10 Great Sci-Fi Villains Trapped In Terrible Movies

9. Skeletor - Masters Of The Universe (1987)

Masters Of The Universe Skeletor
Cannon Films

As He-Man’s popularity began to dwindle in the late '80s, an infamous science-fantasy film adaptation was made as a last-ditch attempt to breathe life back into the franchise. Unfortunately, this was more like the final wonky, rusted nail in its coffin.

Series antagonist Skeletor has always been, for many, the crown jewel of the He-Man universe, and even in Gary Goddard’s ghastly attempt to bring the figurine-selling machine to the big screen, this fact remains true.

To be fair, it isn’t hard to look good next to Dolph Lundgren in this film, who displays the acting chops of a 2x4 plank of wood. Lundgren looks like he has genuinely no idea what’s going on half the time, and spends the other half gurning like a madman. Blend that with awkward dialogue, clumsy fight scenes, and the unpopular choice to set most of the movie on Earth as opposed to Eternia, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster.

Thankfully, classical actor Frank Langella wades through this sea of '80s cheese and transcends a dodgy skeletal nose-job on an otherwise outstanding costume to provide a truly memorable performance. His insatiable urge to see He-man not just die, but crumble in submission to him emits an aura of true wickedness. Where Langella lacks the irresistibly lovable pantomime charm of the cartoon Skeletor, he replaces it with pure, bad to the bone, Shakespearean villainy. He dares anything!


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