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SuperSlater must to deal with that ugly witch called Faye Dunaway
Supergirl was a typical B-movie of 80s; taken by comic-book DC comic's, the movie was been the attempt from the producers for to put back the Superman series that was in crisis. This picture was a female version of her more famous predecessor. In 1984 Supergirl was a mega-flop but after years it's became a sort of cult for the camp-lovers; this movie was considered among he bad movies that for their exceptional ugliness belong to a limbo that trespasses on Cult movie's land.
The plot is very simple: the young Kara, Superman's cousin from Krypton goes down in the Earth for to recover a powerful sphere called Omegahedron that is indispensable for survival of her people. The magical object is ended for error in the clutches of a evil terrestrial witch of middling quality. Her name is Selena and she was crazy and megalomaniac, she plans to use the Omegahedron for nothing less than world domination. Blonde Kara becomes Supergirl in the Earth with many super-powers and she signs up at a girls' school, Midvale, passing herself off as brunette Linda Lee. The wicked Selena and Supergirl battles for the possession of Omegahedron but it's also a love-rivalry because both wants a pretty gardener Etahn. The witch casts a spell with love-potion over the hank-man but obviously he falls in love for her more pretty and young arch-nemesis.
The picture has any merits: French director Jeannot Szwarc gives to the movie the right atmosphere easy and free and the photography with bright colour makes the images such a really comic book, the music-theme from Jerry Goldsmith was wonderful and all this does to tolerate the absurd screenplay by David Odell and the banal dialogue.
Also any interpretations are good: in the title-role Helen Slater at her film-debut is really perfect; at the time of production she was 19 years old but she was able to make believable her character; alternating now a sweet kind of innocence now a resolute strength. Slater is the really star of the film and she's so lovely and sexy with the super-heroine costume and her wonderful blond hair that it's not possible to imagine another better Supergirl.
This very guessed choice is a major merit of the movie but clashes noisily with the major blame of the movie that is the villainess played by the horrible Faye Dunaway. All about Selena is dreadful: the character is super silly, Dunaway acting is the worst possible and the great potentiality of have a rivalry between two powerful women over the power was been dilapidated.
Already the choice of a witch as adversary of Supergirl was inadequate but to have also a witch goofy and awkward ends for become the movie in a truly camp farce. In a good superhero movie must a villain even with irony but really menacing and dangerous, here it's the grotesque and clumsy Selena that don't represents never a problem for Supergirl. The narrowness of dull rival is testified from the fact that even if seems be part of her plan for world domination, the witch is more worried to be able to have a man more young than her. Really this undertaking for Dunaway looks very desperate and seems more difficult than the world conquest.
The two lead characters are completely at the opposite side of female spectrum both for appearance and for nature. If Slater super-heroine is blond, has smooth hair and very fine features, she's young and athletic, on the contrary Dunaway is red, curly and her face features are very coarse, she's not spring-chicken and goofy. As much Slater is sexy, charming, sweet, simple and altruist as Dunaway is ugly, unattractive, bitchy, misleading and egoist. The camp lovers likes Dunaway performance but her acting is truly over-the-top and she's so hamming it up that her presence is really embarrassing and hard to tolerate. This enormous ham actress is so intentionally exaggerated in her expressions and she not restrains the grin never that finally I'm very glad for her horrid end as a feeding for a vulgar monster type-Godzilla. Dunaway seems very amusing for her performance thinking to be funny and deliciously malicious but really she looks very awful and ridiculous.
Except the very bad witch Faye all the rest of rich cast gives a good job: always great Peter O'Toole as a charismatic Zaltar, funny Brenda Vaccaro as Selena sidekick and Peter Cook as Dunaway's mentor, Hart Bochner is the love-interest for both lead women and the Woody Allen muse Mia Farrow has a little cameo as Slater's mother.