Supergirl: Is It Awfully Good or Just Awful?

Now that The Flash has hit theaters to reset the DC Universe, Awfully Good Movies is running back in time to watch the debut film for one of The Flash’s breakout characters, Helen Slater in 1984’s SUPERGIRL!

In between the disappointment of Superman III and the catastrophe of Superman IV, original franchise producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind decided to switch focus from the Man of Steel to his female cousin Kara Zor-El with an in-universe spinoff that’d have a cameo from Christopher Reeve himself to mentor his fellow Kryptonian and star Helen Slater in the young actress’ debut role. But after Reeve turned the film down before filming, and Warner Bros. grew so fed up with the Salkinds that they sold the distribution rights back to them, Supergirl would instead flop so hard at the box office that the Salkinds just gave up on the Superman film rights altogether, and it’s not hard to see why the Woman of Tomorrow failed here for reasons other than superpowered sexism.

From Slater’s flat lead performance that results from her badly written dialogue, to an incomprehensible plot about retrieving a magic power ball back for a visibly drunk Peter O’Toole before a visibly embarrassed Faye Dunaway uses it to magically take over the world, to special effects on Supergirl that look nearly as bad as her effects in The Flash, it’s no less of a disaster than pairing Superman up with Richard Pryor or nuclear powered musclemen. Still, Supergirl does deserve respect for being the first major female superhero in film history, even if the film itself doesn’t earn a single ounce of respect.

And hey, thank God this would be the last time that the names of Superman or Supergirl would ever be associated with a box office disappointment that suffered from the movie having subpar visual effects. Yep… nothing but cinematic quality from then on from DC… not a SINGLE problem!

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50 thoughts on “Supergirl: Is It Awfully Good or Just Awful?

  1. The film had a perfect cast, and they clearly spent a lot of money on it (it looks better than Superman 3 or 4). But it has a mess of a script which badly needed a re-write. It had all the right ingredients, but that incoherent mess of a script lets the whole thing down. I'll always love it though.
    On another note: the town they shoot in is actually the Pinewood studios backlot – it's very impressive. If you didn't know you could easily believe it was shot in a town in the US.

  2. This movie is a guilty pleasure of mine…. And although the story might not be all that good, Helen Slater looked pretty damn hot as Supergirl!

  3. This review is a terrible edit full of bad photoshops, poor crops, and an annoying script with terrible jokes. 07:44 – stop doing those silly voices over the scenes. It's woefully bad and not funny.

    Why did you change the format? Your reviews are usually good.

  4. Supergirl (1984) is one of my favourite so bad it’s good movies. It’s an hilarious train wreck that has Helen Slater perfectly casted as Supergirl and honestly I really love Melissa Benoist as TV’s Supergirl

  5. This is a movie that had all the right ingredients to be good. Great casting, a decent director, special effects that were passable for its time. Everything but a decent screenplay. They needed to do a page one rewrite.

  6. Wow this is a straight review copy of the Double Toasted Super Girl review, You should be ashamed sir! Because of your additives I kept watching.

  7. It's one of the strangest films to review. Because it's extremely flawed, but at the same time I've seen it doezens of times. Helen Slater was the perfect Supergirl. It was clearly a missed opportunity because Jeannot Szwarc isn't a good director Jaws 2 was saved by Roy Scheider and the producers of the first film . As flawed as it is …Helen Slater saves it and it's too bad she didn't get another chance with a better script and director because she was perfect casting

  8. Every review of this movie, pointing out just how bad it is, always forgets its terrible movie poster. It shows Supergirl flying in New York City past the Statue of Liberty. First off, Supergirl never goes to NYC, and the Statue of Liberty in the poster was backwards. Backwards as in reversed or mirror image.

  9. Good lord!! i dunno what is up with you with this video but the jokes and memes are so not funny, maybe you having a bad day but this got old and annoying very fast. sorry

  10. Wonder Woman's 1984 was obviously a wink at Supergirl 1984, a lovely gesture. I know it bombed badly but I remember really enjoying it.

  11. I liked the movie. Helen Slater and Faye Dunaway don't try to be Reeves and Hackman. Helen's Supergirl is a hero who doesn't know the rules of Earth and Faye's character is a villain who doesn't know what she's doing when in possession of the powerful artifact. It's a fun clean movie to watch that doesn't have a political agenda attached to it.

  12. I'm only halfway through this video and feel incredibly embarrassed for all the actors in this movie. WTF??? It's like the writers made things up as they went along. This is painfully stupid. I wish Slater had a good Supergirl movie to star in.

  13. I like Supergirl. Despite it's flaws, I think it's a great movie and I don't think it's all that bad. Bad than most of the crap DCEU movies. I was born the same year Supergirl was released in cinemas. Helen Slater really suited playing Supergirl and she was born to play the character. It was a shame it was her first and only time playing Supergirl. Elisha Cuthbert would have made a good DCEU Supergirl and looks as if she could be Henry Cavill's cousin. By the way, the blonde actress at 10:08 is Sandra Dickinson. She is the ex wife of former Doctor Who Peter Davison and mother-of-law of David Tennant (Yes! Doctor Who) and grandmother of actor Ty Tennant from House of the Dragon. She played Trillian in the 1981 BBC mini-series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and was the voice of Grandma Tracey in the reboot series Thunderbirds are Go!.

  14. Okay we get it he is a perv jesus can we chill damn I am a woman and I feel like you need to chill with the feminist comments the ladies of the world is cool just relax

  15. Throw me into the phantom zone and call me Zod, I'm just five minutes in and I'm excited by how entertained I am. I've seen other videos here, but nothing compared to this. Let's hope you can keep it up the whole video. Oh, Zip zap .. gets a like. The guilty part would get another.

  16. Helen slater looked the part perfectly but also captured the guilelessness charm of the character. The movies serious problem was the incoherent and idiotic plotting

  17. I'm a great fan of this movie and I loved meeting Helen Slater in real life. Real shame this film didn't lead to bigger things for her.

    Ps she's a must watch in The secret of my success with mj fox.