Wednesday, February 23, 2011

This Is What Happens When You Make Superhero Musicals

Someone at the day job mentioned how funny it was that they were making a musical based on Spider-Man (if you're not a nerd, go here to see what I'm talking about) and they then went on to talk about how they'd never heard of that sort of thing before. I wanted to get into a discussion about how funny a Matter Eater Lad musical would be, but my fellow proletarians would have none of it, opting to focus on silly things like 'work' instead. Pity. Anyhow, Dear Readers, my memory was jogged and from the murky depths of my sub-subconscious came the vivid vision of Alan Arkin wearing a funny looking uniform and singing a song. Let's take a second to talk about that.

Here's what you need to know about this movie:
  1. Alan Arkin is a retired/drunken/homeless superhero name... Captain Invincible
  2. Count Dooku Christopher Lee is the bad guy.
  3. It's a musical.
  4. It was shot in Australia and, yes, someone from Farscape is in the film.
  5. Did I mention that it's a superhero musical starring Alan Arkin and Saruman Christopher Lee?
It was made on a budget of about five million Australian dollars in 1983. Using my extreme math skills I have calculated that this film cost approximately 1.2 Billion US Dollars to create in today's money. That is a lot of cheddar, kiddies. Unfortunately, most of that money was spent on building artificial nervous and circulatory systems to keep Christopher Lee alive. But I digress.

I was surprised several years ago to find that not only had other people seen this film, but it had also been released on DVD and Netflix carried it! I eagerly awaited its arrival and on the day it came I cleared my schedule, made some popcorn, and prepared myself for a trip down memory lane. I had seen the movie once before, as a young lad, and remembered liking it quite a bit. After watching the first half of the movie I had to ask myself, "What the fuck was dad thinking? Why would you rent this movie for a 5 year old?!" It became clear soon enough that my memory just assumed that he had rented this flick for me. This movie was, in fact, a pretty decent satire aimed at adults and was probably not meant for the 5 year old trying desperately to understand what was so funny.

The best part of this movie (besides Christopher Lee Christopher Lee singing) is the sub-genre it helped create almost twenty years later (superhero spoof/satire). I like to think that Mystery Men and The Specials wouldn't have been made without this film, mainly because Hollywood hasn't had an original idea in a loooooong time.

Okay, I'm running out of jokes about Christopher Lee and I'll be damned if I can find a funny way to bring in a Man with the Golden Gun reference. I'm not just going to leave you hanging though. Because I love you so, I've decided to give you the trailer. You're welcome.

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