SuperXuxaThe Brazilian kid show hostess Xuxa is the headliner of his beyond-ridiculous, utterly inappropriate kids’ film whose title adequately sums up its so-called charms.

The leggy blond Xuxa (pronounced “Shoo-sha”), a.k.a. Maria da Graca Meneghel, was a successful model and sometime actress (most notably in the notorious 1982 sexploiter AMOR ESTRANHO AMOR, a.k.a. LOVE STRANGE LOVE) when, in a most unexpected development, she became famous as the host of a children’s show in the late 1980s. SUPER XUXA VERSUS SATAN, or SUPER XUXA CONTRA O BAIXO ASTRAL (a more literal translation of which is SUPER XUXA AGAINST THE BAD VIBES), appeared in 1988, early on in the Xuxa phenomenon.

In later years Xuxa tried to break into the American market with little success; her extremely revealing outfits and the physical affection she bestows on her kid audiences don’t exactly harmonize with American sensibilities. She also headlined several more shitty movies.

Xuxa is frolicking with a bunch of kids on the streets of Brazil while, down in the sewers, a punked-out Satan and his minions are plotting to do her in. They steal Xuxa’s puppet dog and torture it with sharp instruments. When this fails to dissuade her they nab Xuxa herself by literally yanking her into her TV set, which deposits her in the alternate universe inhabited by Satan.

There she gets into a duet with a couple puppet monsters, who help her climb over a large wall. She’s deposited in a surreal beach setting where she gets into another duet, this time with a bunch of puppet fish. She also meets an assortment of singing critters in an enchanted forest before sprouting wings and soaring above the clouds, where she consorts with several more puppet critters.

Somehow Xuxa winds up in the underground home of a web spinning freak. She quickly breaks free from the freak’s clutches and heads to the filthy junkyard lair of Satan. The latter is holding several kids prisoner along with Xuxa’s dog, and taunts Xuxa with televised images of war and destruction before she zaps him with a rainbow beam.

I think you can guess from the title and above plot description that this film is total crap. It shamelessly rips off THE WIZARD OF OZ and LABYRINTH (1986), and adds many awful, repetitive songs and amateurish puppet work. The results are so trashy and uninspired they don’t even work as camp or unintentional surrealism (see the Thai fantasy GINSENG KING for what this movie could have been).

The one thing this alleged children’s film has in its favor is sex appeal. Xuxa in 1988 was quite the hottie, and spends the entire movie clad in a skimpy top and short-shorts (her standard TV show attire). Of course she evinces little in the way of depth or personality, much less acting ability!

Adding to the lasciviousness is a creepy puppet caterpillar that wiggles and thrusts in a distinctly phallic manner. A mistake/oversight on the part of the filmmakers? Somehow I think not!

Vital Statistics

Dreamvision Film and Video Production

Directors: Anna Penido, David Sonnenschein
Producer: Diler Trindade
Screenplay: Anna Penido, Antonio Calmon
Cinematography: Nonato Estrela
Editing: Carlos Cox, Vera Freire
Cast: Xuxa Meneghel, Guilherme Karam, Nair Amorim, Vitor Hain, Henriqueta Brieba, Mauro Cesar, Maria Elisa Freire, Roberto Guimaraes, Vitor Hain, Oscar Marques