The 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
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
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 in 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!
SUPER XUXA VERSUS SATAN (SUPER XUXA CONTRA O BAIXO ASTRAL; SUPER XUXA
AGAINST THE BAD VIBES)
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