Super Stooges Vs. The Wonder Women/Review

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< Super Stooges Vs. The Wonder Women

What happens when you mix up Ancient greek mythology with comic book super heroes, Shaw Brothers kung fu and Italian exploitation? You get this wacky, action-adventure spoof!

A tribe of beautiful but deadly Amazon women are trying to control some small villages in the countryside of Greece. There's no one who can protect the people...except the great and powerful Darma The Magician (Aldo Bufi Landi) who seems to be based on Zorro but possesses actual super powers (received from a "sacred flame") that lets him jump 20 feet into the air among other things. Darma has been protecting the villagers for over 400 years. We learn that there is not one Darma but there have been many of them (clearly inspired by multi-generational characters like The Phantom). After Darma helps the villagers, in a show of gratitude, they offer him food and drink. When he notices his favorite snack is missing, he begins to rant and loudly proclaim: "No peppers, no protection!". We can see Darma's alter-ego is out of control and he's manipulating his followers to worship him as a god. Darma's apprentice is Aru (Aldo Canti aka Nick Jordan) a young upstart who wants to take over from his master as soon as he can. Darma himself knows that he is getting older and won't be able to play the super hero role much longer. After Aru receives his own super powers from coming in contact with the secret sacred flame, he begins practicing with Darma's iconic costume we get to see him trying out his new abilities, including jumping off cliffs backwards. Still, Aru comes to realize that he must get some extra help to defeat the Amazon women, so he contacts a well known fighter in the area named Moog (Marc Hannibal) and his kung fu sidekick Chang (Hua Yueh). Comically, Chang's mode of transportation is a buffalo with a Chinese umbrella to keep the sun off him. How he got to Ancient Greece, I dont know.

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Together with his new found allies, Aru (the new version of Darma) begins training and planning his attack on the Amazons. On their first mission, Moog uses a super ball that he throws which ricochets and takes out 4 Amazon guards like a pinball machine and returns to him! This is the kind of movie we're dealing with. When Aru/Darma is captured by The Amazons after they are given information by some bounty hunters on Aru's secret hideout, Moog and Chang have to figure out how to get him back. When they finally break Aru/Darma out from the Amazon camp with some help from a young Amazon girl, they all parachute from a cliff with what looks like burlap bags. They really made a lot of use of the high cliff walls in the film. I guess super heroes need something tall to jump off of and thats all they had back in Ancient Greece. In the film's action packed climactic battle, Aru/Darma, Moog and Chang get some extra help from the villagers who decide to fight back against the Amazon women too. Look out for the wooden tanks w/ flamethrowers the villagers create. A very cool idea!

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Super Stooges Vs. The Wonder Women is a surprisingly fun, action-adventure period film that's goofy as hell, but still entertaining because it's so absurd. You can see the influence director Gianfranco Parolini had on Alfonso Brescia in the form of the acrobatic style action, especially with Aldo Canti who had previously starred as the high jumping character Alleycat in Parolini's classic spaghetti western Sabata and as the strange tap dancing soldier in Parolini's macaroni combat film Five For Hell. To add to the movie geek details, theres a bit of kung fu film style score lifting as well. Spaghetti western fans will notice Ennio Morricone's Indian scream cue from Navajo Joe (1966) show up in some of the scenes.

Reviewed by Pete

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