Peel Here #95: You’ll no longer believe that a man can fly as you see all the bad wirework…

By Shawn Robare

Peel Here is back after the Halloween hiatus, and I’ve had some fun with the research for this installment.  The wife and I recently decided it was past time for a culling of our DVD collection as we amassed an insane amount of movies and TV box-sets.  Mind you they were all purchased on the cheap as one of my hobbies is shopping around for bargain DVDs, but after awhile these things start to take up too much space and you find yourself wondering if you really need to own every comic book film ever produced, or those pesky Star Wars prequels.  Well, one of the things that I’d hoped to do was to get rid of any movies in those annoying cardboard snapper cases that Warner Brothers used to be so fond of because they stick out like a sore thumb in the collection and if the plastic spindle that holds the DVD breaks, the whole case is ruined.  I noticed that a lot of stores started carrying a 2-Disc slimcase that has all four Superman movies for $10, so I figured I could upgrade out old snapper case editions of Superman I & II.   Plus I hadn’t seen Superman III or IV since the 80s and I kind of wanted to watch those again.

Well, I picked up the DVD this past weekend and Carrie and I sat down over breakfast to watch the train-wreck that is Superman III.  Holy molie was this flick schizophrenic.   I knew there was a bit of light comedy in the Superman movies, but I didn’t remember that part three was, for all intents and purposes, a straight up madcap romp!  Anyway, I’ve recorded an episode of the newly formatted Branded Microcast talking about some of my feelings on the flick, and in conjunction I decided this would also be a great time to share my collection of Superman III Topps sticker cards from 1983…

These have to be, hands down, the ugliest Topps sticker cards ever.  It’s the insanity of the patriotic border the designers decided to go with.  Those red and white stripes are enough to make you go blind, especially when you look at a handful of cards all at once like this (apologies to your retinas.)  At least all the main characters are accounted for (though we could have done without the Margot Kidder as Lois Lane sticker seeing as she’s only in 5 minutes of the movie after throwing a tantrum over Richard Donner being dismissed during the filming of Superman II.)  Maybe she could have been replaced by Brad the jackass drunk who is horrible at his post-high school security job.  Can I say though how excited it makes me that I now have a Richard Pryor sticker in my collection?  Why didn’t the Toy get a Topps card and sticker set?!?

As far as the rest of the set is concerned, I was a little bummed that there were no "dark" Superman stickers included, as that sequence is still a favorite of mine no matter how silly it is in the film.  The designers did pick a nice range of screen captures that encompass most of Superman’s powers (heat vision, check, flying, check, super strength, check, super breath, check), though it would have been neat if they’d of used one where he picked up the frozen lake to extinguish the fire in the chemical plant.  We even get a Superman weakened by kryptonite which is nice.

I’m also glad we got at least one sticker of the Vera Webster character turning into the creepy Brainiac-like robot woman, though it would have been super-cool if they’d picked a scene just a few seconds later that had her looking like this…

Of course, like most Topps sticker card sets there were some included puzzle-back posters…

Personally I think the Superman-trapped-in-the-force-field-bubble was a slightly odd choice (I’d of gone with evil Superman and Clark Kent facing off…)  I do like the second one featuring Supes giving Richard Pryor’s Gus a lift home at the end of the film…

All in all this was one heck of a bad movie on all sorts of levels.   It wasn’t all that funny as a comedy, it was pretty boring as an action film, it was weirdly confusing as a romance, and it was a flat out terrible super hero/comic book movie.  We did get to see Christopher Reeve crush a piece of coal into a perfectly cut diamond to make one of the gaudiest rings known to mankind though.  Hmm.  Eh.

Anyway, come back tomorrow for a microcast where you can listen to me bitching about the movie for twenty minutes…


  • Lesley

    I like to think of Superman III as a Richard Pryor film that just happens to have Superman in it, that makes it slightly less disappointing. ;) Although, as you mention, it’s not even that funny. Now I’m going to have to go dig out my Superman II Topps cards that I have lying around somewhere. :)

  • Jack Frost

    I love anything with Richard Pryor in it. Every Superman movie had a WTF moment in it though. Spinning the earth to reverse time and throwing the logo on his chest stick out in my mind. Superman III was an entire movie made out of WTF moments. Superman III is more an extremely tame Richard Pryor movie than a Superman movie in my opinion.