I don’t know when or if Midnight’s Edge is going to continue their He-Man retrospective into the New Adventures through the current Netflix nonsense but I needed a haircut today and I’m up on the deadline…again. So it’s time for the longest part of their look into the fall of the original series with the infamous movie.
I don’t hate the movie for what it is, but frankly Masters Of The Universe is further proof that some things just don’t work in live-action. None of the vehicles were in it, the costumes bore little resemblance to the toys or the show (they couldn’t even get the Power Sword right) and the same is true for the castle (which looked like they merged Castle Grayskull and the show version of the Crystal Castle), and moving the thing to Earth just took some of the interest out of seeing these heroes of another world. It’s kind of like Beastmaster 2 without the good humorous parts.
So what happened to this movie? Hollywood egos, the usual snobbery, and a film company who doesn’t have a history of decent budgets. Let Andre Einherjar do the research and go over in forty minutes everything that went wrong in the desperate hope that the people working on the supposed current live-action He-Man movie will learn from their failings.
I mean, they clearly won’t but…yeah, I don’t even have hope when I hear they’re using Thor: Ragnarok as their guide. Not the same kind of franchise, folks!
Conan would get his toyline in the 1990s, coinciding with the animated series Conan The Adventurer. You know, the one with the run-on sentence in it’s opening. Oddly, this name would later be reused in a live-action TV series, so I guess barbarians went out of style. Poor Dave, last of his kind. And yes, CBS would do another animated version, Conan And The Warriors Three, but I couldn’t get past the first episode.
I wonder why Captain Power And The Soldiers Of The Future didn’t get past the first season? (And whatever happened to Phoenix Rising?)I thought it was pretty good as dystopian Terminator-esque futures go, and actually worked as a show for kids…when they could hear the story over their interactive toys. I have a Power Jet XT-7 and that thing is loud, louder than we usually kept the TV for the show which annoyed my mom when we were trying to watch it. Still, while even today it’s impossible to find any of the Hollywierdos who even respect, never mind understand, toys, video games, cartoons, and anything that predate their existence I’m not surprised it was harder there. Still YOU HAVE THE TOYS RIGHT THERE, WITH COMICS AND CARTOONS AVAILABLE! You have the biggest story bible right in front of you…in fact you have two or three. PICK! ONE!
Frankly, I want to read this draft by the Dark Crystal guy.
When you have Warner Brothers, back when they knew how to make these kinds of movies as seen with the Superman films, coming to give you an offer and you go with Cannon in the 1980s, you might as well be saying “I want this to fail”. I mean there were a few movies I liked from this team, but Superman II versus Superman III. I even liked the third movie and it still shouldn’t be hard to know who will do it justice.
(If Cannon had the rights to Superman AND Spider-Man, could we have gotten a crossover in the Aliens/Predator vein? Sadly we’ll never know.)
“Never invest your own money.” Tell that to George Lucas.
I’m still convinced they stole background music from The NeverEnding Story for that Masters Of The Universe teaser.
When your hero isn’t the one carrying the movie you’re doing something wrong unless the villain is the actual protagonist, which should not be the case here. Still. Langella nailed it as Skeletor (and showed makeup could work just fine–any modern movie would be doing enough CG so try this for the characters) while Lundgren just looked the part. His voice just isn’t deep enough for He-Man in my opinion, but he wasn’t terrible most of the time. His “I have the power” has nothing on John Irwin!
I feel sorry for Chelsea Field. Not because her Teela costume was wrong but because Teela does so little in this story she might as well as been played by Cox.
So did Stout not realize he was working on someone else’s creation? The fans, aka the kids, wanted to see the characters from the toys and (as close as they could to) the cartoon and minicomics. I don’t mind that they could only go with the toys. Again, go with the minicomics. It worked for the live-action Ninja Turtle movies of the 90s, who only kept the colored bandanas so kids (and the parents buying the toys) could tell them apart but otherwise followed Eastman and Laird’s original story with a few modifications that nobody has any complaints with because it wasn’t a straight up adaptation of the first issue. Then he tells Mattel they can’t use his designs on the toys? Did he really hate the kids that much? If it wasn’t for those kids you wouldn’t be working on these characters because nobody would care enough to make the movie. Sadly, his perspective continues to be the norm for the Hollywood elite.
Couldn’t get through one video without the crashing Wind Raider toy, could you Andre (or the editor)?
Sad to hear Mattel was so concerned about this movie winning that they were ready to abandon He-Man’s morals, even though parents would have rebelled and kids might not have been happy–the ones that weren’t traumatized seeing their hero behead Beast Man or something. That would have been WORSE for toy sales.
I also heard that they had to sneak in to film the final He-Man/Skelegod fight because Cannon pulled the plug. Credit to Goddard for making sure the biggest scene in the story was made at least. On the other hand there’s “Pig Boy”. That kid won a contest in the He-Man & The Masters Of The Universe magazine, a regular kids magazine with a He-Man comic and a bit of theming woven in. (There was a bunch of those back then. Thundercats and GoBots each had one, for example.) So they stick him in that costume and despite his picture being in the magazine, on set mind you, he’d still have to convince his friends that his scene didn’t end up on the cutting room floor. Until this video I didn’t even know they finally used him, but here’s an interview with the now adult Richard Szponder. Look how long it took for the toys to finally produce Fearless Photog, a toy also designed in that magazine by another kid contestant. It took until the Masters Of The Universe Classic line a few years ago before it finally existed. I’m not even sure the kids grew up still caring.
Thank goodness that second movie was never made. That plot sucks for He-Man and Skeletor! Not that what they did to Captain America was any better.
Hopefully Midnight’s Edge will continue with the rest of the toyline and animated versions because what they’ve done has been interesting.