Black Scorpion is a scrappy, silly, low-budget Batman Returns rip-off that freely admits that it's a scrappy, silly, rip-off. That alone doesn't make it a good expenditure of one's time, but it's nice to see a campy little schlock-fest that at least respects the movies it's stealing from.
Starring the always-lovely Joan Severance as a meek lady cop who moonlights as a vengeance-hungry super-heroine, Black Scorpion is so broad and cartoony that it almost caves in on itself and becomes a freakin' mess. But there's just enough good humor, intentional campiness, and fast-paced action to suit the needs of those who dig this sort of thing. (Like me, apparently.)
Look, as far as B-movies go, I say there's nothing wrong with a sexy scorpion-woman who, despite having no natural powers, is able to knock bad guys out with her pointy pony-tail, get behind the wheel of a chameleon car, and erase the memories of sex from the brain of a former lover. And once the plot develops to a point where you learn that the main villain's name is "The Breathtaker" and that he has two burly female wrestlers as henchpersons ... you begin to realize that absolutely nothing in Black Scorpion is meant to be taken seriously.
There's also some fun to be found in the casting side of the equation. It's not too often you'll find a movie that includes Bruce Abbott (Re-Animator), Rick Rossovich (Navy Seals), Casey Siemaszko (Three O'Clock High), and Garret Morris (The Stuff) sharing time with a blue-eyed babe who beats butt with her knee-high sexy-boots.
For what it is, which is a downright ridiculous take on the super-hero schpiel, Black Scorpion is actually pretty entertaining. And for all its broad (and periodically inane) silliness, it's a b-flick that delivers what it promises, with a whole lotta Severance on the side.
Video: Full frame and filmy-lookin'. Picture quality's fine enough, I suppose, but this isn't the sort of presentation that DVD was created for.
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround. It runs a little on the low side, but you're probably not watching a flick like Black Scorpion for the quieter moments.
Now here's a nice surprise. Most of the new Corman/Disney releases come with next to nothing in the supplemental department, but I guess somebody recognizes Black Scorpion as some sort of fan favorite.
First up is an 18-minute Joan Severance Introduction, in which the still-beautiful babe looks back on the experience that was "B.S." She plainly knows how nutty the flick is, but she seems to dig it all the same. Good for her.
If that's not enough the sate your Joan jones, then click on over to the feature-length audio commentary with Joan Severance. She offers several empty spots and repeats some several tidbits from the intro piece, but I doubt that any of her fans will mind all that much.
Also included are a few biographies and some trailers for Black Scorpion 2, Vice Girls, and Destination Vegas.
I'm guessing I'm not the only movie geek who found something to enjoy in Black Scorpion; the flick yielded a sequel, a short-lived TV series, and two more movies after that. Guess there's something to be said for a mega-curvy super-heroine who's not afraid to kick ass in a shiny black corset.