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Darcy (Joan Severance) is a cop, just like her dad (Rick Rossovich) was
- until he got fired for accidently shooting a doctor (Casey Siemaszko)
during a hostage situation. One day, while Darcy and dad are having a
beer, he, out of the blue, is shot dead - and not by anyone, but by the DA
(John Sanderford), who later claims he has no memory of the incident
(though there are enough witnesses to get him behind bars anyhow).
Heartbroken, Darcy tries to torture the truth about the DA - but is caught
and fired from the force.
Later, a prostitute (Terri J.Vaughn) Darcy was
supposed to protect if still on the force shows up badly beaten up - and
now Darcy decides to take justice into her own hands, puts on a revealing
costume and a mask, and starts moonlightning as a masked crimefighter,
first having revenge on the pimp (Darryl M.Bell) who has beaten up the
prostitute. This of course puts Darcy (or rather her other secret
identity) at odds with the police force and also her partner/almost
boyfriend Michal (Bruce Abbott) ...
Soon though, Darcy, who in her
crimefighter outfit goes by the name Black Scorpion, has something
bigger to deal with, apparently so far innocent people suddenly commit
stupid crimes they have no personal gain from, and later claim they can't
remember anything anymore - just like the DA who killed Darcy's father.
The only thing all of these people have in common is they use asthma
inhalers. The police doesn't make any of this, but Darcy soon finds out
the inhalers contain some non-traceable hypnotic drug. Interestingly, the
inhalers were al prescribed by one and the same doctor - who weirdly
enough is the very doctor her father killed all those years back ...
a super villain, the Breathtaker (Ed Gilbert) arrives on the scene, and he
threatens to poison the city's air supply (the city has just opened a big
clean air plant by the way). But he offers gasmasks to all of those who
want to survive - for a price of course. Darcy of course figures these
gasmasks might contain the same hypnotic drug as the inhalers.
Black Scorpion comes face to face with the Breathtaker, who turns out to
be the very doctor whom her dad has shot himself, who has been revived as
a cyborg ... which has been living hell, and by putting the whole city in
gasmasks, he figures they will all share his fate. Oh yeah, and that he
had the DA shoot Darcy's dad was pure revenge ...
Of course, everything
ends happily, Black Scorpion manages to overcome the Breathtaker's
minions, kill the Breathtaker, save her almost-boyfriend Michael's life,
and spin it in such a way that it looks as if Darcy and not the Black
Scorpion has defeated the villain - upon which she is promptly reinstated
within the force ...
Superheroes work best in comicbooks, where
their adventures are comprised to about 22 pages, there's action aplenty,
adn the women are allowed to wear ridiculously sexy outfits. On film on
the other hand, superhero adventures (at least since Batman in
1989) are usually unnecessarily epic, dead serious despite their
ridiculous subject matter (guys and girls in silly outfits fighting
villains with stupid plots), sex free to appeal to an audience as broad as
possible, and quite simply pretentious.
Black Scorpion is none of
all of that, it's a comicbook come to life in the best sense of the
expression (though it was not based on an actual comicbook): There is
action from beginning to end, Joan Severance is very sexy, and her
revealing outfit only proves that, the film doesn't shy away from sex and
nudity, and the film doesn't take itself seriously at all.
said, I wouldn't exactly label Black Scorpion a masterpiece, it's
just low budget fun - but it makes you wonder why there aren't more films
like this around.