Film (1987). Cannon. Directed by Gary Goddard. Written by David Odell. Cast includes Billy Barty, Meg Foster, Frank Langella and Dolph Lundgren. 106 minutes. Colour.
Goddard's unfortunate film debut announced itself as the first live-action film to be based on Toys – the He-Man toys made by Mattel; its obvious predecessor was an animated television series, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, begun 1983. The Sword-and-Sorcery story pits the muscle-bound He-Man (Lundgren) of Planet Eternia against Skeletor (Langella), a demon figure from another Dimension and leader of the malign Masters of the Universe. A Matter-Transmitter key takes He-Man to contemporary California, where he finds the help necessary for defeating Skeletor in a final showdown. The film lacks the vigour it requires. The marketing phenomenon it exemplifies has concerned many parents, and some countries ban films and television series which, in the guise of entertainment, are designed to sell commercial products by brainwashing very young children. A further example is the much better (animated) film The Transformers – The Movie (1986). [PN]
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