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Rated PG
Copyright 1987 Cannon Films Inc.
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • He-Man - Dolph Lundgren! Steroid defender of all that is good.
  • Duncan - Man at Arms, a grizzled veteran who is constantly hungry.
  • Teela - Duncan's daughter who, um... ...she's in every scene darn it.
  • Gwildor - Dwarf (They have some other upbeat name for his race.) inventor who created the Cosmic Key and likes talking to cows.
  • Julie - Courteney Cox! Depressed girl who can't get over her parents death and is moving to New Jersey as treatment. I think I'd rather go with electric shocks to my brain housing group.
  • Kevin - Julie's boyfriend and 80s musician. (Which means he plays a synthesizer.)
  • The Sorceress - For some reason this woman has a chandelier on her head, maybe it focuses solar energy? I dunno...
  • Lubic - James Tolkan! (The bald CO from "Top Gun.") Short cop with an attitude.
  • Beastman, Blade, Saurod, and Karg - Mercenaries in Skeletor's army, Karg is one of those "take charge and yell a lot" guys. Skeletor zaps Saurod into special effects heaven.
  • Evil Lyn - Meg Foster! (Cagney from Cagney and Lacey.) Probably the only competent evil person in the whole movie.
  • Skeletor - Embodiment of all that is evil, a powerful warlock who wishes to control the universe and destroy He-Man. Falls into a power well, where have I seen the main bad guy fall down a shaft into a reactor or something before?

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Who said action figures couldn't make for a great movie? Well, this film actually, but it is pretty darn amusing. The acting is really something else, half the time I'm wondering why He-Man sounds so damn happy. Considering that Castle Greyskull has fallen to a surprise attack by Skeletor and the Sorceress is his prisoner, this guy should be a little worried.

Soon he discovers how the forces of evil penetrated their defenses, a slightly insane Dwarf who created the ultimate key. This key, which sounds like it was manufactured by Yamaha, can open anything - even doorways between dimensions. Which is how the group ends up on Earth, though the device which brought them there lands some distance away.

This gives a neat reason to include a budding Courteney (not a joke about her breasts, well maybe) and her A-Ha idolizing boyfriend, because they find the Cosmic Key and immediately begin playing with it.

Skeletor's forces lock in on the signals and battles rage through the suburbs. Surprise, surprise the good guys lose the first encounter and He-Man is taken in chains back to Greyskull, everyone else is left alive on Earth to rot.

Of course Gwildor MacGuyvers up a makeshift Cosmic key and Kevin remembers the song to open the gateway to Eternia. He-Man sees his friends, breaks free, and recovers his sword for a final battle with a Skeletor (who has just absorbed the power of the universe, as if that would matter. He's the BAD guy, Dolph is the GOOD guy - he's screwed).

Okay, the film is very predictable, but combine the premise with a "motivating" fantasy score and I start cracking up. They should play this music in mental wards, though having two hundred people in gowns acting like Conan would probably be bad...

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • One blonde weight lifter with a sword can take out two dozen guys with laser rifles.
  • Good guys use blue lasers, evil guys use red lasers.
  • Anybody randomly jumping dimensions will end up on Earth.
  • Courteney Cox doesn't look good in a red cowboy hat.
  • Never annoy an undead warlock.
  • Microwaves are excellent jamming devices.
  • People from other dimensions speak perfect English, but use different units of measure.
  • A bargain synthesizer can open dimensional gateways.
  • Sword fights tend to blow the fuses.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 3 mins - VADER?! Sorry...false alarm.
  • 15 mins - If Quinn Mallory jumps out of that thing I'll die laughing.
  • 21 mins - Courteney Cox! Girl, where in the hell did you get that hat? (Snap, snap, snap.)
  • 38 mins - Why the heck does everyone think this thing is Japanese?
  • 65 mins - Now who didn't see this coming? Julie, you are dumb as a post.
  • 67 mins - No! Don't hide behind the 1968 Firebird!


  • Skeletor: "Your wondrous Sorceress will die!"
    Duncan: "You dare threaten her life?"
    Skeletor: "I dare anything! I am Skeletor!"

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note mastersu1.wav Narrator: "At the center of the Universe. At the border between the light and the dark stands Castle Greyskull."
Green Music Note mastersu2.wav Duncan: "He-Man! Thank the Sorceress you're alive!"
He-Man: "I've been looking for you."
Green Music Note mastersu3.wav Kevin: "Whoa-hoo! You know this is one of those new Japanese synthesizers."
Green Music Note mastersu4.wav He-Man and Skeletor square off on an intellectual level. (This really doesn't last long.)

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipmastersu1.mpg - 1.8m
If the movie had not included this scene it would not have been complete. I wanted to hear Dolph say it, you wanted to hear Dolph say it, so all together now, one, two, three:

"I have the POWER!"

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 9
Masters of the Universe
Reply #9. Posted on May 04, 2000, 11:27:25 AM by
Of course I know Masters of the Universe is a very very bad movie. But I actually enjoyed it a lot. I still watch it every now and then. I thought Meg Foster was brilliant as Evil-Lyn, and it would have been really cool if they would have made a sequel with her as the main villain, since she survives in this one. Without her this movie probably would have sucked, but those eyes....
I also think it's really funny to see Courtney Cox in this one, and I wonder how she feels about this movie now that she became such a big star. I think it captured the essence of the original cartoons pretty well. Only Teela really didn't work, and they should have given Chelsea Field a costume that was more like the costume from the cartoon. With the white and the gold.
Overall I think it was a really nice movie.

Masters of the Universe
Reply #10. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by The Fly
Even though I was a kid at the time I saw this movie, I still wondered "Where in the @#%* was Orko?"  I can understand no Prince Adam or King Randor.  What I can't understand is Teela's outfit.  Evil Lyn can have a sexy outfit, but Teela gets a reject soldier outfit?  Oh, also, I find the "1987 which was a long time ago and where special effects weren't so special."  That brings so many hilarious connotations, I don't know where to begin.  Has anyone here seen Star Wars?  You know circa 1978?  Back, when people wrote on cave walls, and the only way to find food was to go out and spear it down?  
Masters of the Universe
Reply #11. Posted on June 09, 2000, 06:15:19 AM by Squishy
Dear Gary Goddard (see his signed "Anonymous" message elsewhere on this page):

Those who can, DO, and unfortunately, those who can't, also "do." This is why you're such a sought-after director. (I checked you out on the IMDb. Let us know when they update your profile.)
Masters of the Universe
Reply #12. Posted on July 02, 2000, 07:51:30 PM by Iain Anglin
I used to rent Masters of the Universe growing up; along with Ghostbusters 1,2, Howard the Duck, and The Goonies.  I caught the movie on cable a couple days ago and was amazed of how sucky this movie really is.  Dolph Lundgren can't act worth s**t and Frank Langella is one of the worst villans of all time.  In fact you can't even recgonize him in that makeup.  Meg Foster sucks as usual, staring into the camera with her slut eyes.  The special effects are pretty good and James Tolkan who plays the cop is pretty funny.  Chelsea Field as Teela comes off with the worst performance in the movie.  What the hell was Courtney Cox doing in this movie. Bill Barty who plays the dwarf is annoying as s**t.  The Cosmic key (WHAT THE HELL) how much do want Gary Goddard 30 million, how but 40, what the hell were you thinking.  To sum it all up I used to love this movie growing up, but unlike Howard the Duck this movie just plain sucks.
Masters of the Universe
Reply #13. Posted on July 09, 2000, 03:13:03 AM by Gabe Kelly
I remember going to theaters to see this flick. Dolph Lundgren, in my opinion, was the absolute best choice to play He-man. I was peeved Orco and Battlecat were not in the movie. But overall, Masters of the Universe is one of the best cheesy nation-wide released fantasy movies ever. And speaking of cheesy, keep an eye out for the upcoming AD&D movie, starring Jeremy Irons, and Marlon Wayans.
Masters of the Universe
Reply #14. Posted on July 10, 2000, 06:44:56 AM by The Joker
Seems to me people are simply too embarassed to point out the film's good points and feel they HAVE to criticise it - it's based on toys we liked as kids, right? We can't say we like it! - but if you look at it as a movie, it's exciting, funny, well performed, full of action, great to look at, and with solid characters and an excellent performance from Langella as Skeletor. It's a good movie.
Masters of the Universe
Reply #15. Posted on September 15, 2000, 12:49:58 AM by Kolten

You know, actually, I thought the first half of the film was pretty cool, but for some reason the second half didn't do as much for me.  In the first half I remember thinking it was pretty suspenseful when, for instance, the four bad guys are chasing Courtney's character in the high school gym and whatnot.  

I also remember Blador being one of my favorite bad guys as a younger kid (almost up there with Boba Fett).  Ironically, Blador wasn't even in the cartoon.  (Come to think of it, I don't think the other three guys were either...)

But anyway...


Masters of the Universe
Reply #16. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Twisted_Syke
I was a rabid He-man fan when I was young, I bought the action figures, read the children's books, watched the cartoon almost religiously, and of course I saw the flick. I enjoyed it then, and I still enjoy it now in that guilty pleasure sort of way all B-movie fans have. However, the first thing I said when I left the theatre was

"What's with the laser rifles?" Ok, I didnt say that exactly, but I knew laser rifles didnt belong in He-Man, as well as Earth. today, i shake my head and think of how much better it could have been if it was truly faithful to the TV show, with Eternia in all its glory, as well as Battle Cat and Orko (Go Battle Cat!) I didnt understand budgets that well back then, but I digress. in its own Star wars-ripoff way, Masters of the universe is a good movie, and only fans that are more rabid than I am would scream bloody murder at the director.

oh yeah and....


I just had to say that. *laughs like Skeletor from the cartoon*
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