July 16, 2015

Double Feature: Masters of the Universe and Cyborg.

It might not seem like it to the casual viewer, but He-man was a film with sequel ambitions. Cannon was under financial duress while producing both this and Superman 4 simultaneously, but their hope was the revenue from these two films would propel their finances in the right direction. Unfortunately that did not happen, and production on the He-man sequel was scrapped. But that turned out to be a windfall for Albert Pyun, as the production for Cyborg was able to cannibalize all the unused sets!

Masters of the Universe:

In an attempt to revitalize the fading popularity of He-Man, Mattel teamed up with Cannon and to make this amazingly weird train-wreck of a movie. The cast features a young new-to-English-speaking Dolph Lundgren as He-Man, Frank Langella as Skeletor, Meg Foster as Evil-Lyn and Billy Barty plays a character called Gwildor as a substitution for Orko. There are some fun effects, great set pieces, some interesting designs elements (likely lifted from Jodorowsky's mock up for Dune) and a RIDICULOUS plot that sends He-Man and his crew to modern-day L.A.. (This movie might be bad, but it's also relentlessly entertaining.) Despite their financial instability at the time, Cannon had high hopes for Masters, and not only did they give this production one of their biggest budgets to date, they started working on a sequel before it was released. Tough break for He-man, good news for Cyborg!


What do you do when you have already sunk a tons of money building sets, props and costumes for a movie you can't afford to make? You call Albert Pyun of course! Pyun quickly wrote a script that  incorporate these elements into a fun post apocalyptic cyborg movie and cast a young Jean Claude Van Damme in the lead. Pyun can make most any movie into something fun, but this is one of our favorites from his cannon.

Why this makes a good double feature: Not only are these movies tied together by production elements, they also each star a foreign actor on the cusp of stardom before they were able to speak English fluently.

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