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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Black Scorpion: SE
Black Scorpion: SE
New Concorde // R // January 23, 2001
List Price: $14.98 [Buy now and save at Dvdempire]
Review by G. Noel Gross | posted October 26, 2001 | E-mail the Author
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
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CineSchlock-O-Rama

The King of Bs established a lucrative relationship with Showtime in the mid-90s with "Roger Corman Presents," which showcased feature-length reinterpretations of his studio's films. His next movie for the network would borrow from the sex'd up babes of contemporary comics and the floundering big-screen Batman franchise to create a seductive supervixen known as the Black Scorpion (1995, 92 minutes). "I believe the female action hero, comic-book style, has the same primal appeal as the heroines of mythology," Corman reasoned. "The paradox of a woman who is both beautiful and lethal, both seductive and powerful." Audiences agreed and a sequel was quickly produced the following year to meet demand. Then Roger got a strange call. The films were so popular overseas that a German company wanted to option the rights to produce a TV show. Corman politely declined and set to work on his own series, as he's never been one to not act on a good idea. No matter whose it was. Twenty-two episodes and more than 15 Playboy bunnies later the SciFi Channel has itself a smoldering star in neuvo-Scorpion Michelle Lintel. There's a reason he's the king, folks.

The movie: A hard-boiled cop is drummed out of the force when he accidentally guns down a doctor in an emergency room shootout. Eighteen years later, his daughter Darcy (sexy Texan Joan Severance) aims to vindicate his name with her own stellar criminal justice career, which includes dawning sinfully snug whorin' skivvies to lure a murderous pimp. Such antics are tabled when pop (now a drunken security guard) is gunned down by a district attorney under the mind control of the evil Breathtaker. His wheezing warriors terrorize the city while the iron-lunged super villain clangs around like a gasping Darth Vader impersonator. Mild-mannered Darcy decides to adopt an alter identity to seek the vengeance her badge won't allow. She slinks into fishnet stockings, leather stiletto-heeled boots and other fetishwear to crack the whip -- literally -- against the backside of villainy as the Black Scorpion. Thing is she has no special powers, so her street-wise buddy Argyle (Garrett Morris) tricks out her ORANGE Corvette into a transforming mobile anti-crime cruiser. Beyond that, she relies on her kung fu skills, whip and tazerfied scorpion ring to bloody unruly henchmen. Unfortunately, her nighttime activities draw unfavorable attention from Johnny Law including her partner Mike (Bruce Abbott) who she desperately wants to have her way with. He's obsessed with Black Scorpion, first to jail her, later to bed her, so a weird love triangle interjects some steamy digressions from the save-the-city plot line. CineSchlockers will remember Mr. Abbott as Dan Cain the unlikely accomplice of Herbert West in the gore classic Re-Animator.

Notables: Six breasts. 15 corpses. Cat fighting. Gratuitous bedtime story. Multiple car chases with explosions. Belligerent drunk. Whore slapping. Chaste shower scene. Multiple stiletto kicks to the crotch. Diddling. One bachelor omelette. Jet boots. Repeated gun battles. Gratuitous oil-slick with four-car pile up. Morphing.

Quotables: Bank robber fails to make a clean getaway, "That bitch got BLOOD all over my money!" Darcy shuns the stripper look in her everyday life, "Somehow, I just don't see these boots becoming part of my wardrobe." Fellow cop compliments her work, "Nice bust, Darcy." John objects to hooker's lack of basic etiquette, "You know, for 25 bucks at least you could remember my name!" Breathtaker reissues this groaner, "Can't we all just get along?!" Argyle teases Darcy, "There she is now! The WHITE Black Scorpion!"

Time codes: This cowgirl stripper is right on time according to the Corman 15-page rule of nekkidness (13:30). Our Not Ready For Prime-time Player (17:44). Finally, a comic-book worthy bad guy (22:54). Birth of a superhero (30:27). Breathtaker's tether is clearly visible (59:20). Mike is ravaged by the Black Scorpion (1:04:50). The death of Darth Vader (1:24:22).

Audio/Video: Presented in its original made-for-TV fullframe format. The print exhibits digital grain common to many transfers of dark scenes. Its robust stereo track rumbles in all the places it should (like the groovy kung fu footage).

Extras: An alleged commentary track by Joan Severance, which she bails out of after an hour of pregnant pauses and gee-whiz recollections. Ms. Severance almost makes up for the disaster with an 18-minute interview reel where she gabs about the film, including not being able to visit the little girls room after being sewn into her catsuit. Also included are trailers for Black Scorpion II, Vice Girls and Destination Vegas. Static menus with audio.

Final thought: Joan Severance in thigh-highs kicking supervillain hiney?! Thank you, Mr. Corman! Highly Recommended.

Check out CineSchlock-O-Rama
for additional reviews and bonus features.

G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.
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