If you thought that Skeletor would loosen up a bit when he finally became sentient, think again. When Masters of the Universe became a live-action movie, things just got worse for the people of Eternia. On the cartoon, Skeletor talked big, but couldn't really deliver much more than a heinous laugh. In the movie, Skeletor could kill people just by calling on the gods of bad movie effects, shooting lame lightning from his hands at the drop of a hat and at a severe copyright infringement to Emperor Palpatine. Unfortunately, both the cartoon and movie versions of Skeletor shared the same penchant for shitty plots that basically guaranteed defeat.
See, here's the problem. In the movie, Skeletor's being portrayed by famous play actor, Frank Langella. I saw him several years back in Damn Yankees, and let me tell you...the fucker is one wordy bastard. Likewise, that carries over here. Skeletor will never be satisfied in just winning and killing the good guys. No, he has to first tell everybody how he plans to do that, and then create personal, insurmountable odds and obstacles to place before himself. I know they wanted to stay true to the cartoon, but this is ridiculous.
But, on the other side of things, Movie Skeletor is a badass, and you don't wanna mess with him. I've selected one of the many fine sequences from the movie to illustrate that point. He-Man and friends have eluded Skeletor once again, using the fabled Cosmic Key to transport themselves to Earth. Skeletor, who has worked his magic and will become a superior godlike creature by moonrise, decides that his best bet would be to capture and fight the good guys before moonrise. Makes sense to me. Remember, traditionally, Skeletor is a masochist who likes to make things as tough on himself as possible. So he orders Evil Lyn to form a super-squad of ridiculous creatures to go back to Earth and find the heroes.
Evil Lyn was pretty foxy in the movie. There's a scene where Skeletor spends a full minute grabbing onto her face and spewing incomprehensible plans on universal conquest from his lips while gazing soulfully into her bright blue eyes. To counteract this blatant display of heterosexuality, he becomes obsessed with making He-Man his 'slave', complete with chains and a collar. Anyway, Evil Lyn's job is a multipurpose one, and she's been chosen to pick out the warriors to go back to Earth and find the good guys. Skeletor looks a little concerned with her choices, and here's why...
Blade: What villain quartet is complete without a bald, swashbuckling cyborg pirate? Blade introduces himself to Skeletor with a stunning display of sword dancin', but Skeletor looks unimpressed. After all, the good guys had previously been able to kill off 250 of Skeletor's guards and manage to escape from an onslaught of laser blasts through a portal. What could Blade possibly bring to the table to fend that off? Swords?! Skeletor looks to him almost with a hint of sorrow in his eyes, knowing full well that the poor idiot is destined for failure.
Saurod: Critics have claimed that this movie blatantly rips off Star Wars, so its no surprise that this entire scene looks like the famous bounty hunter roll call from Empire Strikes Back. Starring in this school play as Bossk, we have Saurod. He looked pretty cool, to be honest. Weird reptilian guy in a space suit. Hmmm...
Amazing coincidence! Anyway, Saurod is crucial to the title of this article. Saurod, like the rest of us, will soon find out why its just not a good idea to fuck with Skeletor.
Karg: Karg rocks. A little midget with old lady hair who has better facial expressions than Jack Nicholson. My assumption was that Karg was the surrogate leader of the merry band of alien mercenaries, a guy who had enough stroke and scary makeup to control even the likes of Snake Mountain's worst. Actually, I've read some of the first scripts for the flick, and Karg wasn't just another bad guy. He was originally intended to be Skeletor's main hand, a vicious little toad who knew how to effectively kill at least a good half hour before failing miserably. As fate would have it, maybe Karg wasn't all that cool. The rest of the villain quartet all got action figures. Karg got forgotten. Oh well..
Beast Man: HOLD YOUR APPLAUSE FOR THIS UNPRECEDENTED CARTOON CAMEO APPEARANCE, PLEASE! First let me tell you about the guy! In the cartoon, Beast Man was Skeletor's main lackey. In the movie, he's a dreadful, dirty bear in underwear who claims the almighty title as 'most worthless villain'. Instead of the pasty orange freak we saw on the cartoon, Beast Man is now the stunning visual equivalent of Chewbacca after eating a whole lotta baked ziti.
Now its time for the baddies to get to work. Their coordinates are a little miscalculated, and they end up in the middle of a school gym. The only person there? Courtney Cox. I once blasted this movie way back in an old X-E post, but it wasn't until right now that I've realized just how ridiculously brilliant it was. Think about it...you've got Dolph Lundren portraying He-Man. Whenever you watch the movie, you'll be waiting for Skeletor to unmask and reveal that he was Rocky all along. You've got a midget parading around as a weird little E.T. reject named Gwildor. Warwick Davis was also a midget, who played The Leprechaun. And since every midget is universally the same, for the whole movie you'll be waiting for him to stick his weird alien tongue down Teela's throat. But now...Courtney Cox? Talk about your gratuitous 'oh my god' appearances. Its Monica from Friends! She's in a He-Man movie! And here's how it panned out...
The villains use their own Cosmic Key to teleport to Earth, while Courtney isn't too pleased. Understandable. I can probably register Blade coming at me...I'd just figure it was some bald ex-Marine with a sword fetish. Sure, he'd slice me...but at least it'd make sense. But once we get to people like Saurod and Karg, I'm gonna start to question my sanity. Luckily for Courtney, she doesn't realize she's being chased by the four stupidest bad guys of all time. The only real danger she's in is being blacklisted by every director in Hollywood for being a part of this movie. Her skin's completely safe though.
Beast Man fires, and I'd like to hold a small poll.
Click here if you think Beast Man's aim is equaled only by his ability to read.
Obviously, Beast Man misses. But not just that - Courtney thwarts the efforts of Snake Mountain's 'four best' villains, each of whom is carrying arms and who could kill Courtney simply by punching her. Nope, Courtney escapes. Ya ever wonder why Skeletor is always in such a bad mood? We've already established that he prefers to make his plans as difficult as possible. Not helping matters any is his assortment of hired hands. This was like watching the Eternian version of the Three Stooges, only we got a Shep and a Curly. Absolutely terrific.
As fate would have it, Courtney finds He-Man. At first, she's a little concerned about running into a giant, sweaty guy who runs around the streets at night wearing a thong and carrying giant, ominous swords...but since He-Man speaks so eloquently, she trusts him. And its a good thing, since the bad guys are still on her trail! Why? Nobody knows. I'm pretty sure Skeletor sent the bad guys back to 'fetch He-Man', not 'fetch Courtney Cox'. But hey, if this movie wanted to make sense, Skeletor would kill the Sorceress instead of put her on display for 55 years, allowing He-Man sufficient time to rescue her.
Ultimately, the bad guys are sent running from He-Man and friends' totally unstoppable barrage of bullets. Courtney, who has now for some reason become the object of desire by all villains large and small, is safe for now. The bad guys, on the other hand, and much like Lucy, have a lot of explaining to do.
This is where we learn today's lesson: don't fuck with the skull man. See, Skeletor hadn't just given these people a job to do...he entrusted them with the most important mission in history. And they failed him. Well, remember how in school, you had to do ten pushups when you fucked up in gym? Or write all these excessive and unnecessary papers on sedimentary rocks for extra credit when you failed your biology midterm? Likewise, the villains must pay, and Skeletor has his own special brand of justice.
The bounty hunters are totally apologetic, you've got to give them credit for that. They know they messed up, but they're not trying to deny it. Skeletor isn't too appreciative though. Here he is, on the threshold of conquering Eternia, and he has to hear about not only how He-Man escaped their grasp, but how the bad guys misheard his directions and tried capturing an 17-year-old brunette instead. If you were Skeletor, what would you do? Remember, these are his 'best' troops, a sad commentary on whomever else is fucking things up in Snake Mountain. If these are the best Skeletor's army has to offer, can you imagine how clumsy the guy that washes dishes at the place has gotta be? Obviously, Skel's a little frustrated. He's frustrated because his trooped screwed him, and he's frustrated that he never got a chance to make good on the promise he made in the closing credits.
"I'll Be Back!!!"
No you won't, Skeletor.
Anyway, sound the alarm, time for an AMAZING SCENE DOUBLE-HEADER.
Amazing Scene #1 - Beast Man, overwhelmingly shamed by his failure, leaps to Skeletor's feet and starts molesting his hand, in an apparent show of apology. Skeletor delivers the best comedic scene in the film by getting completely disgusted over Beast Man touching him. Has he no camaraderie? Beast Man used to be his best friend! Its not the big ape's fault Evil Lyn got so hot in the real-life transition. After all, he's only a Wookie.
But the next amazing scene is the true amazing scene - and a lesson for all to learn. Its time to drive the point home about Skeletor.
The rest of the villains sense some pretty big consequences for their failure, and start rallying for Skeletor's forgiveness. Karg acts as the group's spokesperson, telling Skel how 'sorry' and 'regretful' the villains are about sucking so bad. But Skeletor's heard enough. Groveling only works if you can make a cute, concerned face. Watching people like Karg grovel is flat-out nauseating. In fact, its just making things worse. So, its time for Skeletor to show you exactly why you don't screw around with him. Its time for a little Russian Roulette.
Somebody's gotta pay, but who? Skeletor weighed out the options. He couldn't kill Karg, because Karg equals ticket sales. He couldn't kill Blade, because he's got big, bulging biceps and Skeletor loves those. In a show of sentimental values, Skeletor also spares Beast Man. That...just...leaves...one other guy. Poor, poor misguided & reptilian Saurod.
SAUROD TAKES THE SHOT! Proof positive, Skeletor'll get ya. For a guy who fails so often and with such passion, he really does have some cool powers. Skel simply points to Saurod, unleashing uncontrollable energy bolts from Hell that wipe him out of existence. The moral? Don't fuck with Skeletor! Saurod paid the price! And, if Skeletor's willing to kill his own, there's no telling what he'll do to the rest of Eternia and the people of Earth. So that just leaves us with one question. Who's gonna stop Skeletor?
I searched long and hard for the answer. Would He-Man be the one? Nahhh. On the cartoon? Sure, He-Man could break boulders with one punch and defeat enemies by blowing on them there. But here, he's just a normal guy. We need someone special. Someone who could overpower Skeletor. Someone who could outwit Skeletor. Someone who had the help of a pet monkey named Marcel. Thank GOD Courtney was in this movie, because her brother meets all the criteria!
WATCH OUT, Skeletor. If anyone could send the armies of Snake Mountain crying for mercy, its Ross. Unfortunately, bringing Ross into the picture to fight Skeletor is sort of a double-edged sword. Sure, he'll take out skull face and restore peace to Eternia - but at the severe cost of totally altering the space/time continuum, leaving us with situations like the one below:
Joey: So Gwildor, how do you like it here so far?
Gwildor: Oooh! Ooh! The Cosmic Key! Its great...almost like I'm always stuck in second gear!
And if that were to ever happen, its just another clear cut reason why we shouldn't fuck with Skeletor.
Skeletor isn't the only villain we shouldn't mess with. See what happens when people screw around with Megatron!
Last chance to do my special secret Santa giftswap. All givers shall receive boxes of crap! Your best chance this holiday season to pay 15-20 bucks for a pack of Dinosaurs cards and little monkey statues!
And oh yes, if you're over 18, here's a site to check out. Share a year-end review with The School of Ass!