Pets and vampires: two films

DC’S LEAGUE OF SUPER-PETS (2022) shows that (as I observed recently at Atomic Junkshop) even minor comics concepts can be successful in the right hands. The Legion of Super-Pets never really clicked as a concept but the film is fun. Krypto (Dwayne Johnson) gets in a snit because Superman, his BFF, is going to marry Lois (Olivia Wilde); while Krypto is sulking, Lulu (Kate McKinnon) —a genius guinea pig who’s endowed herself with super-powers — kidnaps the Man of Steel. Just as Krypto took Lulu from Luthor, she’ll take his owner away — and the rest of the JLA too. Oh, and Krypto unwittingly downed some kryptonite hidden in a piece of cheese, so he’s powerless to stop her.

Fortunately the orange kryptonite that gave Lulu powers also empowered the other animals in the shelter. Can a lightning throwing squirrel, a super-fast turtle (a version of the comics’ Terrific Whatsit), a size-changing pig and the indestructible dog Ace (Kevin Hart) help Krypto turn things around?

This was a lot of fun, though the voice cast was uneven (Marc Maron as Luthor didn’t work for me at all); I particularly liked Krypto’s nightmarish vision of a future where Superman gives Lois all the good dog treats. I could see Plush Dog freaking out the same way. “This is my origin story — and my uncle didn’t have to die!”

In the “cult film but I’m not joining the cult” department we have GANJA AND HESS (1973) is an arty blacksploitation horror film about Hess (Duane Jones) — an archeologist cursed by the civilization he was studying to become a quasi-vampire — and Ganja (Marlene Clarke), who falls for Hess even though he’s responsible for the death of her husband. Well made but like a lot of arty horror, more interesting than enjoyable. “It has nothing to do with me except it’s my tree and my rope.”

#SFWApro. Cover by Curt Swan, all rights to image remain with current holder.


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