superman1987AKA The Indian Superman, Hindi Superman

Starring Puneet Issar, Shakti Kapoor, Piloo J. Wadia, Bob Christo, Dharmendra, Sonia Sahni, Urmila Bhatt, Ashok Kumar, Ranjeeta Kaur, Birbal, Preeti Ganguli, Rajan Haksar, Dinesh Hingoo, Jagdeep, Jankidas, Lalita Kumari, Guddi Maruti, Murad, Sudhir

Directed by B. Gupta

Expectations: I hope it’s got as many thrills as the Tollywood version of Superman.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:

Wow. Sometimes it takes a truly awful film to remind you of the risk involved in watching low-budget films. This version of the Superman story comes to us courtesy of the Bollywood film industry, although I somehow doubt that this is representative of their normal output, even in 1987. It is a horrible film, with very few redeeming qualities at all. And, sad to say, many of those redeeming qualities are just the novelty of watching degraded versions of footage shot by Richard Donner for Superman. The Tollywood version, which I reviewed yesterday, was so full of life and imagination, but this version is a Superman-sized abomination.

I can only relate my general understanding of the story, as I was forced to watch the film without subtitles. This is always a daunting task, as the success of the film hinges solely on its visual filmmaking and storytelling. I’m sure that seeing this with a better understanding of what was going on would help it some, but no amount of understanding can erase just how lackluster this entire production is. Thankfully, the storyline basically follows that of the original Superman film, so I was treading on familiar ground.

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