In the 1980’s, the movie industry was always going around in circles trying to figure out how to make cohesive superhero movies. In retrospect, this struggle is fascinating for two reasons. Firstly, the failures of the 80s and 90s superhero movies seem more significant because there were far fewer films in the genre, which makes every misstep huge. And second, when old superhero movies have gone bad, the result has never been bland. The chess was spectacularly bizarre in its uniqueness.
This way the years 1984 Super girl is the most interesting superhero movie of all time. Not a great movie, and maybe not even passable, it’s still an essential viewing for anyone interested in pop sci-fi and superhero history in movies.
It would be easy to say that Super girl is such a bad movie, it’s good, better to watch with friends and booze. Superficially, that’s not a terrible way to approach it. Everyone wanted to, but the result was still far from sane. It’s tempting to say Super girl was a hilarious shipwreck, but that’s not entirely true.
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For starters, the plot is more absurd than most movies of this genre. Kara / Supergirl (Helen Slater) must leave Argo City (which exists in another dimension, of sorts) and come to Earth, where she goes undercover at a boarding school and fights a witch played by Faye Dunnaway. Mia Farrow plays Kara’s mother, Alura, and Peter O’Toole plays his wacky Obi-Wan Kenobi-esque mentor, Zaltar.
These stars are barely in the movie, as most of the action involves Supergirl on Earth. Ideally, everyone who matters to the plot all lives in the same small town. Imagine if the first Transformers the movies were set in a college town where the Autobots had to fight a witch, and you are close to the facility here.
The pace is weird, Supergirl’s powers are inconsistent, and the genre ranges from dark-fantasy horror to the bad ’70s. Doctor Who, sometimes in the same scene. But there are also some incredibly beautiful moments, and if you watch it right, there is a good movie lurking in what we have.
Super girl was directed by Jeannot Szwarc, the same person responsible for Christopher Reeve’s time travel romance in 1980, Somewhere in time. Does the bizarre inequality of Super girl Szwarc’s fault entirely? Maybe not. There are even indications that Jeannot Szwarc Super girl was the Justice League of his time. Two years later Super girl Underperformed at the box office and was lambasted by critics, Szwarc spoke to Starlog magazine:
âA week before filming began, Warner Bros. insisted on the changes right and left and they completely changed the conceptâ¦ You can’t change the concept this late in the gameâ¦ the story we had was a lot more global and more about Selena (Faye Dunnaway .) It wasn’t that [a] small town.”
Was Szwarc like the Zach Snyder of 1984? Maybe a little bit. Christopher Reeve was originally supposed to appear as Superman, and a plot point would have allowed Supergirl to save him. Don’t start demanding the Szwarc cut; most of the changes seemed to have happened in pre-production. And yet, because this film Is it that set in the Reeve-Superman universe (Mark McClure’s Jimmy Olsen appears), it’s funny to wonder what would have happened if this movie had been even a little better. Would there have been a super girl 2 who moved 80s DC cinema in a different direction?
For now you should watch Super girl because some of the scenes are really amazing. There is something about the 80s flight scenes that look more compelling and compelling than similar scenes in contemporary superhero movies. You can’t dispute how badass Henry Cavill looks as Superman, but Helen Slater’s appearance when she flies as Supergirl is infinitely more interesting.
When Superman flies today you always know you are looking at a special effect. When Helen Slater flies, there is a different kind of chemistry. it doesn’t look real, but it looks more organic. When Jerry Goldsmith’s score swells as Supergirl soars over Metropolis, you can imagine comic book fans losing their minds at the movies.
Helen Slater became a guest star on Smallville, then appears as Supergirl’s adoptive mother on The CW directed by Melissa Benoist Super girl Pin up. Could these Supergirl projects have happened without Slater playing the role first? Maybe, but it seems unlikely.
Despite its cheesy side, convoluted plot and totally absurd tone, Super girl always succeeds in a specific way: his main character feels like a real hero.
Super girl (1984) is now streaming on HBO Max.