12 January 2016 | paul_haakonsen
The fall was a bit too steep...
I watched this short film after having seen that the movie was made available on YouTube, and being a lifelong fan of the "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" franchise, I would naturally give this short fan-made film a chance.
And now having seen it, and with my heart desperately wanting to love this, I must say that I was somewhat disappointed. Sure, taking into consideration that this is a fan-made effort and not a multi-million dollar Hollywood production, then there was just some crucial things to "Fall of Grayskull" which made it a less than mediocre experience.
But lets start with the good things, which is that it is a "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" video. That in itself is an impressive feat, and a big thumbs up to the people who initiated and executed this project; their love for the franchise must even outshine mine.
The effects in "Fall of Grayskull" were quite alright, again taking into consideration the budget and the production effort. But all in all, they did manage to pull off the effects nicely enough.
The costumes and outfits were in overall adequate. You weren't in doubt about whom the various people were just by looking at them and having some familiarity with the animated "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" cartoons. That was nice. And they did add their own personal touches to the individual characters, especially Evil-Lyn, and whether this was good or bad is an individual preference. I, however, found it to be good.
And of course the heart and spirit of the entire project was good and in the right place. And it was obviously clear that the short film was made with love for the franchise.
But there were also some less than impressive things to this 2015 short film. First of all, and I am sad to say, that the choice of having Brian Cage play He-Man was just something that dumbfounded me. Sure, he had the physique to pull it off, but he looked like a confused version of Steve Austin but with less acting talent. And that struck a terrible blow to the movie. That being said, then I will go on to saying that the rest of the cast actually did proper jobs with their given roles and characters.
Furthermore, then the story wasn't all that captivating. Sure it had its limitations given this being a short film. But still, it was essentially just watching the good guys fighting the bad guys.
Moving back to the costumes, as in regards of things that were less than mediocre. Then the attempt at making Skeletor, well it was both good and bad. Good as it the fact that the costume worked and looked good. Bad as in the fact that they just painted actor Kevin Clark's nose black and it was so painstakingly obvious and noticeable that it wasn't a hole in the skeletal face of Skeletor. That was a bad thing and made Skeletor look like a spoof. I wonder why they didn't opt for a green-screen thing or something in order to remote the nose all together.
And while being on the costumes, then it was just hilarious to watch one of the metallic tubes on Tri-Klops' armor piece come loose during a fight, and then it was magically back in place in the very next scene.
The fact that you didn't get to see Hordak's face wasn't bad, and I guess it was a trick by director Daniel Benedict in order to entice the audience. I would have loved to see how they pulled off his face, but at the same time it was a nice enough thing to keep the audience in the dark with the approach that the director opted to go with.
And it should also be said that "Fall of Grayskull" is not for children, like the animated series are. This 2015 project is way more graphic and contains some visual violence which is very unlike what ever was seen in the cartoons. And what happened to two of the characters (see how I managed not to give away anything here), was in my opinion a bit too much. It was cool, yes. But it was too much in terms of director Daniel Benedict essentially having written off two characters in the franchise.
If they had had a bigger budget, then I am sure that director Daniel Benedict could have mustered so much more, because the heart was in the right place, as was the will to do something great for the "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" franchise. And this 2015 short film did poke the embers of the franchise, giving the fans a glimmer of hope for future projects.
All in all then "Fall of Grayskull" is a wholehearted attempt to pay homage to the "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" franchise by director Daniel Benedict. Just a shame that it suffered from poor choices. As such, I am rating it a mere four out of ten stars because I had initially hoped for more and expected a bit more from this 2015 short film.