Oh my how delicious is this piece of 80's panto, some of the best badly adapted hokey nonsense I've seen yet somehow its so damn good :)
Where to start! this really is your typical fantasy film of the era, every cliche every funny little niche is here as you would expect and the funny thing is it was actually meant to be a blockbuster. I have since found out there were many problems in creating this film and it does show some what, the film is really nothing like the original He-Man cartoon in any way.
Effects wise this sorta stumbles through with some interesting ideas, some of the makeup is actually quite good, 'Skeletor', 'Beast Man' and 'Saurod' all have pretty nice makeup appliances and costumes which fit the He-Man universe. Other effects are laughably terrible with some awful bluescreen work, nasty models of which most seem ripped straight outta 'Star Wars', faded poor laser blast effects and some of the most hilariously bad stunts and fight choreography you will see. Most kicks and punches clearly (and I mean CLEARLY) don't make their intended contacts lol!
The cast are actually a mix of decent character actors which is the funny thing, some of these performances saved the film and gave it cult status. Of course Langella as 'Skeletor' is the co de gra of cheesy villains with his snarling voice and bellowing cries lusting for power. For me the best and most amusing performance was James Tolkan as the no nonsense cop 'Lubic' with his sharp tongue, gotta love that guy and his baldness.
Along for the ride is steady character actor Jon Cypher, fantasy actor regular Billy Barty, Meg Foster as the quite sexual 'Evil-Lyn' in her lovely tight barbarian-esq outfit with luscious lips (oh yeah!) and last of all Courtney Cox, yes THAT Courtney Cox of 'Friends' fame and as you would expect she's still annoying as hell even back then.
So yes the film is practically a joke with its 'Punch n Judy' style and completely awful effects, fights etc...but it has gained allot of notoriety for just that. Even when I saw this back as a kid I knew the film bared no resemblance to the original material, it always bewildered me why the creators thought to create new bad guys when there were so many rich villains to use, who the hell was 'Blade', 'Karg' and 'Saurod' suppose to be!? where was 'Trap Jaw' 'Tri-Klops' 'Mer-Man' or 'Man-E-Faces'? the same could be said for the heroes also. Then there was the question of who on earth were all these stormtrooper type foot soldiers clad in black armour that were an idea rip from so many films!?.
I have since found out they were stuck in so 'He-Man' could kill things without becoming too violent for the kids as He-Man wasn't suppose to kill. I can see that now but it still doesn't work right does it, I can't believe Lucas never sued frankly haha even with the almost identical ending to 'ROTJ'.
Its funny to look back and laugh, even more so to think films like this actually made it to the cinema and were meant to be big money spinners hehe. I actually love how the film just goes off on its own tangent completely ignoring the source material, its so far gone its brilliant in such a bad way. Gotta love 'Skeletor's' golden coloured horned silver foil battle mask getup when he transforms at the end which seems to be a rip off from 'Big Trouble in Little China'!, the way Tolkan swears oh and the fact 'Teela' seems to be wearing a thin thong if you look closely as well :) kids film?.