BLACK SCORPION Debuts Big, Bad Car at Petersen Automotive Museum (Mania.com)
Date: Monday, October 09, 2000
If the folks behind Black Scorpion know how to do a TV show as well as they know how to do a press conference, then look out. Sure, their soiree at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles last week was all about shameless self-promotion and photo ops, but hey, they had foxy babes, a tricked-out car and the O.G. Batman himself, Adam West. In other words, I couldn't resist.
The Sci-Fi Channel has purchased 22 episodes of Black Scorpion, a creation of Roger Corman and writer Craig J. Nevius (who co-wrote Corman's disastrous, legally suppressed live-action Fantastic Four movie). The show, which is scheduled to start airing in January, is based on two made-for-cable movies starring Joan Severance, produced in 1995 and 1997, which 'set ratings records' overseas, says Nevius.
Those movies, in a word, sucked. But here's why the show might be good: It's got lotsa T&A, a wry sense of humor and enough blast-from-the-past guest stars from the glory days of superhero TV to keep things interesting for those of us old enough to get the joke. West steps over to the dark side, as the Black Scorpion's super-villainous nemesis, the Breathtaker; fellow Batman alum Frank Gorshin will guest-star as Clockwise, a super-baddie who wears glasses with (you guessed it) clocks on 'em; and Lou Ferrigno (yes! The Hulk!) will make an appearance as the evil Slavemaster. And how's this for an encore: Soupy Sales as Professor Profit, and David 'Squiggy' Lander as Green Thumb. All this, and I haven't even gotten to the part about the babes yet.
'I love Batman, and the idea was to do a female, modern version of Batman,' says Nevius, an affable, ponytailed guy who wears lots of black. 'I always wanted to have Adam West on the show.' His hope of hopes is that Black Scorpion lends itself to toys, comic books and other marketing opportunities (but if action figures ever come to pass, will the buxom chicks out-sell Adam West and Frank Gorshin?).
As for the show, it's about a straight-laced female cop named Darcy Walker (played by Michelle Lintel, a former Miss Kansas), whose dad is murdered by the Breathtaker. When justice isn't served, as they say, she assumes a superhero alter-ego by night, sauntering through the shadows in a hip-hugging black leather outfit and cowl, driving her high-tech Scorpionmobile. The tagline is, 'She does with a mask what she can't do with a badge.' Uh-huh.
(The show, by the way, boasts appearances by 17 Playboy Playmates and Penthouse Pets, including Victoria Silvstedt as (hubba hubba) the evil Hourglass. Other bad girls have monikers like Tiger Lily, African Violet, Aftershock, Aerobicide and Pollutia. Can you see where this is going?)
Oh, yeah, the press conference. It consisted mostly of Lintel, West and various eye-popping female guest stars fawning over the Scorpionmobile which, to tell you the truth, looked a lot like a black 1970s Corvette Stingray with a fakey looking super-duper engine thing mounted on the back. It paled in comparison to a genuine George Barris Batmobile from the 1960s and the newfangled Batmobile from Batman and Robin, both of which are on display at the Petersen as part of the Hollywood Star Cars: Great Cars of the Movies exhibit (which, by the way, is well worth checking out if you're in L.A.).
I hung around, trying to get a word in with Batman, but West's handlers sweeped him away after he'd had his picture taken too many times. Finally, I talked with Lintel, the athletic beauty queen-turned-actress who's making her screen debut in the show. Unfortunately, since I didn't know anything about her, all I could muster was some lame-ass question about martial arts and stunts, which she gamely answered:
'I studied martial arts for a couple of years, and I found it very helpful in getting this role, you know, doing roundhouse kicks and stuff. Actually I'm doing a lot of my own stunts in the showmartial arts fightingand they were throwing me over boxes, and I was taking falls. They would not let me leap off a building, though. I'm still pissed off about that.'
What I want to know now is, how do I apply for the job of Black Scorpion's sidekick? A few months at the gym, a few weeks at the dojo, and I'll be ready to kick David Lander and Soupy Sales from here to sundown, boy.