He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
August 11th, 2008
NC: Hello I'm the Nostalgia Critic, I remember it so you don't have to.
The He-Man title sequence from the old 80s show starts up, with footage of the show
NC (voiceover): In the mid-80s, many kids were watching the butchest, and yet somehow the gayest cartoon that ever hit the airwaves, He-Man. I could tell you what the story's about, but why not let He-Man tell you himself?
He-Man: I am Adam, Prince of Eternia and defender of the secrets of Castle Grayskull.
NC: A prince, really? I never would've guessed.
He-Man: Fabulous secret powers were revealed to me the day I held aloft my magic sword and said "By the Power of Grayskull!"
NC: I guess he was just going through that "holding aloft your magic sword and saying by the Power of Grayskull" phase. But, luckily they happen to contain super powers.
He-Man: And I became...HE-MAN! The most powerful man in the universe!
NC: Except for Lou Schimer, who apparently always gets top billing.
NC (voiceover): So you get the idea, He-Man took place in another dimension where he defended the Castle Grayskull from the evil Skeletor. It wasn't a great show, but we enjoyed watching it. And years later, people still like to talk about the gay overtones this show gave us.
NC: Now many of you might be saying "No! He-Man isn't gay, how dare you say something like that!" Well, anyone who's still in question about this should take a look at the 1987 motion picture epic Masters of the Universe.
Title sequence to the movie starts up, followed by footage of it.
NC (voiceover): A film that teaches us it's okay to be gay, but NOT a godawful piece of retro-crap.
NC: So let's just jump in and take a look at the first problem with this movie...the title.
NC (voiceover): Why the hell is it just called Masters of the Universe and not He-Man: Masters of the Universe? I mean half of us didn't even know this WAS a He-Man movie, cause we never cared what came after the He-Man title. I mean all we ever heard was
Place card with the words "He-Man, KBZXPLK GXRBLZNKM"
NC (voiceover): He-Man...something something something something. So why didn't they leave it in? I don't know, believe me, that's the least of this movie's problems.
Kevin: Oh my God.
NC (voiceover): So the story begins at Castle Grayskull, which apparently is located in the Grand Canyon. The evil Skeletor has taken over the castle, but is angry because he looks like how John McCain will look in a couple of years. The only one who can stop Skeletor is the always shirtless He-Man, who's played by Dolph Lundgren. You know, the Russian guy from Rocky IV.
Ivan Drago: I must break you.
NC (voiceover): Trust me, I'd rather have you break me than sit through this ass-fest. This guy is so foreign that I think even he forgets what accent he's supposed to have.
Montage of Dolph speaking in the movie, each time with a slightly different accent
NC: It sounds Ger-Russian-ese.
NC (voiceover): So He-Man is accompanied by his team, led by Man of Arms, who's pretty damn old compared to the cartoon. But not as old as John McCain in just a few years.
NC: Okay, okay...that's the last John McCain joke I'll make. ...intentionally.
NC (voiceover): He's also joined by Teela, Man of Arms' daughter-
Teela: Woman at Arms
NC: Hey hey, that's not funny!
NC (voiceover): And Gwildor, who I guess is supposed to be like Orko, but again, why can't they just make it like the show and call him Orko? Sure he looks like the gay love-child of Yoda from Star Wars and Gizmo from Gremlins, but we're not that picky. You could still call him Orko and we'd buy it. And speaking of gay, just look at this first action sequence and tell me there's no homoerotic themes going on here.
He-Man fights some enemies, with the song "It's Okay to be Gay" playing over it
NC (voiceover): It's like Star Wars, only...gayer.
NC: Dude, did he just zap that guy in the crotch?
NC (voiceover): Actually, there's a lot of shots to the crotch in this movie. Talk about great balls of fire!
NC: But again, no gay overtones.
NC (voiceover): So it turns out Skeletor is after Gwildor because he's invented a cosmic key that can take you to any dimension you want. Skeletor wants this device so he can--you guessed it--take over the world.
M. Bison: Of course!
Skeletor: People of Eternia...the war is over. Those who do not pledge themselves to me shall be destroyed!
NC (voiceover): Sounds like John McCain's inaugural speech to me.
The words "McCain Joke" pop up on screen, with a buzzer
NC: Okay, okay...I don't even dislike the guy it's just the jokes are too easy. I'll try to do better.
NC (voiceover): So it turns out Skeletor has also captured an enchanted sorceress known as...well, the Sorceress. He-Man tries to negotiate for her freedom.
He-Man: Let her go.
Skeletor: I don't think so.
NC: Negotiations over!
NC (voiceover): He-Man tries to save the Sorceress but appears to be outnumbered. So Gwildor opens up the key and sends them to another dimension. It's like Back to the Future! Only...gayer. So He-Man and his team use the cosmic key to end up in which parallel dimension? Ours of course, right dab in the middle of New Jersey.
NC: So let me get this straight. He-Man, the Master of the Universe, is going to use all his intergalactic weaponry, and medieval-style fighting moves...in the suburbs of New Jersey?
He looks around, almost in tears
NC: This is gonna suck, isn't it?
Lubic: Holy Shit!
NC (voiceover): Alright, so He-Man is stuck in New Jersey as they're looking for the planet's inhabitants.
Man of Arms: Alien lifeform...big.
Teela: Let me blast them.
He-Man: Wait! It might be intelligent life.
NC (voiceover): In this movie? I doubt that.
A cow walks up to the group
NC: Oh look! It's the best actor in the movie!
The cow moos
NC: At least that line didn't sound rehearsed!
NC (voiceover): Okay, so what's the epic hero He-Man and his mighty crew's first order of duty? To steal buckets of chicken from a second-rate drive-thru restaurant!
NC: ...Of course!
Man of Arms: Good food. Never think while you're hungry.
A fake title sequence stating "He-Man and the Raiders of the Kentucky Fried Chicken!"
NC (voiceover): One of the people who works at that fast food restaurant is Julie, played strangely enough by Courtney Cox.
Coworker: If you break up with Kevin Corrigan, you will regret it for the rest of your life.
Julie: Kevin's changed, I've changed.
Coworker: A, you still love him and B, he still loves you.
NC: When did this turn into Dawson's Creek?
NC (voiceover): She's bummed because apparently her folks died in some sort of plane accident a year ago. Isn't this just what you think of when you think of a He-Man movie?
Kevin: Your mom and dad wouldn't want you to go around the rest of your life blaming yourself. Would they?
"He-Man and the Masters of the Depressing Plot Expositions" title sequence
NC (voiceover): Meanwhile, Skeletor tracks down their position and sends out his evil team to find them. By the way, is it me, or did this guy REALLY like dramatic turns?
Montage of Skeletor doing dramatic turns, accompanied by a musical crescendo
NC: Seriously, I wish I had dramatic music every time I turned my head. I mean what would-
He turns his head, the music plays; he realizes this and tries it out several times, becoming pleased
NC (voiceover): So Julie and her boyfriend find the cosmic key as Skeletor's troops close in on them. Look at these guys, they look like the Thundercats on the way to the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Kevin: Yeah, that's what I thought too.
NC (voiceover): Julie and her boyfriend are separated as Julie comes under attack by Skeletor's Muppet demons. He-Man senses babes and decides he wants to go after her. Once again we get an erotic dance number which I suppose is supposed to be an action sequence. I'm sorry, why does He-Man carry a sword and everyone else carries a laser? I mean what is the purpose?
Gwildor: I don't know, I don't know!
NC (voiceover): After He-Man rescues Julie, he decides to tell her exactly what he's looking for.
He-Man: Have you seen it? It's this large and has lights on it.
NC: But AGAIN, no gay overtones.
NC (voiceover): Meanwhile, Julie's boyfriend meets up with a cop played by the principal from Back to the Future. His job is to bitch and moan as often as possible.
Lubic: You can't order me around!/What is this, a circus act?/That's vandalism, I got arson./What the hell is goin' on out there?/We got stuff blowin' up in my face!/Choice, really choice.
NC (voiceover): This guy is so annoying he makes Chris Tucker seem like James Earl Jones. Most of the time he's not even solving any crimes. He's just making fun of Julie's boyfriend and messing around with that cosmic key. Is it really wise to mess around with a dimensional manipulator? I mean, you never know what kinda damage you could be causing.
Scenes of the cop messing with the key, followed by various monuments/locations blowing up
Lubic: I don't think this is any synthesizer.
NC (voiceover): Looking for the key, He-Man and his heroic crew decide to go traveling around the city IN A PINK CADILLAC.
NC: Alright, these are no longer gay overtones, this is an ORCHESTRA of gayness.
"He-Man and the Shoppers of the Feminine Automobiles" fake title screen
NC (voiceover): Meanwhile, Skeletor himself arrives on Earth, bringing all of his evil armies with him. ...How does nobody in the city know this is going on? I mean, are there really people looking out their windows right now saying
NC: Boy that neighborhood watch is really cracking down.
NC (voiceover): Meanwhile, Julie's boyfriend and Mr. Clean continue to argue and bicker as no doubt bigger and better action scenes could be taking place right now. Watching these two is like watching an episode of Mad About You. Only...gayer.
Lubic: SHUT UP!
NC (voiceover): Actually, I think I realize why the title of this movie wasn't called He-Man. Because He-Man's never in it! Most of the time it's just focusing on his team, Courtney Cox, or the odd couple here.
Gwildor: I don't believe it!
NC (voiceover): Everyone eventually meets up at a record store, where I swear to God the weirdest combination of lines and images come together. I mean, just try watching this whole scene with a straight face.
Lubic: Freeze, all of you. Let's start with you, blondie.
Gwildor: He-Man, He-Man!
Lubic: What the hell is that?
Wildor: Neutrino Drive, it's heeeeere!
He-Man: Wildor, how long to calculate the coordinates and bring us home?
Teela: If you'd rather stay here and face Evil-Lyn's commandos, that's fine with me.
Kevin: Look, believe me sir, you wouldn't.
NC: Alright, someone has gone batshit crazy! It's either me, or the movie makers. Either way, I am very concerned.
Lubic: I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone or something!
NC (voiceover): So finally Skeletor's army appears and they have to have an epic battle in a record store. A record store, I can't even believe I'm saying this.
Skeletor: How sensitive you are...
NC (voiceover): Meanwhile, one of Skeletor's henchmen poses as Julie's mother, who just so happened to come back from the dead and needs that cosmic key inside. Yeah, this doesn't sound like a set-up at all.
Evil-Lyn: Thank you my darling...
NC: Baaaah! I totally didn't see that coming.
Skeletor: I think not!
NC (voiceover): I'm sorry, but wasn't this trick used once in Spaceballs? That's pretty bad when a film is so desperate for ideas that it starts ripping off Mel Brooks sci-fi comedies. So Skeletor gets the key and demands He-Man to be his slave or else he'll kill his teammates. He-Man agrees as his friends are left behind with the other half of the key. Julie's boyfriend wonders why they can't just find their key to find Skeletor. But hairy knolls tells him he can't remember the exact notes that would transport them back. Yeah, apparently the key operates on notes instead of numbers or letters. So of course, being the 80s, it's synthesized music to the rescue, as they rock their way to the exact coordinates. Pretty lame...
"He-Man and the Mystic Time Travelers of the Oingo Boingo" fake title screen
NC (voiceover): Back in Eternia, Skeletor SOMEHOW got He-Man into even less clothes and tortures him with some kind of holographic twizzler whip or something. Look at this, he's actually leaning his butt into the whip, as if he's actually enjoying it!
NC: (whispering) No gay overtones.
NC (voiceover): And I guess He-Man's sword is the only thing that can give Skeletor supreme power in the universe or I don't know, some shit like that. So he plugs it into his Nintendo chair and absorbs all the powers of the cosmos. While making the longest goddamn speech in the friggin' world.
Skeletor: The power fills me! Yes! I feel the universe within me! I am...I am a part of the cosmos. Its energy flows...flows through me! Of what consequence are you now? This planet, these people, they are NOTHING to me! The universe is power! True, unstoppable POWER! And I am that force, I am that power! KNEEL BEFORE YOUR MASTER!
Throughout, NC has gotten bored, then tired, then eventually has fallen asleep, making the "on with it" motion with his hand
Skeletor: So, you are no longer my equal...I am more than man. More than LIFE!
The words "Shut the fuck up" start flashing on the screen
The words change to Thank Jesus
NC (voiceover): God, that speech is so long-winded and pointless it's like being at a John McCain rally.
The McCain Joke alert comes up again.
NC: Oh what, it slipped.
NC (voiceover): So after his speech is over, Skeletor uses his demonic powers to become...a gay, metallic Chiquita Banana-nator.
NC (voiceover): But before he can destroy our hero, He-Man's friends come in to save the day.
He fires a bolt of energy, which He-Man deflects with his shackles, freeing himself in the process
NC: Wow, the ruler of the universe has really lousy aim.
NC (voiceover): So He-Man breaks free and starts using his manly strength to defeat the soldiers. He does this by pushing over statues that are SO strong, they actually bounce when they hit the ground.
NC: ...I guess they've been in the sun too long?
NC (voiceover): So He-Man gets his sword back and battles the evil Skeletor-metallic-banana thingy. It's kind of like Conan, only...well you know. This battle takes forever, but He-Man finally defeats old skull and crossbones.
He-Man: It's over.
NC: Oh good! I thought this movie was never gonna end.
Skeletor: Yes...FOR YOU!
NC (voiceover): Okay, so He-Man defeats Skeletor AGAIN and then throws him into a gigantic endless pit. Is it me, or is this the slowest fall in the history of slowest falls? I think the movie could actually wrap up and he'd still be falling!
Julie: He-Man...Teela, Man of Arms, don't...don't say goodbye.
Man of Arms: There's an old Eternian saying: Live the journey, for every destination is but a doorway to another.
He-Man: You look after her now.
Kevin: I will.
He-Man: Activate the doorway, Wildor.
Wildor: Are you sure you don't wanna go back to your father's history?*
(*I'm not sure that's what he says, I can't understand him)
NC (voiceover): So He-Man saves the day, the sorceress is rescued and Julie gets sent back home. But wait! There's an added bonus. They sent her back a year before her parents died and before nightgowns looked less like the clothing from Little House on the Prarie. So now she can tell her parents not to go on that plane that would ultimately lead them to their doom. So just to reiterate kids, if your parents die by some sort of horrific circumstance, all you have to do is look for a parallel dimension that has big hunky beefmen who can take you back in time and change the whole thing! That way you never have to come to grips with death or the harshness of reality.
NC: WHAT A LOAD! Is that what you wanna teach your kids, that if family or loved ones die, there's always a chance you can bring them back from the dead? That's like saying He-Man is straight! In that...it's not true. It's a lie. ...Because he is SO gay! I mean, people trying to defend that he's not gay, you're just...WRONG!
Skeletor: Well said.
NC: The only thing gayer than him is this movie! It's stupid, boring, and a flaming waste of time. And that's not to say I have anything against homosexuality. It's just...there's gotta be something out there, some kind of alternative hero that's gay...but at least gives us something appealing to look at.
She-Ra, Princess of Power title sequence
NC: You know what? I'll take that over this shit anyday! I'm the Nostalgia Critic, I remember it so you don't have to.