The 10 greatest bizarre superhero films that aren’t Marvel or DC

The 10 best weird superhero movies that aren’t Marvel or DC

Netflix’s movie adaptation of The Outdated Guard is the uncommon superhero film that isn’t part of the larger Marvel or DC machine. It’s extra violent consequently — to not point out far more keen to showcase its homosexual characters quite than having them be barely seen and nonetheless asking for credit score. As an alternative of copying the favored system, director Gina Prince-Bythewood forges her personal manner ahead.

If watching The Outdated Guard gave you a hankering for some extra superhero films slightly additional off the crushed path, listed below are the perfect, weirdest superhero films you’ll be able to strive subsequent — from a black comedy about superheroes with no powers in any respect, to a superhero film that brings literature’s most colourful figures collectively — and the place you’ll be able to watch them.


Photograph: Lionsgate

Matthew Vaughn’s adaptation of Mark Millar’s comic-book sequence takes place in a world with no superpowers. The heroes the film focuses on are, as a substitute, regular residents turned vigilantes. One character is a standard highschool scholar who, after being severely injured on his first jaunt out, develops a better tolerance for ache. One other pair are a father and daughter who, pushed by the necessity to avenge a lifeless member of the family, have develop into extremely proficient with all types of weapons. Like all of Vaughn’s films, it’s a classy journey, but additionally extraordinarily gory and affecting because it digs into how making an attempt to be a real-life superhero would have an effect on a standard particular person’s life. —Karen Han

Kick-Ass is offered on Apple, Amazon, Vudu, or YouTube.


zebraman locked in combat

Picture: Toei Firm

Zebraman is simply as unusual and outlandish as all of Takashi Miike’s different movies (Ichi the Killer, Ace Legal professional), but additionally displays excessive tenderness in its depiction of an elementary college instructor who desires to be a superhero. Shinichi Ichikawa’s private life is falling aside, and so he finds an escape by dressing up as “Zebraman,” a superhero with whom he’d been obsessed as a baby. When he meets a scholar who shares his love for Zebraman, issues begin trying up — but additionally begin trying stranger, as Ichikawa begins to manifest superpowers and notices similarities between what’s taking place round him and the occasions of the unique Zebraman sequence. —KH

Zebraman is offered on DVD.


will smith as hancock

Photograph: Sony Photos Releasing

Hancock additionally takes a extra real-world strategy to superheroes, much like the best way The Incredibles mentions simply how a lot rebuilding should be carried out after superheroes are carried out battling. Will Smith stars as Hancock, an alcoholic superhero primarily identified for a way a lot destruction he causes whereas trying to carry out heroic acts. When he saves public relations specialist Ray (Jason Bateman) by derailing a complete prepare, Ray takes it upon himself to rehabilitate Hancock’s picture, however that’s simpler mentioned than carried out, particularly when it turns on the market are nonetheless different superheroes on the market. —KH

Hancock is streaming on Netflix.

The One

jet li in the one

Photograph: Columbia Photos

The One is, sarcastically, one in all many post-Matrix motion romps stuffed with visible results that distort time and actuality. However whereas embarrassing dreck like Equilibrium fumbled with existential questions, The One requested a a lot easier query: What if Jet Li may bounce twice as excessive? The reply is that it could be cool as hell.

Enable me to inform you some issues about The One. The movie’s core conceit is that we dwell inside a multiverse. Another multiverse sci-fi tales encourage us to consider that our actuality is one in all infinite parallel realities. It’s mind-blowing stuff, so The One units some comforting parameters. There are precisely 124 universes, and a model of every particular person exists in all of them. What a reduction!

Jet Li is twin solid as Good Jet Li, and Evil Jet Li. Evil Jet Li has made a darkish discovery: If he kills a Jet Li from one other dimension, the life vitality of all remaining Jet Lis is break up between the survivors. Once we be a part of the story, he’s already turned himself right into a demigod, and the one factor that stands between him and full energy is Good Jet Li (you’ll be able to inform he’s good as a result of he likes to kiss his spouse), who should rapidly learn to harness the superpowers he by no means requested for.

Enable me to inform you some extra issues about The One. Jason Statham is right here as a “multiverse agent,” and he’s performing some kind of American accent. Evil Jet Li picks up two police bikes and swings them round like golf equipment. The movie options diegetic and non-diegetic use of the music of Drowning Pool. The Evil Jet Li enjoys listening to Drowning Pool. He explicitly states that it’s the one factor he likes about our boring dimension. —Patrick Gill

The One is offered on Amazon, Vudu, or YouTube.

Thriller Males

the mystery men team

Photograph: Common Photos

Thriller Males, with its lampooning of superheroes as company entities and the silliness of many alter egos, was manner forward of its time upon its launch in 1999. Now, regardless of its age, it’s nonetheless a breath of recent air within the superhero-sphere. Ben Stiller, Hank Azaria, Paul Reubens, William H. Macy, Janeane Garofalo, and Kel Mitchell star as group of second-string superheroes making an attempt to interrupt into the massive leagues. When the town’s most profitable superhero, Captain Superb (Greg Kinnear), frees his nemesis to ensure that there to really be crime for him to struggle, the plan backfires, leaving the would-be staff to lastly step in and save the day. —KH

Thriller Males is offered on Apple, Amazon, Vudu, or YouTube.

Sky Excessive

kurt russell and michael angarano in sky high

Photograph: Buena Vista Photos

Sky Excessive makes enjoyable of the basic distinction between superhero and sidekick by separating children at a superhero highschool into two totally different curriculums. Will (Michael Angarano) is the son of two well-known superheroes, however is put into the sidekick monitor as a result of he has but to manifest any superpowers. His powers, or lack thereof, outline his highschool expertise — as soon as he lastly does begin to develop into superpowerful, he turns into in style, however his final lesson is, in fact, that it’s not the ability that defines you, however what you do with it. —KH

Sky Excessive is streaming on HBO.

The Rocketeer

billy campbell and alan arkin in the rocketeer

Photograph: Buena Vista Photos

For a extra steampunk superhero, strive The Rocketeer, primarily based on the Dave Stevens comic-book sequence of the identical title. Cliff Secord (Billy Campbell) is a stunt pilot, however after discovering a rocket pack and utilizing it to rescue a good friend, he turns into generally known as “the Rocketeer.” Sadly, the rocket pack is an invention stolen from Howard Hughes, making the Rocketeer the topic of an FBI investigation, though the pack was in actual fact stolen by members of Eddie Valentine’s gang. All three forces (and extra) collide in a a lot greater conspiracy because the Rocketeer’s fame grows. —KH

The Rocketeer is streaming on Disney Plus.

The Iron Large

the iron giant peers at a boy

Picture: Warner Bros.

That The Iron Large is a superb film goes with out saying. The Iron Large can also be the perfect Superman film since Richard Donner’s live-action unique — a formidable feat for a movie through which Superman seems solely as a fictional character. Because the eponymous large hides within the barn behind Hogarth’s home, the younger boy brings him a stack of comics as a “bedtime story,” and reveals off a duplicate of Motion Comics. Superman, he says, is loads like the large. “Crash landed on earth, didn’t know what he was doing; but he only uses his powers for good, never for evil.” Regardless of the large’s superficial resemblance to a comic book guide unhealthy man, Hogarth tells him that he’s a superb man, too. Like Superman.

One of the best Superman tales remind us that Superman’s power isn’t just the sum of his powers, however his energy to affect. To indicate the world, and the superheroes round him, a greater, extra peaceable manner. As Marlon Brando intones in Richard Donner’s Superman, “They can be a great people, Kal-El; they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way.” When The Iron Large places Superman’s title on the large’s iron lips within the movie’s climactic second, it’s saying extra concerning the energy of Superman in a single scene than most films do of their whole runtime. —Susana Polo

The Iron Large is streaming on HBO Max.

The League of Extraordinary Gents

Three men stand in a library that has paper all over the floor.

Photograph: 20th Century Fox

This adaptation of Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s work doesn’t bear too many similarities to its supply materials, however manages to be a enjoyable, campy romp nonetheless. The central premise, at the least, stays the identical, as a bunch of well-known literary figures — Allan Quatermain, Captain Nemo, Mina Harker, Dorian Grey, Jekyll and Hyde, Tom Sawyer, and a knock-off invisible man — be a part of forces to cease a world warfare from breaking out. They face a basic superhero conundrum in stopping their powers from being copied and used for evil, and every showcase their respective strengths as they battle towards one more well-known literary determine: Sherlock Holmes’ Professor Moriarty. —KH

The League of Extraordinary Gents is offered on Apple, Amazon, Vudu, or YouTube.


sean connery and christopher lambert in highlander

Picture: 20th Century Fox

The concept of immortal beings pursuing one another via historical past reaches its apex in Highlander. The fantasy movie that focuses on Scottish swordsman Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert), generally known as the Highlander, who’s one in all a race of immortal warriors who can solely be killed by being beheaded. His nemesis is Kurgan (Clancy Brown), who needs to acquire “the Prize,” which is simply given to the final immortal: infinite knowledge and the flexibility to enslave the whole human race. —KH

Highlander is streaming on Amazon.

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