Sunday, January 26, 2014

Superchick (1973)

One has many choices when trying to identify the strangest element of this low-budget sex comedy, but the title is a strong contender. Although one would naturally assume that a movie called Superchick is about a woman who gains extraordinary powers, Superchick is instead about a big-breasted flight attendant who uses a demure secret identity to avoid attention between sexual liaisons with lovers in various cities. Yes, the titular lass actually sneaks into phone booths to change costume, Superman-style, when shifting from her disguise as a mousy brunette into her genuine persona as an Amazonian blonde. Joyce Jillson stars as Tara B. True, who keeps boyfriends in Los Angeles, Miami, and New York—but also makes time for quickies with interesting strangers she meets along the way. In dialogue and voiceover, Tara describes herself as a paragon of liberation, making sexual choices without the hangups of normal societal expectations. As in so many creepy ’70s smutfests, however, the high ideals of women’s lib get transmogrified into dubious justifications for sex scenes and topless shots. (Despite her bluster, Tara seems more liberated from her clothes than from anything else.) The movie’s attempts at ribald comedy are painfully stupid, so Tara says things like, “Last one in bed gets no head,” and she ends up in such insipid predicaments as her visit to the sex dungeon of an old man (John Carradine) who gets off on being whipped by ladies. Putting further lie to the notion of Superchick as a statement about liberation are scenes that make Tara seem like a garden-variety nymphomaniac. When she meets a soldier who hasn’t gotten laid in two years, she drags him into a bathroom and all but rapes him, explaining her motives in voiceover: “I was never a super patriot, but there comes a time to lie down and be counted.” Anyway, if the preceding hasn’t been sufficient to save you from suffering through Superchick, be warned that the movie also contains incompetently staged karate scenes and a tacky use of Ravel’s “Bolero.” In fact, the only interesting thing about Superchick is the subsequent career of the star—Jillson later became a celebrity astrologer, reportedly helping to advise client Nancy Reagan on Ronald Reagan’s choice of George W. Bush as vice president.

Superchick: LAME

1 comment:

Booksteve said...

In early 1980, I dialed in to talk with Joyce on a radio call-in show about astrology. We spoke for a bit about my sign and my chart and she said May 12th would offer my best luck of the whole year!

Come May 12th, I ended up in the hospital for the first time in my whole life, suffering from a kidney stone that took 6 months to pass! That's when I stopped believing in horoscopes!