How would you like to see a Zen Pictures film featuring the Japanese approximations of Supergirl, Power Girl and Wonder Woman, all working together as a team? On top of that, how would you like it if all three found themselves in a tremendous amount of peril through much of the film? Sounds good, doesn’t it? With Zen’s resources a film like that has to be a sure fire winner, right? No, not so much.
Although Zen Pictures is thought by many to be the top dog in the heroine peril genre, they are far from perfect. Surprisingly often, Zen makes an occasional misstep and produces some less-than-stellar films. Sometimes they even make films that are so truly awful, you can’t stop watching them. Ladies and gentlemen, I present you with such a film. It is American Heroine Super Justy 3, a heroine-in-peril film so bad, I loved every second of it. After watching this film, you’ll swear that Ed Wood must be alive, residing in Japan, and working for Zen Pictures.
American Heroine Super Justy 3 opens with a schoolgirl (who will become this film’s version of Supergirl) walking down a deserted alley where she is confronted by a mutant monster type guy with a sword. At this point, Zen usually executes a well-choreographed fight scene, but not this time. How does the schoolgirl defend herself? By throwing an obviously empty backpack at him. [Spoiler alert] The empty backpack doesn’t have any effect [end spoiler]. He pins her against a building and wraps his hands around her throat for a while as she struggles. All seems lost when she screams, “I want to live!” Just saying this phrase somehow imbues her with incredible strength, and she turns the tide of the fight. In what has to be an amazing coincidence for a country of 128 million people, Power Girl and Wonder Woman just happen to be walking by in their civilian clothes as all of this is happening.
The mutant flies off, but he is tracked down, and his fight against the schoolgirl resumes on a rooftop. Power Girl and Wonder Woman step in and help destroy the monster. They then ask this new Supergirl to join the Justice Team and she agrees to do so. The best part of this scene is that all three girls speak different languages, but none of them have any trouble understanding one another. Supergirl does her voiceovers in Japanese, but most of her dialogue is spoken in English. Power Girl speaks French and almost always has a ridiculous grin on her face. Wonder Woman speaks barely passable English, but where she really steals the show is in the acting department. She flubs more than a few lines, but the editors didn’t seem to realize it and left them in for all to enjoy.
We are then introduced to our villains. The main baddy is an overweight Japanese guy whose uniform seems to be a cross between that of a Nazi officer and the outfit M. Bison wears in Street Fighter. His right hand man is about seven feet tall, weighs about 70 pounds, and wears black lipstick. His other minion seems to be a cross between Frankenstein and the T-800 with furry hands and feet. Don’t ask.
The evil minions start to battle the Wonder Woman and Power Girl characters. The fights go back and forth, but its the Frankenstein monster that turns the tide. If I interpreted this correctly, he seems to be able to drain the heroines’ energy into himself. All three heroines get defeated in one-on-one battles, and the peril begins. I want to stop here with the specific story points because I don’t want to spoil the ending, even though it is rather predictable. Instead, let’s focus on the good and bad.
The good: Yes, there is some. Supergirl is drop-dead gorgeous, and she looks great in her form-fitting costume. There are tons of perilous moments that include, but are not limited to, strangulation, throat lifts, two heroines chained AOH, bearhugs, electric torture, energy being drained from the heroines, and stomach punches.
The bad: Everything else. The acting is flat out laughable. The fight choreography is not up to the usual Zen standards. The villains look and act totally ridiculous. The special effects work is average at best. The dialogue that I did understand was a bunch of run-on sentences.
These next two sentences are going to sound completely contradictory: I can’t in good conscience recommend American Heroine Super Justy 3. With that being said, I recommend that you buy American Heroine Super Justy 3. It’s just so great in its awfulness that it needs to be seen. This may be the ultimate heroine movie to pull a “Mystery Science Theatre 3000″ on. You and your friends could have a great time just mocking the entire film. If you’re brave enough, you should check it out.