Top 10 Underrated Superhero Movies
Director: Russell Mulcahy
Plot: In 30's New York City, the Shadow battles his nemesis, Shiwan Khan, who is building an atomic bomb.
I only sought this movie out on a random recommendation from a friend. It piqued my curiosity, especially with director Russell Mulcahy in the director's chair. Lo and behold, this is a super-cool superhero movie which works on its own terms and then some.
It has seen somewhat of a resurgence in recent years; Shout beautifully restored the movie for Blu-ray, and avid fans & collectors went gaga for it. Still, it's a shame the movie didn't get a better reception upon its initial release. I wish the planned franchise had materialised.
Director: Mike Hodges
Plot: A football player and his friends travel to the planet Mongo and find themselves fighting the tyranny of Ming the Merciless to save Earth.
It might be a bit of a cheat to include this after its popularity skyrocketed following the release of Ted, but still, it remains a bit of a niche title.
Flash Gordon is a fucking blast from start to end. It's hilarious, it's exciting, and it's even better if you have beer or weed while you watch it.
Director: Simon Wincer
Plot: The Phantom, descendent of a line of African heroes, travels to New York to thwart a criminal genius.
I love superhero movies from this period. Before all the OTT CGI effects, movies like The Phantom possessed a degree of grit that just doesn't exist in today's brand of digital comic book adventures. This movie is extremely fun, and it still stands up all these years on.
Director: Joe Johnston
Plot: A young pilot stumbles onto a prototype jetpack that allows him to become a high flying masked hero.
I'm so glad I finally watched this movie. It really is something special. The low IMDb rating and general lack of love for this little masterpiece is fucking heartbreaking.
I've seen so many superhero movies in my time, but believe me when I say that The Rocketeer gave me goosebumps during its action scenes. The special effects are dated, yeah, but the craftsmanship and music is something to behold. This movie is great fun that deserved to become a franchise.
Director: Sam Raimi
Plot: A brilliant scientist left for dead returns to exact revenge on the people who burned him alive.
An original property created by Sam Raimi (who had tried to get the rights to The Shadow), Darkman is a pretty tragically underrated gem of a superhero movie. It's Liam Neeson being a badass, there are some exciting action scenes, and the whole enterprise is pretty creative. Yeah, I enjoyed it.
Director: Jonathan Hensleigh
Plot: An undercover FBI agent becomes a vigilante assassin and sets out to unleash vengeance upon the corrupt businessman who slew his family.
Admittedly, this movie is not an overly faithful adaptation of the Punisher comic book. It is, however, a pretty damn awesome vigilante movie on its own terms, and Thomas Jane is a total badass.
Director: Lexi Alexander
Plot: After hunting down and killing hundreds of violent criminals, Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, faces his most deadly foe yet: Jigsaw.
Not so much a follow-up to the Tom Jane movie, but instead a reboot, War Zone is more faithful to the comics, and the result is a hugely cheesy action fiesta that fulfils its base goal of entertaining. I had a big dumb grin on my face for most of the movie.
Director: Warren Beatty
Plot: The comic strip detective finds his life vastly complicated when Breathless Mahoney makes advances towards him while he is trying to battle Big Boy Caprice's united mob.
I really don't understand the hate for this one. It's a good fun movie with impressive visual effects that stays true to its roots. I'm sick of today's gritty and grim comic book movies. Give me this flick any day.
Director: Eric Radomski, Bruce Timm
Plot: Batman is wrongly implicated in a series of murders of mob bosses actually done by a new vigilante assassin.
Wow. I wasn't expecting much from this early animated Batman effort, but what I got was something truly spectacular. It must be seen by anyone who enjoys comic book movies.
Director: Kinka Usher
Plot: A group of inept amateur superheroes must try to save the day when a supervillian threatens to destroy a major superhero and the city.
I liked this movie when I saw it as a kid, and I still like it today. It's funny, has a great cast, and the characters are awesome. Very enjoyable.