Last week, I showed you all a detailed view of half of the mostly-monsters toys I lined up in my office this year to get into the Halloween spirit. The first batch included a Masters Of The Universe Classics giant, one of Jack Kirby’s hottest creations, Buffy, a trio of Stranger Things characters, my guy Beetlejuice, a pair of Hellboys and horror icons like Frankenstein’s Monster, Freddy Krueger and Pinhead! Want to see who else made the cut [cue cleaver chopping sound effect]?Enter, if you dare…
Here’s a statement I don’t often make, but I was super excited when the documentary Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story Of Cannon Films popped up on Netflix Instant not long ago. Now, I love a good geeky documentary, but I usually stumble across them while looking around instead of knowing about them ahead of time. But, Electric Boogaloo comes from Mark Hartley, the same guy who made Not Quite Hollywood and Machete Maidens, the former of which is a masterpiece and the latter of which is highly entertaining.
Back in the late 70s and early 80s, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, cousins, bought a US film company called Cannon Films that would go on to make some of the best and worst action and sci-fi movies of the next few decades. They particularly dealt with stars like Charles Bronson and Chuck Norris, but also made movies like Cyborg, Superman IV, Masters Of The Universe, Texas Chainsaw Massacre II and more than I can even count.
The doc itself tells the story of how these two guys hustled, begged, borrowed and even stole their way to Hollywood success by making more movies than anyone could keep track of. Unfortunately (for them and audiences paying good money for a ticket) the movies tended to be pretty bad, but a goldmine for fans of less-than-perfect cinema like me and a lot of my friends.
Told at a breakneck pace, Electric Boogaloo feels like an open and honest recounting of a company that was neither. Everyone from producers and directors to editors and stars appeared on the film to talk about the slap-dash way some of their projects were put together and presented to the world in general. Ultimately, it’s a story of how quickly these two men and their company could rise and how fiery they eventually fell. The only downside is that Golam and Globus, who are both still alive, refused to appear in this film in order to do their own doc called The Go-Go Boys, which doesn’t seem to be available on Netflix. Actually, there’s one other downside: there’s no mention of James Cameron’s Spider-Man film which was set up there for a while. I’d like to have seen them talk about that, then again, maybe there’s a full doc in the works for that. I hope.
I’ve got more She-Ra goodness here on this week’s TCT. This time around the spot focuses solely on the Princes of Power herself. I’m still shocked by how restrained and gentle the girls in this commercial are, to almost Stepford degrees. Compare that ad to this He-Man one I wrote about last summer and they’re totally different! It’s too bad Mattel felt the need to go this route and I assume it didn’t represent how girls of the time actually played with these toys. My 3 year old started watching She-Ra and not a week later was chasing her Papa around the house with a wrapping paper tube craving an all-out battle. I’d guess that was far more the norm than distant fawning and adulation being bestowed upon a toy that’s literally put on a pedestal.
My three year old daughter has discovered and fallen in love with She-Ra in the past few months. So, it seemed like a good time to go back and scope out some of the commercials Mattel made back in the 80s to appeal the young girls they wanted to sell these toys to. Growing up I was pretty hardcore into He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, but I honestly don’t remember much about his sister She-Ra. I not only didn’t watch the show, but possibly blocked out the whole franchise, which is odd because I have memories of other “girl-centric” franchises of the day like My Little Pony, Cabbage Patch and the like.
So, I’ve been looking at a lot of this stuff with fresh eyes and think there’s a lot of solid, interesting ideas here. In fact, I’m pretty sure She-Ra would make a better movie than He-Man, but that’s neither here nor there, really. I love this spot for all the usual reasons. I dig seeing kids play with toys and am a longtime playset fan. It is interesting to me how restrained the girls are in this commercial though. Were this a commercial for a “boy toy” the little guys would be going crazy for the new piece of play equipment, but these girls look at the Crystal Castle almost reverentially. They should have been able to show their excitement for such a cool toy!
Even as a pretty huge He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe fan growing up, I somehow missed the whole Horde thing. I remember Hordak and his robots, but not so much the rest of the villains that came along with him. I scored a Grizzlor and Hordak from this time in the past few years at a flea market, but that’s about it. It might be for the best, because, had kid-me known there was another MOTU playset out there along with a bad guy who could turn into a motorcycle (Dragstor) and a double robot with swap-out parts (Multi-Bot), I would very well might have lost my mind. It’s just funny how you think you had such a good handle on something when you were a kid, but there was this whole other part that you completely missed. I guess that won’t happen anymore these days thanks to the internet.
I’m pretty certain you can completely trace my love of playsets to this one right here. I was lucky enough to score not just Castle Grayskull but also Snake Mountain. I would set them up next to each other and send my toys on epic journeys and battles against one another using all the fun tricks and secrets of both sets. I love that immersive quality of toys and action figures from the 80s. It’s fun to just play with your toys, but to have a recognizable environment to put them in is just next level. I’ve still got both of these at my folks’ house and I about lost my mind when I saw that Mattel made a new one for their Masters Of The Universe Classics line.
I loved He-Man and the Masters of the Universe pretty hard as a kid. I still have a huge box of action figures, vehicles and playsets and had a great time sitting in front of our gigantic, wood paneled console TV watching the cartoon. I was also a big fan of playing with my action figures like the kids in this commercial. But, for some reason, I don’t think I ever made the connection that you could run a string through the loop on Trap Jaw’s head. This surprises me all the more because the first thing I did when I got my Donatello action figure — my first ever TMNT toy — I tied a strong from the lamp over the kitchen table to the fire place and did essentially what the kids in this commercial did. Good times.
Neil Marshall, the director behind ridiculously awesome movies like Centurion, Doomsday and Dog Soldiers, is going to remake the Norwegian flick Troll Hunter. We’ve only heard good things about the original, but haven’t seen it for ourselves yet. Still, this seems like a good fit. [via Deadline]
Vin Diesel’s at it again, posting a new image from James Wan’s Fast & Furious 7. Looks like the gang’s at a funeral. [via Facebook]
Sounds like the reports of Jerry Bruckheimer’s professional demise at Disney weren’t greatly exaggerated. The House of Mouse decided not to renew its first look deal with the super producer in the wake of the bomb known as The Lone Ranger. [via Deadline]
Fury writer and director David Ayer tweeted out this image of Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Shia LabEouf, Michael Pena and Jon Bernthal on the titular tank. The WWII film finds a tank crew going on a special mission behind enemy lines.
Mattel recently announced that they’ll be selling a figure of Blade from the 1987 Masters Of The Universe film in their line of He-Man based figures available only on Mattycollector.com. This marks the first figure from the film to make it into the Masters Of The Universe Classics line!
New director John Maclean enticed Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class, Prometheus), Ben Mendelsohn (Killer Elite, The Place Beyond the Pines) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes) to ride along with his Western Slow West. [via Collider]
Y: The Last Man screenwriters Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia have been recruited to write a film based on the Ubisoft video game series Ghost Recon, a game developed by Tom Clancy. [via Variety]
Cinemark theaters will be showing David Fincher’s Fight Club in their movie houses on September 22nd and 25th as part of their Classic Series. Check the site for show times in an area near you.
Last week we showed you the trailer for Jose Padilha’s RoboCop. According to THR, it’s the most watched trailer for the second week in a row. Meanwhile, another THR story announced that the film will hit IMAX theaters when it opens on February 7th.
Finally, Jeff Bridges opened up a bit about the failure of R.I.P.D., one of Universal’s few flops in recent memory. “I had such a great time working on that movie,” Bridges said. “I remember what we were doing. I thought: This could be fun to see. And when I saw it, I was a little underwhelmed. For my mind, the studio made some, uh, choices that I wouldn’t have made.” [via GQ]
Man, oh man. Remember The New Adventures Of He-Man? No, me neither. Even though I was a huge He-fan as a kid and seemingly would have followed him to the ends of the Earth (or, more appropriately, into space), I didn’t make that jump. I do have memories of the cartoon happening and seeing commercials like the one above. That image of this new He-Man wielding a lightsaber and riding around on a space motorcycle hangs out in my brain pretty iconically. I watched some of the episodes about six years back when the DVDs came out and they’re pretty hilariously bad, but there’s a lot to love in this commercial.
First off, I’m always a fan of seeing my favorite cartoon characters brought to live action life. At first it seemed like only Skeletor got an actor and then BAM, there’s He-Man! I’ve also got to say that this commercial made these toys look awesome. What is that giant spaceship thing?! I want it and I’m 30! Good advertising, Mattel.
Today’s TTC was inspired by my buddy Rickey Purdin’s latest entry over on VHS Notebook where he did a two page entry on the Dolph Lundgren-as-He-Man tour de weirdness the Masters Of The Universe movie. He points out a lot of the craziness that went into the design which got me thinking about the toys that came out based specifically on the movie. They kinda sorta fit in with the main MOTU figures, but also seemed different. The only one of the batch that I had was Saurod who actually spit fire like a master MC thanks to a flint or some such thing inside. He’s a cool figure but always felt a little out of place with the others.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen this movie. I’m sure it was confusing to me as a kid, though I don’t have any specific memories of seeing it. I do remember watching at least once in the last 10 years or so and it reminded me a lot of Howard the Duck. That’s not a dig as I’m a huge fan of the latter. I know it takes plenty of liberties with the source material, but that doesn’t bother me. I’ve been on quite a Dolph kick lately, so giving his Masters another looks would make sense. Maybe I’ll get my hands on that and Cyborg for a weirdly related double feature.