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EPISODE 120 - Masters of the Universe

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Finally, the He-Man movie starring Dolph Lundgren on Earth with a bunch of teens. Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany joins Paul, June, and Jason to discuss the 1987 film Masters of the Universe. They’ll cover He-Man not being spectacular at anything, the big battle being mostly shot in the dark, Courteney Cox’s emotional journey, and everyone’s favorite character Karg. Plus, June explains how the movie made her realize she is afraid of mirages.

 

 

Check out Blake Harris’ Oral History of Masters of the Universe over at www.slashfilm.com!

 

People of the internet: The League is back on FXX 10pm on Wednesdays! A while ago, Paul and Rob Huebel did a comedy special on a 60 foot glass bus that traveled around LA and now you’ll be able to see it. Go to https://itun.es/us/3M4J9 now to buy it! You can also see Jason in Sleeping With Other People in a theater near you!

The Hotwives (Casey Wilson, Danielle Schneider, Andrea Savage, Dannah Phirman, Tymberlee Hill, Angela Kinsey, Erinn Hayes) are back and this time they are in Vegas baby! Watch The Hotwives of Las Vegas on Hulu today!

Also, check out June in Grace and Frankie available on Netflix, Paul in Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp on Netflix, all the episodes of NTSF:SD:SUV:: on HULU for free, ScheeRL on YouTube here:

, and Jason in The Dictator (he’s still in it!).

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Tatiana!!!!

 

She is awesome. I'm watching season 3 of Orphan Black (no spoilers you rotters) and during the show you totally believe there are ten different people who look like her running around.

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Hey Paul,

 

Love the show.

It's your barbecue man, and it tastes good.

 

I watched this movie a lot as a kid. I remember being excited when the VHS tape was available to rent from the library. It had laser guns and swords, what more could a kid ask for. Due to the repeat viewings, I can't help but say that I am fully on board for this movie.

 

There is one thing I wanted to mention about the whole plane situation. The dad was the type of guy who built his own experimental plane in his garage. You know how dangerous those things can be, ask the ghost of John Denver.

This plane only had seats for two people. If Courtney would have gone with her parents to the beach, they were all going to ride together in the car. Instead her parents take the homemade floatplane that maybe was going to land on the water near the beach? Either way, the crashed and burned. They were going to the beach no matter what, by car or plane.

 

Do you think the parents are in a final destination situation, and will have to end up dying soon to restore the cosmic balance?

 

Gwildor made two keys. The one he was banging on was the prototype.

 

I wish you guys would have talked about Detective Lubic's best line. "Well, what do you know, the mountain comes to Muhammad." And the guy really stresses the "ham" in Muhammad.

I will always remember this guy more for being the aircraft carrier commander from Top Gun, who is smoking a cigar in the command center.

 

You guys don't think He-Man is strong? He is definitely strong. He pushed over a statue.

 

I wish you, June, and Jason a good journey.

 

-Patrick Muldoon

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I'm only halfway through the episode and I'm laughing everytime they call him Grilldoor.

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The amount of cocaine flowing through Cannon films in the 80's must have made Stephen King's cocaine use on Maximum Overdrive look like a grain of salt.

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I'm not going to say Dolph Lundgren didn't have an accent. However, to think that he was speaking "phonetic English," is just ignorant. Swedes start learning English in elementary school as a required language. As mentioned, he's highly educated (he didn't study at MIT) and went to universities in America and Australia, and given those two countries don't speak anything other than English, guess which language he studied in! So, sure he has an accent. Is it phonetic English? No. I'd guess he speaks better English than most Americans.

 

Sorry to vent, but funk all dat!

 

Thanks,

Angry Swede

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Great Episode. Horrible Movie. I groaned when selecting the film on Netflix and seeing that the running time was 1hr and 45mins. Ugh.

 

So Paul did a solid job at mentioning some of the crazy things that went on during the filming of this movie. That said, there are still a few more to mention:

 

1) Yes, the filming of this movie was shut down at times. In fact one time it took place just as they were getting ready to film the final duel between He-Man and Skeletor. Executives walked on set and held folders in front of the camera, telling the director he was shut down. After pleading his case, the director was able to film the final battle... but essentially with no lights. That is why they are battling in the dark and just backlit with one light. Also the fight scene itself was very underwhelming, because the actors had little time to choreograph it. Why that wasn't handled in pre-production, I don't know. Finally monies were released and they could finish the film.

 

2) Mattel and Cannon agreed to split the production budget evenly with Mattel footing the first half. The funds were depleted very quickly, so when it came time to fork over the 2nd 50% Cannon just told Mattel they don't have the money and that if they want the shooting to continue; they would need to pay the remaining budget. Mattel had so much riding on this film, especially with a toy line coming out specific to the movie, they couldn't have it shut down.

 

3) More woes for Mattel... During filming, the He-Man toy line started to decline rapidly. Major losses for the toy company. Based on these financial issues, Mattel executives changed their original tone of He-Man being wholesome to then telling the director he could have He-Man “kill people, blood, guts, gore, sex…just make sure the movie’s a hit!”

 

To quote the wonderful Paul, "Man, oh, man!"

 

​PS: I highly recommend searching out the short video that features the director and key crew members discussing the film and it's insanity on set.

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When Kevin was introduced I assumed he was going to be a minor character soon gone from the movie. He went on to have more scenes than anyone in the movie.

 

I loved that when Skeletor was using the giant hologram to communicate with all the people of Eternia the shot was always just him talking to four dudes spread out over that shitty landscape.

 

I really didn't appreciate Evil-lyn throwing shade on all the people of Earth (fools, weak and easily controlled) just because she was able to trick Courtney Cox with the dead mom illusion. Sample of one, Evil-lyn.

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Great Episode! Thank you. In fact, it's not said enough to the Trifecta of Awesomeness that is Paul, June and Jason. Thank you.

 

Regarding the sequel, the team forgot to mention that Masters of the Universe is one of the first films to feature an after credits sequence. No, Samuel Jackson doesn't show up, but we do get a shot of Skeleton rising from the depths and saying, "I'LL BE BACK!"

 

tumblr_m4gr2nPDL11qgz6r7.png

 

More about the possible sequel.

 

It was actually announced by the producers at Cannes in 1987. They were aware Dolph had no desired to be He-Man again, so the plan was the following (which I found online):

 

Professional surfer Laird Hamilton was signed to play He-Man, and he would have gone back to Earth in disguise as a football quarterback to find Skeletor, himself in disguise as an evil industrialist called Aaron Dark. Sadly, Mattel pulled out of the production due to non-payment of monies they were stilled owed, and coupled with Cannon’s collapse, the film never saw the light of day.

 

Man were we screwed out of that masterpiece!

 

With regards to the ending of this film, there was also an alternate ending that was discussed but never shot. In fact it later was released as part of a comic series for He-Man. From what I found, "After He-Man defeats Skeletor, Man-at-Arms finds both a NASA flag and United States of America flag. The NASA flag has a date printed on it, stating “Starfinder 5, July 10th, 2221.”

 

I mean this is some kind of M.Night Sham-ala-Ding-Dong shit!

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So when the crew on the rooftop get ambushed by Skeletor, they are told to surrender.

 

Not a beat goes by before Man-at-Arms just gives up. It was so weird and out of character for a hero.

He didn't even throw some shade at Skeletor with some kind of cheesy line or that he's willing to give up so long as Skeletor doesn't hurt Kevin or Julie.

 

What a pussy. And in front of your daughter. Show some backbone!

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I'm sorry, but did I miss it in the podcast? How did they not mention the crazy fact that the heroes first interaction on planet earth is with a damn cow! Just a random cow walking in a fucking forest. They have never seen this creature before and are totally not phased.

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Okay... so is the key a Japanese synthesizer or not?!

 

When Kevin finds it, that is what he tells Julie. It's a Japanese synthesizer.

 

Now when he takes it to his friend Charlie, without any prompting.. Charlie goes, "Yeah I know this. It's Japanese." Kevin then immediately says, "No."

 

Why? Why do you feel it's no longer Japanese? It makes no sense!

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Not a major plot hole, but when looking for the key the evil crew had issues locating it due to a disturbance by the microwave. It is destroyed and Evil-Lynn says... "We can track it from here."

 

Before arriving to the house, the cop takes the key.

 

So if Skeletor's army is tracing the Key... why go to the house and not following the cop's car?

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Supposedly Skeletor's army were robots and not people in armor. Like many super hero cartoons (i.e. GI Joe), no one kills anybody. But for this film to be successful, the director felt Mattel would be okay with He-Man killing robots.

 

So if this was the case, why was there never a throw away line that they were machines? I mean they moved very fluid like real people in suits.

 

Once again... cocaine.

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Holy shit... Skeletor DOES look like Jack Palance!!!

 

Know what's also insane... Skeletor is one of Frank Langella's favorite roles. He took it to impress his son Alex! He most certainly killed it!

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We have two HDTGM alums in Masters of the Universe:

 

Pons Maar, who played Saurod, the lizard mercenary - Theodore Rex!

 

Tony Carroll, who played Beast Man - Monstro from Hercules in New York!

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Putting in a correction for this movie feels crazy. But the castle they were in was not Skeletor's castle. That was Grayskull which he had just captured from the Sorceress. They called his place Snake Mountain (not appearing in this film).

 

So the terrible safety hazard of no railings is put squarely on the Sorceress.

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Can we all agree that Gwildor was a sniper with that grappling hook? He no-looks the cosmic key thing through a WORMHOLE, guys. He again demonstrates his prowess by snagging the bucket from about ten feet away, which is admittedly a far lesser accomplishment. Maybe he should have led with that...

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Many confusing parts for me:

 

When Evil-lyn and her goons track down Kevin at Julie's house, they put the truth collar on him, and he claims not to know where the key is. Blade then tells Evil-lyn that they can track the key from the air. So what was the point of going to the house?

 

During the shoot-out at Charlie's, Charlie goes on a "funny" rant about how the situation they are in is just like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It makes no sense at the time, but shortly after we have the terrifying mirage scene with Julie and her "mom". At first I just thought this was shitty editing, but Julie and Evil-lyn are the only ones in the scene, so it makes no sense whatsoever for Charlie to say that.

 

At the high school, Karg keeps yelling "I want her alive!" and in the course of 10 seconds, Blade attempts to double-impale her with swords and also kill her with crossbow bolts. He doesn't even have a gun! Why wasn't he the one that Skeletor zapped?

 

Finally, not to be a grammar nazi, but Gwildor's re-occurring line is "I'm going, I'm going!" when he's yelled at to catch up with the group. If he is following the group, and not going off on his own, shouldn't he be saying "I'm coming, I'm coming!"? Maybe the directors and producers realized how terrifying it would be to hear Billy Barty constantly yelling "I'm coming, I'm coming!" in the Gwildor costume.

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