Supergirl – International European Version (1984/Warner Bros.)
Picture: C+ Sound: C+ Extras: C Film: C-
destroying the Superman franchise to get quick bucks out of it, Alexander and
Ilya Salkind still had rights to the character and his world, so they embarked
upon making a feature film out of Supergirl. Though they did not have the budget the
previous films had, they smartly landed unknown Helen Slater for the title role
and supported by an interesting cast that included Peter O’Toole, Faye Dunaway,
Mia Farrow, Brenda Vaccaro, Peter Cook, Simon Ward, Hart Bochner and even Mark
McClure as the series established Jimmy Olsen had all kinds of
possibilities. Too bad David Odell’s
screenplay is a comic book wreck.
is Selena (not to be confused with anything from any version of Catwoman), a fortune teller who gains
possession of a magic globe that gives her powers beyond anything she could
have ever imagined and she wants revenge and all the wealth in the world. Supergirl has newly arrived on earth as this
is all going on and assumes the secret identity of Linda Lee. Unfortunately, her first visit is awkward and
about to possibly become deadly.
the narrative is deadly in its bankruptcy of ideas with that “throw in
everything” feeling that graces just about all Salkind productions in the worst
way and even a reliable journeyman director like Jeannot Szwarc cannot overcome
the overproduction tendencies and sense that these actors have no where to go. I have seen the longest version of this and
it made no difference, yet the many cuts and hopes for at least a cult
following have caused this film to be issued several times on DVD already. That hasn’t happened yet.
talented Dunaway can only channel her Joan Crawford Mommie Dearest persona, Vaccaro is mixed as comic relief and the
bad story are matched by very bad visual effects. No wonder optical effects have such a bad
name. This is a British production, yet its
attempts to be Americanized are pointless, stupid and waste any energy that
might have made this entertaining in some way.
Slater did have some career after this, but most of the name actors here
paid with their careers.
want to see the best films in the series, you can read about them at the
– THE MOVIE (HD-DVD)
II – THE RICHARD DONNER CUT (HD-DVD)
there is the performance of this edition.
The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image is weak in the Video Black
department, has definition issues and the Rank Color is the only thing that
survives from what must have been a good looking film when the effects and
phony sets were not in the way. The
great Alan Hume, B.S.C., squeezed this between Roger Moore’s last two Bond
films, Octopussy (1983, which looks
better than this on both DVD versions) and A
View To A Kill (1985, which looks as bad this in either DVD release). This still looks better than if it had been
shot in HD, but is still mixed and no better or worse than previous DVD
one of the early 5.1 films, released in 70mm blow-up prints in Dolby Magnetic
5.1 sound, but you would never know it from this standard Dolby Digital 5.1
mix. Not even Jerry Goldsmith’s score
can save this film, plus what is up with those sound effects? The Salkinds seem to have their own personal
sound effects library of inept aural effects.
The DTS tracks on the older Anchor Bay copies were more like it.
include a trailer and feature length audio commentary by Szwarc and historian
want to see a good version of Supergirl, turn to Warner’s recent animated
series. At least they are smart and have
dignity. Otherwise, stick with the comic
books. Superman Family would do it!
- Nicholas Sheffo