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Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman 1974

Continuing my month of the more obscure and cult superhero films I’m taking a look at probably the least well known version of a popular superhero going back to the first TV pilot of the Wonder Woman TV show. Most people are familiar with the popular Lynda Carter show from the 70’s, but before they cast Carter they actually shot, filmed, and aired a very different version of the show with actress Cathy Lee Crosby as Diana Prince. And while I haven’t really seen any full episodes of the Carter version aside from a few clips, this felt very different than what I would imagine the later show went on to be. It had much more of a serious tone to it and felt more like a detective show rather than a superhero show. She barely wore the costume, there were no special effects to show off any super powers to speak of, and there was actually quite a bit of death and danger. It was quite fascinating to look back at this version of the character even though it barely resembled anything I knew about Wonder Woman aside from her name and the name of Steve Trevor.
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The Spirit

The Spirit 1987

To go along with the other cult movies that other bloggers have picked out for me, I thought I’d follow along with some cult films of my own choosing. I have no idea whether or not this really counts as much of a cult film, though I have heard from at least two people who have seen this and thought it was much better than the theatrical Frank Miller version. This was made in the mid-Eighties with Sam J. Jones as the lead, better known as Flash Gordon himself. It also had Nana Visitor as his love interest who I was familiar with as Major Kira on Star Trek: Deep Space 9. But most of all, this pilot movie was extremely 80’s. From the music to the cheap sets to the power suits and cassette walkmen, it was very much steeped in the 80’s and for that reason alone, I had a lot of fun watching this. Most of it is even set up to have much more of a comedy feel than an action/detective vibe. It was as close to Adam West’s Batman with a bit more 80’s sensibilities than you could ever get.
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Ben 10: Alien Swarm

Ben 10: Alien Swarm 2009

And now we come to the film that will likely wrap up this month of kids movies unless I happen to squeeze one more in tomorrow. I ran a Twitter poll of a few options to choose, and this was the movie that won. Now I am only slightly aware of Ben 10 as a concept, I know that it started out as a cartoon and has gone through various different series as well as a couple different live action movies and this was the latter of those, and probably not the best choice for an entry point into this universe. But surprisingly this was much less difficult to understand the overall basics of the world than the two Power Rangers films and that’s even including my past experience with the Power Rangers. Considering the fact that it was a made for TV movie, it was much better than I expected. There were some interesting concepts thrown around even though they were treated with kid gloves for the most part. What it did do the most was make me curious about the Ben 10 universe as a whole.
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The Trial of the Incredible Hulk

The Trial of the Incredible Hulk 1989

My first real exposure to the 1970’s Incredible Hulk series was the final film the Death of the Incredible Hulk, so I decided that I would go ahead and continue the trend by watching the three films that followed the series in the reverse order. This was the second of those films and was originally intended to introduce Daredevil as a possible series in its own right. I find it interesting how television was handled differently back then, there are many series that initially started out as a stand alone pilot movie, and if the movie was successful, then it would launch into production to air the next year give or take. It’s also worth noting that while I didn’t care for the Death of the Incredible Hulk at all, I generally enjoyed this film. There was a lot more done with its television budget in terms of sets and cinematography, and the characters felt more fleshed out. There were still plenty of gaping plot holes and sub par special effects, but they were integrated into the story much better.
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Model By Day

Model By Day 1993

Every once in a while I run across a movie that I don’t really know anything about aside from the title, the year it came out, and the fact that it’s related to superheroes or based on a comic book. That’s all I knew about this film, and after watching it, I suddenly wanted to know a lot more about it, but couldn’t find anything else. All I know is that it’s supposedly a TV movie and the only air date I could find was on the Fox channel March 21, 1994, as well as vague (USA) release date of October 11, 1993 via IMDB. But the kicker is that this is very much an R rated film with a not-insignificant amount of nudity, some swearing, and noted Cinemax queen Shannon Tweed in a minor role. This would lead me to believe that it originally aired on Cinemax or a similar station, but I can’t find confirmation of that anywhere. This film is also noteworthy as the lead is an early role for Famke Janssen who would later go on to play Jean Grey in the X-Men films. I went in expecting a pretty bad film, and it was actually a lot more enjoyable than I expected. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a cheezy, slightly sleazy, made-for-TV movie made in the 90’s, but I had a lot of fun watching it, and Famke Janssen had a lot of charisma even back then.
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The Death of the Incredible Hulk

The Death of the Incredible Hulk 1990

As is usually the case, life tends to get in the way of plans. And while I was planning on moving on into some comic book adaptations that weren’t superhero movies, I have yet to watch any of those. And instead, I ended up watching this made for TV pseudo series finale for the old Incredible Hulk TV show with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno for the return of Filmwhys here in a week or two. This film falls in a really weird space in time. It came out the year after Tim Burton’s Batman, but since it was still tied into the television series it retained all of the 70’s and 80’s style of special effects which make it look a lot more dated than a 1990 movie should look. And even though I haven’t watched the original episodes of the show, it really felt like just an extended episode with a tacked on ending to give it some finality.
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Filmwhys Extra #24 Constantine Season 1

Filmwhys Extra #24 discussing the first season of NBC’s Constantine with web author Stefan Gagne from StefanGagne.com. We talk a little bit about the comic book origins, the Keanu Reeves movie, and the possibility for a season 2. Also, a quick note that the Filmwhys archives have been updated with all of the older episodes through #40, and split up into multiple pages as well so you don’t have to scroll through 40+ poster images to find the episode you’re looking for. The Extra episodes will be updated probably next weekend.
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This Week at Channel: Superhero

Instead of my previous weekly superhero TV re-caps, I wanted to help spread the word a bit more on my new site, Channel: Superhero so I thought that the best way to do that is to continue to share the weekly superhero shows on TV, though if you want to read more about the episode and comment, feel free to do that over on my sister site, which you can also find through the link in the sidebar that looks like a remote control.
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Filmwhys Extra #21 Channel: Superhero

Episode #21 of Filmwhys Extra where I am announcing my new website, Channel: Superhero and some of the people who have joined me to write about all the superhero TV shows past, present, and future. With me are Rachel Thuro, Shah Shahid, Bruce Leslie, and Todd Liebenow. We discuss what shows we’ll be covering at Channel: Superhero as well as some of the superhero shows we grew up with and ones we’re watching this season.
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This Week in Superhero TV 11/30 – 12/5

Welcome back to another week of super-heroics and a little bit of news for you. I don’t generally talk about news much, but I am a big fan of the underrated show Don’t Trust the B– in Apartment 23 with Krysten Ritter as the lead so I wanted to talk a little bit about a recent announcement. There hasn’t been a whole lot of news that I’ve noticed that concerns the Netflix Marvel shows that aren’t Daredevil. But they recently announced the leads for the upcoming shows Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. I personally don’t have any exposure at all to Luke Cage or Jessica Jones other than the fact that all of the Netflix series are supposedly more down to Earth and less superpowered. I also don’t know much about Mike Colter who was cast as Luke Cage, but I’m completely on board with Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones. Things are starting to ramp up before slowing down as the current shows start getting into their midseason finales, with Gotham last week, The Walking Dead this week, and the Flash next week. While Agent Carter starts a month from now and iZombie somewhere around there as well. And as always, I’d like to thank Rachel Thuro for tackling the Walking Dead. And I just realized that I forgot to watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. this week, I’ll either add it in tomorrow, or add it to next week’s post.
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