Film / The Return of Captain Invincible

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Captain Invincible was a superhero who nigh on won World War II single-handed. After the war he was tried for numerous offenses including supporting Communism (by fighting the Nazis...), impersonating a captain and showing his underpants. He walked out of his trial and vanished.

Years later when his evil arch-enemy Mr. Midnight once again menaces the world (or at least New York) with a dastardly scheme he is discovered living in a squat in Australia. Now a disillusioned alcoholic, can Captain Invincible regain control of his long-unused and erratic superpowers in time to stop this fiend and make the world safe again?

A musical B-movie comedy from 1983, starring Alan Arkin and Christopher Lee.


This film provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody: Of quite a number of superhero tropes.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Supporting Communism, Impersonating a military officer and Showing your underpants.
  • The Alcoholic
    • Mr. Midnight even gets a song to showcase and exploit Captain Invincible's weakness for alcohol, reducing him to tears in the process.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Why, Mr. Evil Midnight, who embraces his status as a monster...and even has a song about how long evil has existed. "Long before the sands of time, there was evil doing well...Long before the birth of crime! There was evil building Hell!
  • Cluster F-Bomb: The "Bullshit" song. Very simple lyrics.
  • Cold War: Certain high ranking officials automatically blame Russia for Mr Midnight's actions.
  • Deconstruction & Reconstruction of Super-Heroes.
  • Eldritch Abomination/Humanoid Abomination: Possibly Mr. Evil Midnight, going by the song sharing his name.
    • He may actually be Satan.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Why yes !!
  • Forgot the Call: With the help of an ungodly amount of strong liquor. In fact, Mr Evil Midnight's plan for defeating Captain Invincible again is to tempt him back into forgetting the call with the draw of various kinds of alcohol.
  • He's Back: Of course.
  • Hurricane of Puns: "Name Your Poison", again. A veritable bar(rage) of cocktail puns.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: A specialty of Captain Invincible.
    • Captain Invincible is in a deli, trying to take down some human thugs in a nonlethal way, for questioning, by hurling pie after pie at them with superspeed. Eventually he hasn't got another pie to throw at them, so what does he throw instead? A pi. As in, a large sign in the shape of the numerical symbol known as "pi".
    • What does Captain Invincible say after surviving a snake pit, alligator pit and even a giant peach pit? "Well, that was really the pits!"
  • Insult Backfire:
    Captain Invincible: Fine talk from a sociopath paranoid schizophrenic with delusions of grandeur!
    Mr. Midnight: (smiles and bows) Thank you!
  • Kick the Dog: Mister Midnight provides a wonderfully pure example, as after reducing the Captain to a helpless wretch by tempting him with a truly beautiful bar, he hands him...a can of Sterno.
  • Large Ham
    • Alan Arkin is both figuratively and literally chewing the scenery. Captain Invincible is trying to get sober, but he catches sight of several full bottles of booze that start an intense craving. He writhes around, suffering flashbacks, and actually bites a chunk out of the kitchen counter.
    • Christopher Lee is having a great time in this film, but he turns it up a notch even past that during his Villain Song.
  • Larynx Dissonance: Christopher Lee briefly appears as a woman as part of a hallucination. His voice doesn't change.
  • Music for Courage: Just when the good Captain is down on the ground and looks all ready to crawl back into the bottle, his old wrist radio crackles to life and after a short announcement starts to play "God Bless America". Epic beatdown on the archvillain in 3...2...1....
  • The Nudifier: Captain Invincible isn't as skilled with his magnetic powers anymore. Metal fasteners are a bad idea.
  • Old Superhero
  • Selective Magnetism
  • Shoulders of Doom: Smaller than most but still undeniably part of the Captain's outfit.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: The film travels along the sliding scale.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: When the woman who discovered him bends over, Captain Invincible's magnetic powers inadvertently make household appliances explode.
  • Underwear of Power: He's prosecuted for them.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: See Stuff Blowing Up above.
  • Villain Song / "The Villain Sucks" Song: "Evil Midnight" manages to be both of these tropes at once.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Watching this, one has to wonder how many recovering alcoholics are covered by this trope.
  • The X of Y

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