Sometimes things age well. Wine, GW Bush who is apparently popular on account of being someone who had the title POTUS and despite being tremendously inept, isn’t called Donald Trump (who seems to be doing a good job as far as I can see from here in London <shrugs>). Masters of the Universe actually does something that most sci-fi movies outside of Ridley Scott Bladerunner….actually remain the same as it was when it was released. Sci-fi isn’t a genre that ages well unlike horror and love stories where emotions make them ageless. However, notorious Gary Goddards (party buddy of young young YOUNG men and Bryan Singers 1987) Masters of the Universe is as crap today as it was back in 1987.
Masters of the Universe is almost masterful in its lack of charm. Its plot is listless Conan sword fighting here, a splash of Superman opening credits, a lot of Star Wars knock off (like all black “troopers” with guns, the leftovers from Jedi), but also lots of other eighties tropes done badly. There’s Back to the Future–on an extreme badly spent budget annoying teens thing. And whatever else was flavourless enough for Gary to do an even worse impression of it.
The biggest problem, besides it being too long, too cheap while costing buckets of cash, and too poorly written, is cinematographer Hanania Baer. The Universe is BIG, whether in its sets or even a paintings (on the other planet, not Earth). Baer can’t shoot anything to capture the scale, not the sets, not the bad costumes, not even LA locations which look like NY backstreets somehow. There’s one action sequence with Dolph Lundgren and Courteney Cox fighting off bounty hunters in a junk yard or warehouse. The lighting doesn’t match which really screws up the suspension of disbelief that you haven’t got.
However, if Masters of the Universe has a plus then it’s Bryan Singer and Gary Goddards OTHER party buddy (betcha didn’t know that, eh?) Frank Langella’s camp romp as Skeletor.
Eternia of the cartoon was an update of the 1920s Jewish Legend German expressionist movie along with some other German expressionist movie for Skeletor but it had a weird fun homoerotic campness to it. What were the secrets that He-Man was guarding for Castle Greyskull? Despite loads of steroided up guys and hot sorcerers in Eternia, no couples (Teela was ADOPTED), just a bunch of oversized dudes wearing questional gear. He-man had a womans haircut and fooled no one when he just changed clothes, Skeletor sounded like Kenneth Williams and orco had a ring on his clothes and it appeared that someone had shagged the legs off of him.
Despite all of these things in the hands of Gary Goddard who at all other times was a huge fan of things gay (and young boys with his pals Langella, Ian Mcellan and adrenochrome junkie Bryan Singer), he managed one single whipping scene. That’s it. As a straight male even I can wonder why every set wasnt just a collection of sugestive looking objects with chained up dudes all over the place.
Alas, this movie was so bad that even super-gay Gary Goddard (party pals with 15 year old looking Bryan Singer, Ian “Gandalf” Mcellan and Frank vampire Langella) managed to mess up what he is apparently best at outside of work.
If a time machine is made then this movie should be stopped and left in development hell. If ever anything was worth chancing the cross dimensional ripple for this was it!
1/10 So bad that I would rather stare at a dot on a piece of paper for 1.5 hours.