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The South Indian Superman

India 1980
produced by
R. Gopal for Lakshmivishnu Productions
directed by V. Madhusudan Rao
starring Taraka Rama Rao Nandurami, Jayapradha, Satyanarayana Kaikala, Jayamalini, Pandharibai
screenplay by V. Madhusudan Rao, (unofficially) based on the comicbook created by Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel, published by DC Comics


review by
Mike Haberfelner

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As a kid, Raja (Taraka Rama Rao Nandamuri) had to witness the brutal murder of his parents at a young age, and ever since has sworn to avenge their deaths. Eventually, he asks for justice from the family God, but when God doesn't answer, Raja kills himself. Being faced with a dead boy, God comes to earth and doesn't only return the boy to life but also equips him with superpowers - so now everytime Raja sees danger or injustice, he turns into Superman - also in costume.

Years later: Raja is engaged to Jaya (Jayapradha), whose father is his partner in his gold mine - but there are three men after the gold mine, Jai Singh, Sardar and Dharma Rao (Satyanarayana Kaikala) ... who of course will eventually turn out to be the three men who killed Raja's parents. Now Jai Singh, who has remote-controlled elephants at his disposal, and Sardar, who is supported by an army of fake ghosts, are easily dealt with, but Dharma Rao is another issue altogether, since he uses cunning to get what he wants - and thus he has his son Mohan impregnate Raja's sister, then pretends to agree to a marriage between the two but asks for Raja's goldmine as dowry ... and once the mine is signed over, he and his son beat it to Hong Kong. Raja follows the two to Hong Kong, where Dharma Rao lures him into one trap after the next, even uses a witch (Jayamalini), who at one point drags Raja to hell and has him fight a monster, to stop him, but to no avail, in the end Raja/Superman sees to it that justice prevails and his parents are avenged, and in the end, Mohan, who didn't know about the deviltry of his father, actually marries Raja's pregnant sister.


A cheap Superman rip-off shot in South India in Telugu language - and the film is exactly what this makes it sound to be: a trashy andcheesy and campy superhero film peppered with less-than-special effects, seasoned by song-and-dance routines aplenty (after all, this is an Indian movie), carried by at best mediocre performances and based on a clichéed plot. Plus, Superman looks rather ridiculous. And if this makes you think this is a bad movie, you are of course essentially right, but it is also so much fun to watch.



review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD