Tuesday, April 4, 2006


Disney has just re-released Roger Corman's original super-hero flick BLACK SCORPION (1995) starring Joan Severance as a female Batman, complete with customized car and black rubber costume (only in this case, the nipples seen onscreen are real).

Severance (TV's WISEGUY) plays lady cop Darcy Walker, who turns her back on the law when her father is murdered by a mind-controlled agent of the Darth Vader-esque super-villain Breathtaker. Crafting a fetishistic costume (complete with black fishnet stockings and whip! Yeah!) and persuading one of her criminal contacts (Garret Morris, SNL) to build her some gadgets (including a high-tech mighty-morphin' Scorpionmobile) she soon sets out to exact justice as a super-vigilante – which puts her into conflict with her ex-partner (Bruce Abbot, RE-ANIMATOR).

Featuring a sweaty masked sex scene – which, let's face it, is surely a popular fantasy for lonely comic book fans – decent fight scenes, a cast of familiar character actors, tongue-in-cheek humor, and decent production values and FX (especially for the time and budget), Jonathan Winfrey's R-rated romp is more entertaining than some recent big-studio super-hero spectaculars. In fact, the film was popular enough as a cable and VHS rental title that it spawned a sequel film with Severance and a short-lived Sci-Fi Channel series with a different lead.

The Buena Vista DVD is presents the made-for-cable/video movie in its original 1.33:1 full screen aspect ratio with a Dolby Digital Surround mix. The print is in good shape, with only a very little evident dirt or damage, and the transfer is sharp and full of detail. The disc includes a commentary track by Severance as well as a video interview with the attractive actress, who reminisces about the making of the film. There's also a handful of text cast biographies and the original VHS trailer.

Hey, I liked it better than I thought I would. You might, too.

BUY: Black Scorpion