Italian knock-offs, studio disasters and TV movies form the basis of a vibrant and hugely entertaining sub-sub-genre. You can't go wrong with any of these Not So Super Hero Movies.
Captain America 2: Death Too Soon (1980)
Freed from the shackles of a tedious origin story, this Reb Brown starring (second) TV pilot is the most fun of Cap's pre-MCU iterations. Christopher Lee hams it up as the villain, and the plot, about a drug that ages you to death, is suitably barking.
Doctor Mordrid (1992)
When their film rights to shamanic supermedic Dr Strange lapsed on the eve of production, the schlock hacks at New Moon just shot their existing script under a different name. The movie's appeal is entirely down to Jeffrey Combs, who plays things straighter than straight in the lead.
Super Infra-Man (1975)
All the fun of a Toho kaiju movie but with added Power Rangers monsters and an ancient intergalactic princess called Dragon Mom. Only science and jumping about can save the Earth from invasion!
The Fantastic Four (1994)
Roger Corman's low budget take on the inexplicably popular Fantastic Four is famous for being so awful that Marvel exec Avi Arad paid the producers not to release it. The irony is it's far more enjoyable than the string of studio adaptations that have followed.
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)
With the Superman franchise already teetering on the edge of the abyss after the dreadful third movie, this calamity made sure to push it over the brink. Reeve's ego exploded, the budget was slashed, and nobody bothered to explain how the villain could be made of the sun.
Bionic Boy (1977)
When his Interpol agent father is killed by bad guys, Sonny (Johnson Yap) is left critically injured. Scientists save his life by fusing experimental bionics to his skeleton, turning him into a near indestructible superhuman in the process. He celebrates by fighting crime.
The Three Fantastic Supermen (1967)
The original Batman TV series inspired a plethora of imitations over the years immediately following its 1966 debut. The Italians in particular seemed to fall over each other getting a rash of them to the screen. This is by far the most fun with interesting characters, endless action and a bonkers plot.
The Pumaman (1980)
Mystical vagaries, terrible acting and hilarious visual effects combine to create something so glorious that Donald Pleasance (he of Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band) called it the worst movie he ever appeared in. He's wrong.
Nick Fury: Agent of Shield (1998)
Another Marvel adaptation from the halcyon days before we were expected to take these ridiculous characters seriously. Although it doesn't finish quite as strongly as it starts, this is incredibly good fun. Hasselhoff is apparently still peeved Samuel L. Jackson got the call for the big boy movies.
Supersonic Man (1979)
Kronos aka Paul aka Supersonic Man is an alien sent to Earth to save us from cardboard robots and Cameron Mitchell. Although generally derivative of Richard Donnor's Superman, Supersonic's powers include the ability to turn guns into bananas and locate champagne at a moment's notice when trying to screw his love interest.