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Black Scorpion II: Aftershock
Black Scorpion: Ground Zero

USA 1997
produced by
Roger Corman, Lance H. Robbins (executive), Joan Severance (co) for Concorde, New Horizon
directed by Jonathan Winfrey
starring Joan Severance, Whip Hubley, Sherrie Rose, Stoney Jackson, Matt Roe, Stephen Lee, Garrett Morris, Terri J.Vaughn, Steven Kravitz, Shane Powers, Carl Banks, David Harris, Christina Solis, Laura Harring, Gabrielle Beimford, Sean Gavigan, Kevin McLaughlin, Scott Valentine, Linda Hoffman, Manny Fernandez, Vincent Chase, Rick Rossovich, Jeffrey Scott Jensen, Slade Barnett, Mark Folger, Diane Koskela, Jeannie Millar, Kimberly Rowe, Jonathan Winfrey
written by Craig J.Nevius, music by Kevin Kiner, special makeup by Robert Hall, visual effects by Perry Harovas

Black Scorpion

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Prof Undershaft (Sherrie Rose) has nothing but the best of intentions when she invents a machine that will neutralize earthquakes - just what the City of Angels needs ... but not what the city's mayor Artie Worth (Matt Roe) needs, because earthquakes bring much needed relief Dollars - much needed for himself of course, not for the city. So he has professor Undershaft's machine sabotaged so it actually amplifies the next earthquake. That pretty much pushes the professor over the brink, and she becomes a masked supervillainess, Aftershock. She soon breaks the city's lead baddie Gangster Prankster (Stoney Jackson) from jail, so he can help her bring the city under her control.

There's just one woman standing in Aftershock's way: Black Scorpion (Joan Severance), mild-mannered policewoman Darcy Walker by day, tough-as-nails maked superheroine by night, who at the time only seems to have one real pressing problem: How to get her partner on the force Rick to be her partner in life as well. The earthquake at least works into that direction since his home gets smashed and he has to move in with her - this leads to sex before long. But Rick eventually starts to doubt Darcy, because he thinks as partner she's not having his back - which is only in part true, since every time his ass needs saving, Darcy turns into Black Scorpion to do just that ... but Rick simply doesn't know she's Black Scorpion and furthrmore thinks Black Scorpion is a dangerous vigilante.

Aftershock thinks Black Scorpion's power lies with her car and thus has Gangster Prankster steal her car - who in turn delegates the task to Argyle (Garrett Morris), a former carthief who is now - unbeknowest to Gangster Prankster - the Black Scorpion's mentor and chief mechanic, and the only one who knows her real identity. But Gangster Prankster has Argyle in his hands (or so he thinks) because he has kidnapped his girlfriend (Terri J.Vaughn) - so he gets the car, too. But Argyle would never really betray Black Scorpion, so in the end, Gangster Prankster gets blown up for his trouble and Black Scorpion gets her car back.

Aftershock wants to destroy the whole City of Angels by causing the biggest earthquake ever by going to all earthquakes' origin - the San Agelo Fault. Black Scorpion tries to stop her by calling on her conscience, and she has success, too, when she proves to Aftershock that the both of them are not all that different, and one can always choose to do the right thing, no matter how many times one has been wronged. Aftershock dies a heroine's death to save the city.

Meanwhile, Rick wanted to arrest the mayor, but became his hostage instead. And this time it's Darcy as herself who saves his ass ...

 

Lust like the first Black Scorpion, this movie looks and feels like a superhero comicbook come to life: Everything is over-the-top, the camp villains, their exaggerated powers, the masked and sexy crimefighter, her supercar, the super-absurd plot as such, and even the many caricature-like supporting characters. Also, the film enjoys itself in its silliness and campiness and doesn't take itself wholly seriously without playing it for the laughs. And it's breathtakingly paced, and while the action at times shows the low budget, it's expertly executed.

Now sure, Black Scorpion II isn't high art, and in all my admiration I wouldn't call it a masterpiece - it's just sooo much fun to watch!

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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screenwriter and film reviewer
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD