"Shut your mouth, pussycat, e fammi un macchiato! Pronto!"Italian Spiderman
is a parody
of foreign knockoffs of American superheroes; its name is inspired by existing nicknames for such things as Turkish Star Wars
and Indian Superman
. (Though it should be mentioned that in this case, it's accurate. His name is Italian Spiderman.) It began as a trailer for a nonexistent film
, made by Australian Dario Russo for his senior finals. Uploaded to Youtube in November 2007
, it became a cult hit and was expanded into ten short films.
The plot involves an asteroid falling to earth. It is experimented on by Professor Bernardi, who develops the power of cloning
from it. He gives it to Italian Spiderman, an overweight chain smoking
brute, for safekeeping from the evil Captain Maximum. What follows are a series of chases, brawls, gunfights, and a surfing contest
, none of which have much to do with anything.Italian Spiderman is shot in 16mm
, similar to B movies
of the late '60s. The dialogue was dubbed sloppily into Italian
and given English subtitles. Large amounts of stock footage
are used, in completely inappropriate places. As part of its promotion, a fictional history of its production company, Alrugo, was created, and placed on its website
The series can be viewed here
, or as a complete (and uncut!) film here
Plans to continue the series on Australian Network SBS
proved unfruitful, and were dropped in favour of a new series
... Danger 5
Not to be confused with the Japanese Spider-Man
, which was a real (officially licensed by Marvel) show, believe it or not.
Italian Spiderman provides examples of the following tropes:
- Animal Assassin: Parodied. Twice. In episode 3, Italian Spiderman faces a crocodile which goes from stock footage to a man in a rubber suit holding a gun. In a later episode, a snake attacks him from the ceiling. He seizes it them and screams "Who sent you?!?!"
- Animorphism: Captain Maximum can turn himself and others into snakes.
- Aside Glance: Professor Bernardi in a suggestive moment between him and his assistant Judy.
- Big Bad: Captain Maximum.
- Big "NO!": Italian Spiderman throws a big one. The shaking head guy as well.
- Bloody Hilarious: Whenever Italian Spiderman kills someone with his hands, fountains of transparently fake blood end up everywhere.
- Bottomless Magazines: One scene plays it straight and subverts it at the same time: Captain Maximum shoots professor Bernardi with a revolver and fires fifteen rounds without reloading, then the gun clicks empty.
- Dead Unicorn Trope: Foreign knockoffs didn't actually refer to their country of origin.
- Death Glare: Italian Spiderman's glare can force chickens to hatch cigarettes.
- Early-Bird Cameo: During the motorcycle chase in Episode 5, two guys who fit the Fat and Skinny trope watch Italian Spiderman and Captain Maximum from afar, then run off. They never appear again, so we never get to learn their names, or even whose side they're on.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Averted, Italian Spiderman isn't just some random superhero name. That is really his name.
- Everything's Better with Penguins: "Penguini!"
- The Faceless: Maximum never takes off his mask.
- Neither does Italian Spiderman.
- Fun with Subtitles: In Episode 7, after Professor Bernardi extracts the formula, Italian Spiderman says to him, "Don't worry about it..." The guard reacts by hitting him and saying, "Silence!" In the captions, rather than replace Italian Spiderman's line with the guard's, they just put the latter below the former. Later, after Bernardi injects some of the formula to the guard, Captain Maxmium says, "Hurry up old man!" Bernardi responds, "But?" Again, same deal as Italian Spiderman and the guard.
- Grievous Bottley Harm: Complete with Eye Scream.
- A Handful for an Eye: Sand is thrown in the face of a mook who's wearing sunglasses.
- Hot Scientist: Judy, Professor Bernardi's assistant.
- Human Shield: Italian Spiderman evades gunfire from the crocodile by throwing one of his groupies in the way.
- Hypocritical Humour: Italian Spiderman beat up a pervert who made disparaging comments on a woman, telling him to respect women. Then he beat up the same woman and told her to make him a macchiato.
- Improbable Weapon User: The list includes briefcases, penguins and his mustache.
- In Name Only: Like many of the genuine foreign rip-offs it parodies, Italian Spiderman bears absolutely zero similarities to the Marvel comic book hero. The closest thing to any of American Spider-Man's powers is Italian Spiderman's Aquaman-esue ability to communicate with tarantulas.
- Italianglish: Also Hong Kong Dub.
- Lead In: Episode 1 in its entirety.
- Licensed Sexist: "Respecte la donna!"
- Made of Plasticine: Italian Spiderman decapitates a mook with a single chop from his hand. He cuts another mook's arm off in the same way.
- Make My Monster Grow: Maximum does this to himself, Italian Spiderman does this as well to stop him.
- Male Gaze: And hideous male grunting. Oddly enough, also done to the male Captain Maximum. Though Italian Spiderman was appropriately disgusted when he realized it was him.
- Missing Trailer Scene: Most of the footage from the trailer doesn't appear in the movie. Then again, it is Part 1 we're talking about.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Italian Spiderman has Super Strength, Flight, teleportation, mind control, penguin summoning, colossal growth, and can throw his moustache like a boomerang.
- The colossal growth was caused by drinking the formula that clones mooks when they take it intravenously (Why taking it in a different manner causes a different effect is never explained, but then again, neither is anything else in the movie).
- He also can also shrink motor vehicles, carry them around, and restore them to their original size at will.
- His boomerang mustache can explode. Then return to him undamaged.
- That Other Wiki lists "Uncanny Surfing Skills" and "ferociously overpowering sex appeal" as some of his superpowers.
- Nightmare Sequence: Knockout gas induces one of these.
- No Kill Like Overkill: Captain Maximum shot Bernardi fifteen times. Bernardi still lived a few minutes after that...
- Nonindicative Name: Of all the powers Italian Spiderman displays, a grand total of one has anything to do with spiders (communing with a tarantula).
- Overused Running Gag: The shakey head guy.
- Please Wake Up: Italian Spiderman tries to wake Professor Bernardi by punching him.
- Product Placement: Il Gallo cigarettes. These don't exist in real life.
- Recurring Extra: A guy who, upon seeing something out of the ordinary, just stands there with a shocked expression on his face and shaking his head wildly. He sometimes points at what he's seeing while he does this.
- Relax-o-Vision: The start of a love scene cuts away to Toku.
- Retraux: For old Italian movies.
- Say My Name: "Captain Maximum!"
- "Italian Spiderman!" as well.
- Sixties Hair: Including the beehive hairdo.
- Stock Sound Effects: Snarling is added in many places.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The trailers show Goblin, a character in green wrestler pants and mask. He only appears once in the movie and dissapears completely after his first scene with no explanation.
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- Would Hit a Girl: Italian Spiderman.
- Your Head Asplode: The mustache boomerang causes this.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Maximum says this to Bernardi before killing him.