Dario Russo is an Australian director, writer, producer, editor, composer and occasional actor best known for the web series Italian Spiderman and the SBS series Danger5.
His works are affectionate parodies of different by-gone film and TV genres, filled to the brim with Stylistic Suck. He first made it big with a fake trailer to Italian Spiderman for his senior thesis. When it went viral, Russo eventually got the funds to make a 10-part mini-series with the character. The Australian network SBS asked for more Italian Spiderman, but Russo was done with the series and wanted to make something new, thus the existence of Danger 5.
He's creative collaborators with David Ashby and has had two production companies: Alrugo Entertainment and Dinosaur
Tropes present in Dario Russo's work include:
- Affectionate Parody: Russos work runs on this trope, usually to fairly specific films and genres.
- Italian Spiderman is a tribute to exploitation cinema that frequently ripoff and misappropriate American characters and franchises (think Turkish Star Wars or 3 Dev Adam)
- The first season of Danger 5 is an incredibly accurate parody of campy 60s action TV shows, with spoofs of pulp fiction cliches, adventure stories and Japanese sci-fi of the same era.
- The second season is a parody of 80s pop culture.
- His short Computer Man is a very spot-on parody of early 90's point-and-click adventure games, with some parody of the CDI thrown in as well.
- Black Comedy: Although its usually handled silly enough that it hard to truly get offended when he uses it.
- The Comically Serious: His characters never break their seriousness, even amidst the ridiculousness of what happens around them
- Fun with Subtitles: The multilingual cast of Danger 5 plays with this very often, but the intentionally sloppy dubbing of Italian Spiderman has a lot of fun with it.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Italian Spiderman is an obese, womanizing Jerk Ass to villains and civilians alike and the cast of Danger 5 are a childish, hyper-violent, sex-crazed group who mess up rather often.
- Retraux: He manages to get the specific styles of the shows and movies he mocks down with incredible detail. If it werent for the moments of bizarre humor and comical gore, you could actually mistake his parodies for the real thing.
- Shown Their Work: His parodies manage to cleverly mock his respective targets so well due to the amount of work it took to make them appear as if they were the real thing.
- Also, every foreign language used is near 100% accurate to how they would sound in real life.
- So Bad, It's Good: Invoked amazingly well. While intentionally so bad, its good movies often fail, Russo has actually managed to not only make them, but make them well. It probably helps that he supplements this aspect of his style with copious amounts of surreal comedy, clever parody and having his characters never address the silliness of their situations.
- Special Effects Failure / Visual Effects of Awesome: Somehow manages to have it both ways. While his works are play up the stylistic suck of his source material, his dedication to making them period accurate also accounts for this. Hell, his team can even get some genuinely impressive special effects, such as the stop-motion dinosaurs in Lizard Soldiers of the Third Reich.
- Surreal Humor: Played up especially on Danger 5.
- Stylistic Suck: Because of what specific works hes spoofing, he falls into this territory a lot.