Friday, 8 July 2016

Electra Woman & Dyna Girl (2016)



Sid and Marty Krofft are probably best known these days for the psychedelic kids's show H R Pufnstuf, but several years after that they produced a series of 15-minute superhero episodes revolving around Electra Woman & Dyna Girl.  This duo was a pretty flagrant gender-swap and send-up of the duo of Batman and Robin.  The show ran for a single season as part of The Kroffy Supershow and was then discontinued.

Forty years later, we have this updated version of the pairing, which can be viewed either as eight 11 minute episodes or as a single film.  I picked it up on Google Play in the latter format, myself.

The new version stars Youtubers Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart in the lead roles, and posits a world in which there was previously a great showdown between the superheroes and supervillains.  This event, known as the Shadow War, resulted in victory for the former and the complete disappearance (possibly annihilation?) of the latter.  With the superheroes of the world now having no supervillains to fight, the costumed vigilante trade has become just another brand of celebrity, with product endorsements and fan conventions.

Lori and Jude - a.k.a. EW and DG respectively - aren't part of that high profile circuit, though.  They're just a couple of ordinary folks who've put on lycra costumes, made themselves some gadgets, and set out to protect people and make the world a better place.  I mean sure, they  - Lori in particular - would like to have a bit of fame and fortune for their efforts.  But that's not what motivates them.

And then a Youtube video of them stopping a convenience store goes viral and the small town heroes found themselves very much the flavour of the month in the big city.  Lori embraces this, but Jude is far less enthused. Will their partnership survive this sudden and profound change in their lives?  Or will they have much more fundamental survival concerns after the emergence of the first supervillain in a generation?

Electra Woman & Dyna Girl resorts to scatological or gross out humour a little too readily for my tastes, and the big conflict over their new lifestyle feels a big under-cooked and rushed.  On the other hand, it does overall have a breezy air that makes it quite watchable, Hannah Hart shows some genuine chops as an actor, and I really liked that both women were portrayed as capable and resourceful and we didn't get that whole "maybe I'm not cut out to be a hero" plotline they trot out so often in this sort of thing.

Not a film of substance, but a fun little flick.  Check it out if you're in the mood for something light.

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