Under a Black Helmet: Horror Writer in a HE-MAN Movie

Under a Black Helmet: Horror Writer in a HE-MAN Movie


This represents the sort of blog thingy I probably would have done back when this was actually happening, if internet existed back then. I was going through old acting days files, circa 1980’s, and it brought me back into a point in time when I played one of Skeletor’s troopers in MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE. I was called into production, and unlike most of the movies I did extra work in, we all knew it was the He-man movie rather than a fake title, like when I was in “Night of the Creeps” and for all we knew the movie was called “Creeps.”  

Going in, I was paid minimum wage to exchange my driver’s license for this hefty body suit with black/purple hard plastic armor I’d be wearing all day, all through the night, until the next day. And it was hard to pee in that thing.

I know what Darth Vader feels like. That’s a weird thing to know. I don’t mean the character, I mean whoever plays him when they put on that stuff. In my scenario, I was one in around twenty Darth Vader-looking people. A majority of the time, I as well as they were stuck in trailers waiting for someone in charge to call for us to put our cool helmets over our heads and take up our rubber laser rifles.  I distinctly remember reading the paperback of John Skipp & Craig Spector’s LIGHT AT THE END for the first time through the slit in my plastic helmet waiting for something to happen, occasionally lifting the lower part to guzzle coffee. 

There were times outside the trailer when I sword-fought the bald bad guy in the film who was dressed in silver and had twice as many swords as I did, I made Billy Barty laugh, but onscreen I fought & arrested Dolph Lundgren on a rooftop, I marched the streets of Woodland where a parade-type float with a body-double of Frank Langella was directly behind me, I fell a few times running because you can’t see through those damn things, and fell into a bunch of crates when Meg Foster shot at me.  At the end of the day I almost wished I could have taken home the suit and said to hell with my driver’s license. 

PHOTOS NOTE: I’m most likely the guy in the suit in the first photo, because there was a brief photo shoot where snapshots were taken of me that way. Second photo, not me, because that’s just a still image of one of us in Skeletor’s castle and it could have been any of us. Street: I should be the third trooper to the left.  We had to march up and down that fricken street a thousand times, it seemed like.  Next image, a scene that took up much of our time, on the rooftop.  Next image is where we fought Dolph. and I’ve looked over that scene again and again and I’m certain that’s my back view.  That’s what you get when you live around L.A. and you spend a grand tossing your resume and headshots around, and the face you’ve been pimping around isn’t even in it.  Tell that to Jeremy Bolloch, my “behind-the-mask” cinematic idol (Boba Fett), he must know what I’m talking about! 


About downwarden

Nicholas Grabowsky’s novels of horror/fantasy and mainstream pulp fiction, both as himself, as Nicholas Randers, and as Marsena Shane, have generated worldwide acclaim for over two decades and praised by many of today’s most popular horror gurus in the literary world. He began his career in traditional publishing houses with brisk sellers in mass market paperback horror and romance, and the last ten years have seen him hailed by many as a mentor and advocate to the smaller presses, which has become to him a passion. His body of work includes the award-winning macabre aliens-among-us epic The Everborn, The Rag Man, Pray Serpent’s Prey, Halloween IV (and its special edition), Diverse Tales, Reads & Reviews, The Wicked Haze, Sweet Dreams Lady Moon, June Park, and Red Wet Dirt, numerous anthologies, magazine articles, and self help books, with projects extending to screenplays, poetry, songs, film, comics and graphic novels, and a wide variety of short fiction and nonfiction since the 1980’s. He’s a veteran special guest at numerous genre conventions and makes appearances and signings across North America. He has been in the limelight a radical gospel preacher right out of high school and in the following years a rock vocalist, teacher, lecturer and activist, editor, publisher and founder of the Sacramento-based Diverse Media small press, which has recently blossomed into the subdivisions of Black Bed Sheet Books, which publishes “exemplary literature, fiction & non” but specializes in horror/fantasy, and Black Bed Sheet Productions, which produces independent film, and sponsors both the hit Blog Talk Radio show Francy & Friends and the popular web stream Black Hamster TV. Currently, Nicholas is at work with numerous anthologies, graphic novels and comic books, an Everborn sequel and the novels The Downwardens and The Sirens of Knowland. His independent film projects include the upcoming slasher creature feature Cutting Edges, as well as co-writing the independent film Into the Basement, for Triad Pictures. View all posts by downwarden

One response to “Under a Black Helmet: Horror Writer in a HE-MAN Movie

  • Martin

    thats so awesome…i own one of this suits in the meanwhile…they looking so great even from close.
    Take a look on it at my website:

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