THE RETURN OF CAPTAIN INVINCIBLE
LEGEND IN LEOTARDS
The film obtains a good deal of satiric mileage simply by rooting the comic-book superheroics in the real world. The opening mock newsreel and its pointed parody of the valiant moral heroism of 1950s comic-books, not to mention the contrast of it to the McCarthy witch-hunts, is a superb touch. The film was directed by Philippe Mora, whose next two films, the rock bottom likes of The Howling II (1985) and The Marsupials: The Howling III (1987), make it difficult to believe is the same director. Here Mora demonstrates a surprisingly instinctive touch for the bizarre exigencies of parody, manic slapstick that the script demands even leaps off into Rocky Horror-styled kinkiness. The most bizarre scene in a fight between Alan Arkin and a roomful of killer vacuum cleaners.
Alan Arkin seems somewhat miscast as Captain Invincible though, he lacking the necessary quality of heroic self-parody in his serious-intent performance, although the scene where his computer brain malfunctions ending with him running around the room hitting his head with books while babbling data at high speed, stands out memorably.
Philippe Moras other genre films are:- the worthwhile monster movie The Beast Within (1982), The Howling II (1985), The Marsupials: The Howling III (1987), the supposedly true-life alien abduction film Communion (1989), the wacky Art Deco Detective (1994), the space opera Precious Find (1996), the deliberately silly Pterodactyl Woman from Beverly Hills (1997) and the time travel film Continuity (2012). Steven E. De Souza later went onto write the scripts for various high profile action films including 48 Hrs. (1982), Commando (1985), The Running Man (1987) and Die Hard (1988), before making his directorial debut with Street Fighter (1994). The musical numbers are co-written by Richard OBrien, the warped genius behind The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975).