Supergirl (1989) from Tuna and Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Supergirl (1984) has just been released in a director's cut with an additional 24 minutes of footage that was thought to be lost forever. The transfer is good to very good, but the DVD is bare bones. I had never seen the film, but found it a quick enjoyable watch despite the expanded 138 minute running time. It is a typical comic book movie, with the usual conflicts and plot.


There is nothing even approaching nudity
IMDB readers rate it 3.8 of 10, the lowest score for any film with Slater, and nearly Dunaway's worst score as well. I think the score reflects the problem of trying to compare all films using one yardstick.  Critics savaged the film, and audiences stayed away in droves, but the following snippet from the Apollo review might explain why I enjoyed it. "But it's not really that bad, especially if you have high tolerance for cinematic cheese, not the least of which is the shockingly omnipresent over-emoting of female ham extraordinaire Faye Dunaway. Ridiculous dialogue, wooden performances and story pacing that would make a snail envious are among of the more noticeable flaws. But guess what? If this one catches you in the right mood, you could still have a good time." As a PG rated comic book film, this one hits the mark exactly C.

Scoop's notes:

It is believed by mathematicians and astronomers that there must be intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. Given that fact, there may someday be someone else in the universe with a positive comment about Supergirl. Until that time, Tuna is standing alone. It is one of the six lowest rated comic book movies of all time, rated fractionally lower than the noted stinkfest, Howard the Duck. It received 0% positive reviews, and managed to be hated by audiences who loved the Superman series and were prepared to embrace this extension of that series.

People have asked "if Roger Ebert knows so much about movies, then why is it that these are the only ones he's ever been involved with?"

The same question could easily be asked about me, because I was involved in the pre-production stages of Supergirl, and was actually responsible for a major national retailer doing a promotion with this film, thus proving that I know jack shit about movies. Part of the reason that it stinks is my involvement. The highly pragmatic Alexander Salkind had the rights to the franchise, and wanted to milk it for all it was worth. He was the type of guy who considered a movie to be "product" - that was the term he used - and for him, this script was simply product in the pipeline. If we wanted changes in the script, well, he let us know that anything was possible if the price was right. That shows you what was really important in the creation process, as opposed some who believe one should get the film right in the first place. It was really a shameless hack job. The film bombed, the promotion bombed, and it was undoubtedly the low point in my career.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • bare bones

  • widescreen anamorphic, 2.35

 List criterion: IMDb score under 4.0.

8 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993) 3.9
7 Howard the Duck (1986) 3.8
6 Supergirl (1984) 3.8
5 Batman & Robin (1997) 3.5
4 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) 3.3
3 Barb Wire (1996) 3.3
2 Captain America (1991) 2.7
1 Steel (1997) 2.6

The Critics Vote

  • Apollo 33/100,

  • Peter O'Toole and Faye Dunaway received Razzie nominations for their portrayals.

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 3.8/10, Apollo users 24/100


IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a E by our definition. It is a film that is completely despised by people who normally love comic book movies. Tuna rates it a C. Based on his citation "Ridiculous dialogue, wooden performances and story pacing that would make a snail envious are among of the more noticeable flaws", I guess he is rating it there in the genre of "movies so bad they are good".

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