Before Margot Robbie brought us to Barbieland, Dolph Lundgren as He-Man saved the world with Cannon Films and the Masters of the Universe!
Now that Barbie has busted open the box office and set records of all kinds, Awfully Good Movies presents another Mattel toy line that had far less luck on the big screen back in 1987: Dolph Lundgren as He-Man in Masters of the Universe!
Yes, from Cannon Films, the proudly cheap studio that filled up many theaters with glorified skin flicks and Chuck Norris ass-kickers in the 80s, comes the cinematic adaptation of the powerful plastic figures that became a hit animated TV series, with Ivan Drago stepping out of the ring to play the most powerful man in the universe who saves the day in the land of Eternia. However, any significant resemblance to the iconic Filmation show will stop and start at the characters, as a battle with Skeletor (Frank Langella) sends He-Man, Man-at-Arms and Teela (Orko or Prince Adam playsets not included) off to present day California, thanks to a “cosmic key” made by Billy Barty as a hideous looking locksmith/elf/thing(?).
So you can imagine that having He-Man in our regular old craphole world helping two human teenage lovebirds played by a pre-fame Courteney “Monica Geller” Cox and Robert Duncan “Lieutenant Tom Paris” McNeill who have lost this “cosmic key” is not the stuff which epic adventures are made of, flopping alongside Over the Top and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace for Cannon that same summer and eventually leading them to bankruptcy instead of legitimacy. Still, the movie that helped blast Cannon Films also has the same Awfully Good delights of their best bad movies: cheap-looking effects, tough-talking and gun-toting cops (played here by James “Commander Stinger/Principal Strickland” Tolkan), and a delightfully campy performance from Frank Langella to offset the still-awkward acting style of Dolph Lundgren.
It’s indeed a hilariously bad masterpiece of 80s cheese, where anyone watching it will have themselves “the power”… of laughter, that is!
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/masters-of-the-universe-awfully-good/