Influenced by sword-and-sandal tales hearkening back to the pulps, He-Man is a multi-media phenomenon that companies dream of and is still relevant today. After the success of Kenner’s Star Wars action figure line, lead designer at Mattel Roger Sweet dreamed up the notion He-Man, a kind of eternal warrior who could be dropped into any setting (hence the blend of fantasy and sci-fi). The legendary Donald F. Glut and Earl Norem crafted that universe with back-story and a vast supporting cast cementing the character’s place in history. A range of action figures, comic books and a Filmation cartoon followed. In 1981,a legend was unleashed and remains an iconic part of 1980’s nostalgia alongside G.I. Joe a Real American Hero, The Transformers and others.
Part of the wonder of He-Man is the sheer breadth of its mythology. The mini-comic was recently celebrated in a wonderful coffee table book which was heralded as a ‘must buy’ gift this past holiday season. But what is most interesting is where the fans can take the characters. In an age where movies can be made and funded on demand, it should come as no surprise that He-Man is the focus of a fan-film.
Via Robot6 at CBR.com:
Mattel’s Masters of the Universe has endured for more than three decades, inspiring animated series, comic books, video games and, yes, that spectacularly bad live-action film. And now it’s the basis for an incredibly earnest fan film.
Funded through a $12,000 Kickstarter campaign, director Daniel Benedict’s “Fall of Grayskull”stars pro wrestler Brian Cage as He-Man, who of course fights his arch-nemesis Skeletor for the power of Grayskull and the fate of Eternia. If you’re a fan of the franchise, chances are you’ll find a favorite character in this 30-minute short: Teela, Tri-Klops, Evil-Lyn, Hordak (played by Val Staples) — they’re all there.
Although the acting and production aren’t exactly top-caliber, “Fall of Grayskull” is clearly a love letter to Masters of the Universe. As I said, it’s earnest, which goes a long way.