Bizarre foreign superhero films you never knew existed

If the plethora of Marvel and DC films aren't enough to soothe your superhero cravings, you might want to see what other countries have to offer. Sure, these movies might not be as technically impressive as the superpowered blockbusters we're used to—but they do feature more gun-toting bears than anything in the Marvel Universe. Let's take a trip across the globe and see the strangest superhero films released outside the United States.

Rendel (2017) - Finland

Perhaps the most conventional film on this list, Finland's Rendel is about Punisher-like figure looking to take down a criminal organization that murdered his family. Not much is known about the Nordic nation's first masked vigilante, but the trailer for the Indiegogo-financed flick, due out in the fall of 2017, hints at a dark, slick dystopian tale with production values that belie its humble origins. We do know for certain it's the only superhero movie with official promotional condoms. Your move, Deadpool 2.

The Heroic Trio (1992) - China

When it comes to female superheroes, China has us beat. The Heroic Trio is a squad of three women united to stop a supernatural villain whose main goal is to find a king for China. He's kidnapped 18 male babies, one who'll become the ruler of the land; the others will be groomed to form an army of killers. All that will have to wait for a few years, since babies don't make great fighters. To be clear, the villain isn't fighting so he will become king, he just wants to find someone else to be a proper monarch.

This plot may sound a little odd, but the action is pretty incredible. All the women are amazing fighters—one is played by Michelle Yeoh of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame. If you want to see a movie with a girl riding a barrel like a rocket, a woman doing the splits in a swordfight, a fierce ghost-lady fighter, and a climax featuring a rumble between our heroes and a living skeleton, your only choice is The Heroic Trio.

Three Supermen and Mad Girl (1973) - Turkey

Why settle for one Superman when you can have three? Turkey has made a lot of knockoff superhero movies, but one of the very strangest is Three Supermen and Mad Girl. Every costume looks like it comes from the "legally not Superman, but looks a lot like Superman" rack, while the villains were stuck with low-rent devil costumes.

The three Supermen have to fight off the evil foe, Mad Girl. Whether she's mad as in angry or mad as in insane is unclear, but she's definitely evil. You don't get much in the way of an origin story, but you do get a lot of slapdash stage fighting. Oh, and there's a robot! An old fashioned, definitely made from a cardboard box robot who plagues our heroes with his death ray. Will the three Supermen prevail or will Mad Girl get the best of them with her powers of being mildly angry? Watch all 65 minutes to find out!

Zebraman (2004) - Japan

If you combined Breaking Bad with Kick-Ass, you'd get Zebraman. A failed teacher who's bored with his regular life decides to dress up like the TV hero Zebraman—who, in the world of the film, was never terribly popular; in fact, his show only lasted six episodes. But our hero feels a connection with the animal, and takes to the streets to live out his fantasies.

You might not expect Zebraman, directed by the renowned—and often controversial—Takashi Miike, to be a fairly touching film about a man's attempt to escape the tedium of his life with the help of a kindly disabled boy. If you're not familiar with Miike's oeuvre, he's the mind behind Audition and Ichi the Killer, two insanely violent horror films. But he took a break from women sawing feet off with a wire to make a superhero picture about a man who dresses like a zebra to feel less like a loser.

Guardians - Russia

If you thought Guardians of the Galaxy needed less humor and more super ripped bears, you'll be thrilled with Guardians. This Russian superhero epic looks like a best-of Marvel film with half the budget. You've got a guy who can float rocks, some kind of energy whip, one very pretty girl, all the modern superhero hallmarks. But where Russia really brings the weird is when they show us the bear.

As this ragtag gang of heroes assembles, one really stands out: Ursus the werebear. Now, he doesn't have to wait for a full moon to take bear form; he can do it whenever he wants. Or if he'd rather just be half-man, half-bear, that's an option too—and he frequently chooses to have a bear head and bear arms on a human body, which leads to the best moment of the trailer: seeing a man-bear fire off a machine gun. You're not going to see that in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

RA.One (2010) - India

Though RA. One looks a lot like some kind of Indian Iron Man, it's not a blatant Marvel copy. It's more like a Tron/Iron Man mashup. A programmer creates a video game with a very powerful villain, Ra. One. Unfortunately, the villain escapes the game and enters the real world and the creator must transform into G. One to defeat him. Maybe it's more like Tron meets Crocodile Dundee II? It would only be natural if the villain got into some comical misunderstandings when faced with life in the big city.

The action-packed film features a lot of special effects and a hero who happens to be powered by Iron Man-like glowing spot on his chest. Probably just a coincidence, not total theft.

Chakra the Invincible (2013) - India

Did you know Marvel legend Stan Lee created an Indian superhero? It might not be as popular as Spider-Man, but Chakra the Invincible gives us Stan Lee's first venture outside the U.S., and thus far, he's been made into an animated film for Cartoon Network India, with a live-action version in development. The story is about Raju Rai, a young kid who tries on a blue bodysuit that uses the powers of the body's chakras to give him superpowers and turn him into Chakra the Invincible, a protector of Mumbai.

The strangest thing about this superhero is that Stan Lee has any involvement in it. When Hitfix asked Lee for a comment about the live-action version, he said, "I'm a fan of Bollywood films and am really excited about launching Chakra the Invincible as my first Bollywood superhero movie. Vikramaditya is an amazingly talented filmmaker who I have no doubt can make the Chakra film a massive hit in India and around the world. I only hope he remembers to include my cameo!" Here's hoping it also includes a lot dance numbers between fight scenes.

The Return of Captain Invincible (1983) - Australia

Captain Invincible (played by Alan Arkin) is America's superhero during World War II, but during the McCarthy trials, he's ruled a danger to the country and no longer allowed to fight crime. Cut to the '80s, when a villain (played by Christopher Lee) gets control of a hypno-ray that causes people to laugh uncontrollably—and also makes women take off their tops—giving him the power to take over the world. The U.S. must find Captain Invincible, who's now a terrible drunk hiding out in Australia, and hilarity ensues as the drunken hero has to master his powers again and save the world. Also, it's a musical.

Alan Arkin has a much nicer singing voice than you might imagine and you do get to hear Christopher Lee sing a song about alcohol, but on the whole, The Return of Captain Invincible disappoints. When the first number is the President of the United States basically singing a single profane word, you know you're in for a weird superhero film. The songs were written by Richard O'Brien of Rocky Horror Picture Show fame, which makes it even more disappointing that we never hear anything half as good as "Touch-a Touch-a, Touch Me."

Santo vs. The Martian Invasion (1967) - Mexico

Legendary luchador El Santo is one of Mexico's most beloved characters. As one of the first masked wrestlers to gain national fame, he was everywhere for years: his weekly comic was a huge hit, he starred in over 50 films between 1958 and 1982, and he devoted time and money to charitable causes. Essentially, he was Mexico's Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

Rodolfo Guzman Huerta, the man behind El Santo, took his wrestling character so seriously, he was never seen in public without a mask. He even had an agreement with U.S. Customs that he would only remove the mask for identification purposes in a private room. The one time people got a glimpse of El Santo's face was in 1984, on the show Contrapunto, when he partially removed his mask out of the blue, exposing his face for the first time in 50 years. He died a week later.

What's great about the Santo films is that he's not really a super hero. He's just a wrestler. But that doesn't stop him from fighting Martians and routinely saving the world. Though these films seem pretty hokey now, there's something wonderful about this real-life hero who became a symbol of good for all of Mexico.

Mr. and Mrs. Incredible (2011) - Hong Kong

What U.S. superhero trailer has ever ended with the hero catching a gigantic goldfish in a house on the edge of a cliff? None. But in Hong Kong, they're not afraid to get wet 'n' wild with their superhero adventures. Mr. and Mrs. Incredible is about a retired husband-and-wife crimefighting duo who have to deal with the issues of a normal life. Could they have been inspired by The Incredibles, a film about a retired superhero family? Probably not. The identical names were probably a coincidence.

The biggest difference is Mr. and Mrs. Incredible is a live-action comedy, and nobody has stretching powers or a baby that turns to flames. Also, the Hong Kong version partly revolves around the husband losing interest in sex with his wife until a new hot lady comes to town. (Curious that Pixar didn't go that direction.) But husband Gazer Warrior (who has laser eye power) and wife Aroma Woman (who shoots blossoms from her hands) end up rekindling the spark in their marriage—and hopefully feeding on their fresh-caught gigantic fish.