Film Review: Southern Superhero Showdown


   A film which bears much in common with the wild hi-jinx of John Dies at the End or Alex Winter's Freaked, the South Korean movie Southern Superhero Showdown is a movie from which an audience's enjoyment depends entirely on one's ability to stomach overly conscious wackiness in place of anything as revolutionary as wit, warmth or purpose.

   What Ryu Hoon's feature does have, in spades, however is an admirable ambition which defies the paucity of the movie's budget. The story concerns a man who, whilst attending a job interview, finds himself trapped in a small town populated by individuals who are all blessed, or cursed, with individual super-powers. Our hero, Kim Ho Bang, wants to return to Seoul more than anything but, like all the inhabitants of the town, he is doomed to never leave - a mysterious force holds them all back.  The townsfolk are suspicious of the newcomer but some believe he may be a "chosen one" of sorts - perhaps the key to their escape.

   In order to sidestep expensive special effects usually associated with Superhero films, Southern Superhero Showdown embraces its low budget with special powers which include freezing foes by simply pointing at them, and spit which becomes glue. If reading the previous sentence warmed your heart or tickled your funny bone then, perhaps, this is a film which will enchant and amuse you in equal measure - for others, like this writer, it may feel like the humour is lost in translation, too aware of it's own eccentricity to be concerned with anything as problematic as sculpting jokes.
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