Thursday, 22 October 2015
Black Scorpion: The Television Series (2001)
Just before the end of last year, I reviewed 1995 superhero film Black Scorpion. While I wouldn't call it a good film, exactly, I found it fun in a very very "Iron Age of Comics" kind of way. So when I learned that the film had been spun-off into a TV show six years later, well I had to track it down.
What I found was ... well, Black Scorpion: The Television Series is like a bizarre fusion of the 60s Batman TV show with 1980s exploitation films, as played out under the strict content constraints of basic cable. It's a bizarre, Frankenstein's Monster-esque agglomeration of ill-fitting parts, clumsily stitched together (given the show's propensity to re-use footage, often re-stitched together) over a tired collection of narrative bones. In fact, the seams of the show are so obvious that halfway through the season I was moved to flowchart the typical episode outline. If you're a gamer, you can grab yourself an eight-sided die and play along.
Badly-acted and cheaply-made, this TV show occasionally sprouts an interesting idea or clever moment, but the ratio of fun to formulaic filler is way too small to recommend it. The show's inability to choose and stick to a 'tone' also undercuts it.
Because I hate myself, I wrote episode-by-episode recaps of the entire season. If you also hate me, feel free to read them and savour my pain :-)