VIDEO: Masters of the Universe (1987)

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Break out your action figures, and settle in for pure ‘80s awesomeness! Long before the horrendous Transformers movies, there was Masters of the Universe, a live action movie that adapted a toy/cartoon series, and actually did it right! Sure, it may be just another fish out of water story, and there may be a few too many new characters, but overall the film delivers. Sword battles, weird creatures, and a 22 year old Courtney Cox? Sign me up!

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  • Daniel Rubin

    Nice recap. I enjoy your criticisms and reviews.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      Thank you very much!

  • Fantasy Mission Force

    Also, I was born in 1983, which is arguably far more important than all the gobbledygook mentioned in your video.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      See? It truly was a glorious year!

      Oh, and major bonus for using gobbledygook. I’m a big fan of uncommon words. (right now, I’m all about getting my coworkers to start saying “bonkers”)

  • Sunrise089

    Once again great stuff! Love the 2/3 plot recap with humor, 1/3 serious review with background info.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      Thanks! :)

  • Fascinating review again. I haven’t seen this movie in ages, but I have fairly fond younger-self memories of it. Maybe I’ll Netflix it. I would be a happier man if it were streaming :)

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      Thanks! It’s still a fun and enjoyable movie even after all these years. Part of me wishes that the younger me would have bought the 3 figures from the movie. Instead, I think I blew my allowance at Chuck E Cheese.

      I would be happier if everything was streaming but sadly, the movie studios are doing their best to make that impossible. However, there is some great streaming content Netflix has…even widescreen versions of movies not even on DVD! (I’m a big Netflix fan)

  • Cristiona

    Nice to see this up here as well.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg


  • Connie333

    Great review – made me feel all nostalgic. Dolph Lungren really did look uncannily like He-Man didn’t he? I’m pleased too for Evil Lynn that in Eternia the make-up industry is doing really well.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      Thanks! The only thing that could have made him look more like He-Man would have been if they gave him the “dutch boy” haircut…thankfully they didn’t go that far.

      Haha, yeah, Evil-Lyn will be keeping the powder and eye liner industry going for quite some time on Eternia. (I just had a vision of Mer-Man testing make-up allergies on Beast Man)

      • “Rememblubluber … there might be someblublub momentary discomfort.”

        *cue the “Not The Bees” clip from The Wicker Man again*

        • Cecil_Trachenburg


          I nearly spit out my coffee when I read this. Good show!

  • Jake

    Weren’t Monica’s parents the only ones who were in that plane? Her mom said, “Your father’s an excellent pilot.” Hence, they were the only ones who died.
    Still, Monica & Paris made a cute couple & Skeletor’s makeup was cool. I hated the ray guns & the new characters, though.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      I just went back and rewatched that scene and you are right! Wow, I totally missed that.

      They had a mix of soft and hard latex for Frank Langella’s skeletor mask so you would be able to see more of his performance. I agree there was way too many laser guns and not enough sword fighting.

  • spiff2268

    Hey, is that chick playing Evil-Lyn the same one that ratted out Roddie Piper in “They Live!”?

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      You are correct! That is the lady with the very famous eyes, Meg Foster.

  • Allison

    Hi Cecil! Great recap/review! I saw this when I was about 5 years old (born in 1982, probably didn’t see this until 1988). Dolphin Lundgren is a great He-Man. My mom, who says she may not have seen this movie, asked me several years ago if “The Russian from Rocky IV” was He-Man. I asked her how she knew, and she said that when she saw Rocky IV years ago, for some reason she thought he looked like He-Man. When I see Chelsea Field, I think of the fact that Scott Bakula married Teela. I love how Teela had big 1980s hair!

    I haven’t seen this movie in a while, but I do have it, so I intend on seeing it again. Sadly, Netflix doesn’t carry it (but they DO carry Cool as Ice, which I saw in the intro – I just saw the whole movie and nearly died from laughter). This is one of those movies you really need to seek out.

    Great Good Bad Movie…keep ’em coming, Cecil!!!!

    • Cecil_Trachenburg


      Dolph Lundgren was the absolute best choice to play He-Man. He took a role that could have been laughable and made it believable. I know he had a tough time making the film but in the end it was worth it.

      I’ve always liked Chelsea Field and it surprises me to no end that she never really became big. She was in plenty of movies I love that should have been huge (Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, The Last Boy Scout) but for whatever reason never took off.

      Netflix has Masters of the Universe for rent if you get the disks but they don’t have it streaming yet.

      I’m a big fan of Cool as Ice. It’s one of the movies that I first thought of when I started making these videos.

      • Allison

        Yeah, Chelsea is a pretty good actress, it’s really a shame that she never had much of a career.

        I get the streaming package because of the price and the ability to watch unlimited movies and tv shows, just more cost effective. I got Maters of the Universe from a bargain bin at the video store I worked at years ago and kinda forgot about it until recently.

        Cool as ice is hilarious – too many good lines. “Kathy, mmm hmmm…Kat.” Hahaha!

        You’re welcome! :-)

  • Really liked this- nice balance of information and affectionate snark. Plus the nostalgia of seeing the film again!

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      Thanks! The film is cheesy but it is the enjoyable kind of cheese. :)

  • katmore9

    Cecil, great job! Thanks for doing a review of this movie.

    I remember seeing this movie in theatres as a little kid so there’s definitely some nostalgia value. My mom actually bought me the “Blade” and “Sauron” action figures. I remember that Sauron had a switch on his back that could make sparks fly ou of his mouth.

    2 things I gotta say:

    1) Thanks for including the classic “Price is Right” lose music during the Evil Lyn/mother trick. That made it even funnier.

    2) Do you remember the part when He-Man basically sacrifices himself by becoming Skeletor’s prisoner in order to save his friends? I can distinctly remember him uttering a line that was SO WOODENLY acted I was shocked not to see it skewered in this review.
    Do you know the line/part I’m talking about?

    Thanks again. Look forward to the next video.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg


      You have those figures? That’s awesome! I’ve only seen the toys in commercials, I never saw them in person. Saurod seemed like the best one with the cool sparks effect. Blade just kind of sprung around like Fisto and Gwildor’s staff (that was supposed to be the cosmic key) spun around.

      I would use the price is right noise for everything if it wouldn’t get old. It’s one of my favorite sound clips. (but I try to use it sparingly for effect)

      I remember the part but I don’t remember the line. I’ll have to go back and watch it again.

      Glad you like the show! More goodness to come!

  • Elfshotthefood

    I had to take a neighbor’s kid to see this movie at the theater; since I wasn’t into MotU I would have never went on my own. I didn’t think I’d like the film, but to my surprise I found it to be quite enjoyable.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      It’s one of those rare times where a movie can be aimed at both kids and adults without insulting either.

  • James M. Fabiano

    You do know about the DC New Gods parallels to this movie, don’t you?

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      Yep, not a whole lot but I do know about it. I know Byrne wrote about it saying it was derivative of the 4th world and how Goddard said it was more of a tribute to Jack Kirby.

      This was one of those times where I couldn’t find enough to really substantiate the whole thing so I just decided to not include it in the video.

    • Fronky Plz

      “The former. There’s still SNL episodes I enjoyed…depends on who’s on. Both are like Hulk Hogan though….they’ll be around forever because of the name.”

      Apparently, you don’t remember the time Jean Doumanian almost got the show killed if it wasn’t for the decision to give Dick Ebersol a chance. Good thing he succeeded cause I’d bet SNL would have been dead right on the spot if he failed. You also don’t remember the time Lorne Michaels himself ALMOST got the show cancelled after season 11 before giving him one more chance. Lorne Michaels is the reason SNL is still on the air and is in purgatory since the late 1990’s and between him, Vince McMahon, Matt Stone & Trey Parker and Rupert Murdoch, Lorne deserves a bullet to the skull the most!

      Point is, once Lorne is gone I doubt the morons who run NBC can find another Dick Ebersol in this day and age. It’s gonna be nothing but Jean Doumanians from here on out!

      Just saying. But I can forgive your complete ignorance…this time.

  • johnhay

    I loved the tone of this review. Just great. No condescension or sarcasm or cheap shots even when there were many hanging curve balls. Information and background that was interesting. I don’t mind the ones ripping stuff, but it was kind of refreshing is all.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  • Jeremy Aron Patterson.

    About Saurod being killed off in the film due to the fact that he was a new character happens many times in screen adaptations of existing properties, as they wanted to kill some characters, but had to resort to sacrifice either new or minor characters.

    Examples include:
    *B’Wana Beast in Batman: The Brave and the Bold. He did originate in the comic book, but was the most obscure guest-star featured on the show.
    *Art Lean from the first Mortal Komat movie.
    *And Morph from the 1990s X-Men cartoon!

    Jeremy Aron Patterson.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      Good points! Yeah, they don’t want to upset the fanbase by killing a well known or liked character so they just kill the new guy.

      • Jeremy Aron Patterson.

        Or, in the case of B’Wana Beast in B&TB, it was due to the fact that he was a very minor Silver Age hero in the comics that had a silly power set!

        • Cecil_Trachenburg

          Yep, it would be like if Marvel killed off Maggot. No one would really care. lol

          • Tony

            That’s precisely why I hated that damn 1986 Transformers movie-because it arbitrarily killed off many fan favorites

          • Cecil_Trachenburg

            All in the name of getting new toys. Such a shameless act I’m surprised Bay isn’t doing it.

          • Tony

            If that 1986 movie had to do that, they should have gone about it in the same way that Marvel’s Transformers series did.

            SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

            In that series’ 50th issue, a souped-up Starscream eradicates Transformers on both sides (with Optimus Prime being one of the few survivors)
            That story had more intense drama that that stupid cartoon film could ever dream of.

  • LobsterJesus

    I grew up watching classic, un-censored theatrical cartoons and the brilliant TV product of Jay Ward and his contemporaries-funny men who could entertain children without insulting their intelligence. I find the success of HE-MAN and it’s ilk inexplicable given the rich body of witty, intelligent children’s entertainment that preceded them. It appears they figured kids would watch any animated image presented to them so there was no point in nurturing their budding intellects; Fire the smart writers and hire the hacks that favoured us with HE_MAN.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      Cartoons now are far far worse…except Phineas and Ferb, that show kicks ass.

      I think there is a place for good writing in children’s programming but there is also a place for good old silly entertainment.

  • Slxslippy

    When i think of evil, I don’t think of Lady Gaga

    • Cecil_Trachenburg


  • God damn I love how Skeletor falls at a rate of about 2 inches per second.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      he’s made of dark matter

  • Tony

    One of my favorite Bill Conti scores is his music for “For Your Eyes Only”

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      Good choice!

  • Tony

    “Octopussy,” “Cujo,” “Evil Dead,” & “Sleepaway Camp” were other great films which came out in ’83

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      I agree, especially with Sleepaway Camp and Evil Dead.

  • Jeff Bradford

    “He clones himself… so he can EAT MORE CHICKEN!” XD That is, for some reason, my very favorite quote from your show. But of course, this is probably one of my favorite reviews you’ve made… besides Catwoman of course.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

       lol thanks :)

      I agree, Catwoman is my current high water mark. I’m very proud of that one.

      • Jeff Bradford

        As well you should be. More Super Hero movies!

        • Cecil_Trachenburg

          Planning on it. Although with me it will probably be the underdogs like Darkman, Mystery Men or The Punisher.