A timid small-town girl becomes a barely dressed superhero in order to defend her dim-witted boyfriend against some local bullies and save the Earth from a team of multi-colored, bikini-clad aliens intent on kidnapping the Philippines' top scientists.
This is the first Darna film I've seen - she's one of those characters who's an icon in her homeland yet never made the leap to American pop-consciousness - and I reckon I'll be watching more. On paper she's more or less Captain Marvel in sexy underwear, but there are some pleasantly progressive notions at play here. (Both Darna's and the alien invaders' jobs are made easier because they're constantly underestimated and patronized by men, for instance.) It's overlong, indifferently paced and gives too much time to the requisite obnoxious kid sidekick, but it's charming as hell and Vilma Santos might be my favorite cinematic superhero of the '70s.