb as hell. Even the action scenes, which should be good, look like they took a page out of the A-Team playbook and just let loose a ton of laser blasts that don’t do a damn thing. A whole army just ups and misses cars that the heroes are hiding behind and even when the blast hits, it’s a like a fucking sparkler was just lit. So weak.
Anyways, the hammy nature of the acting is just too good to resist. I mean Dolph Lundgren really thinks he is He-Man in real life and just grimly delivers his lines with the effectiveness that Ivan Drago had we told Rocky “I must break you.” No forceful emoting or anything, just line delivery and that’s all you get. I think they went to far better lengths in this movie to keep his blonde hair feathered just right. But the big draw of this movie, Frank Langella as Skeletor. Oh god, that is just fun to watch. He carries the entire emotional range of the film while wearing ridiculous outfits and headgear, but also he does make an imposing Skeletor. But that’s what you get with Frank, you get his A game.
Masters of the Universe is really a more modern Flash Gordon. I dare you to look at this movie think that it is just missing a Queen soundtrack. It drips with gaudy looking sets and outfits, the action scenes are just absurd and funny to watch and the characters have about as much charisma as their plastic counterparts. But they all play this movie seriously and it’s just wonderful because of it. I just sit back and enjoy a movie like this that tries so hard to make a convincing action/adventure film that you get a glitzy mess. Pure cheese and fun to watch without expecting much from it.