With just a $12,000 budget, all of which was raised via Kickstarter, the He-Man fan film, “Fall of Grayskull,” proves that a lot can be accomplished even with minimal funds. These folks don’t have the backing of Hollywood, but this short film proves that it takes a serious amount of passion and dedication to make something that can rival even the biggest blockbusters hitting the silver screen right now. And those two things are exactly what are on display here.
On a personal note, I’m not the biggest He-Man fan out there. It was something I grew up watching; I played with the toys; and I have even watched the Dolph Lundgren-starring film of the 80s on numerous occasions. But I can’t recall the last time I watched anything in relation to He-Man. And, yet, as I was watching “Fall of Grayskull,” I saw that writer/director Daniel Benedict is someone who is fully invested in the character and the whole “Masters of the Universe” world. This is obviously something he’s wanted to do for a while, and now that he’s gotten the opportunity, he shows people what He-Man means to him.
Essentially, this fan film focuses on how Skeletor has finally defeated He-Man and has taken over Castle Grayskull. With He-Man being rendered useless, it’s up to Teela to come in and defeat Skeletor, Tri-Klops, and other villainous “Universe” characters.
The costume design and makeup are both truly remarkable feats. The moment we see Skeletor appear, my eyes widened because of how much he looked like the cartoon character. And even though its lead actor, professional wrestler Brian Cage, tends to be donning a mohawk, the blonde wig he sports in “Fall of Grayskull” is a good fit for this picture.
Each actor involved truly showed that they were as dedicated to their performances as Benedict was to directing the film. It’s a blast to watch them all excel in their roles.
Clocking in at just 37 minutes, “Fall of Grayskull” provides a fair amount of both story and action during its short runtime. The action is well-choreographed, and while the whole film was shot on green screen, it’s not something that serves as a major distraction. And true “Masters of the Universe” fans will be delighted to hear a recognizable voice serving as the film’s opening narrator.
Those interested in “Fall of Grayskull” will want to read a prologue comic (found here) prior to watching the movie, so you can get a general sense of what’s going on. There will be one final screening at EllisCon XXVII in Danielson Conn. on Nov. 14. After that, the crew plans to upload the video to YouTube. Follow all the news on the film’s official website.