Hydrozagadka is a surreal Polish movie, released in 1970. During a heat wave in Warsaw everyone is drowning in sweat, and, to make matters worse, all the water in the city starts to disappear mysteriously. Professor Milczarek asks As, the intrepid superhero, to help him investigate.
The movie provides examples of:
- Affectionate Parody: Of superhero genre.
- Artistic License – Physics: The baddies plan is: turn all water in Warsaw into steam. When clouds form over Kabur (don't ask how), send fridges with baloons attached to collect it and sell it to the locals. Profit!
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Maharaja of Kabur (wherever this is) and doctor Plama.
- Brand Names Are Better: Parodied Trope, both in regard to Western brands (understandable since the movie was made under the communist regime):Jurek: I read "Time" and "Epoca", I only drink Ballantine's, I smoke Winstons, for you I brought Wintermans, imported chocolate cigars. Take off your hat.
- The Taxi Driver: I'm already a little comforted. I rememebered I'm insured by P, Z, U.
- Brought To You By The Letter A: As's costume has an A on the chest, as evidenced in the page picture.
- Can't Hold His Liquor: The bad guys get several people drunk to keep them from interfering with their Evil Plan. One apparently keeled over just from having a bottle held up to his nose.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Two of these trying to steal all the Warsaw water. The horror!
- Cartoonish Supervillainy: Befitting a wonderfully silly movie.
- The Casanova: Jurek is trying (with As's Love Interest!) but she's unimpressed.
- The Cape: As. Also, The Ace - it's his name!
- Clark Kenting: As's civilian identity is Jan Walczak, a mild-mannered draughtsmannote . He does not conceal his face in any way, doesn't even wear a Domino Mask, although he does wear glasses, just like Clark Kent.
- The Comically Serious: Both straight and a meta-example, since the directors' explicit goal was to make as wonderfully silly movie as possible at the time movies were considered Serious Business. As especially delivers completely ridiculous lines without as much as a twitch of his facial muscles, but he's not an exception.As: Because I respect social decency and public peace, I shall not rip this door out to deal with you, mister!
- Credits Gag: The opening credits are spoken by the singer Iga Cembrzyńska (who was the director's girlfriend at the time and also played a minor role - a waitress in league with doctor Plama), in a strange, sultry way. Apparently this is because the movie had a very tight budget and they couldn't afford to make the credits like normal, but the end result adds to the surrealism.
- Drugs Are Bad: The anti-alcohol messages are parodying the real anti-alcohol campaigns from the time.The Taxi Driver: This orange pop isn't... popping.
As: THIS IS ALCOHOL! THE WORST POISON!
- I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Doktor Plama's justification of his henchman's (who is pretending to be a child) rude behavior towards the Maharaja:Dr Plama: This boy is, heh heh, hungover.
- Intoxication Ensues: The baddies attempt this on As, but the "orange pop" is drank by someone else.
- Makes As Much Sense In Context: That's what makes it funny.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Doctor Plama is one of the villains, although we never learn what he's a doctor of.
- Never Smile at a Crocodile: The villains bring one with them. A rocket-powered German alligator. Named Hermann. He only understands commands in German.
- The Professor: Milczarek, the nice scientist who solicits our hero's help when the electronic brain proves unable to find out where all the water goes.
- Public Service Announcement: Many of the ridiculous lines As recites (with full, hammy sincerity) are actually health and safety slogans from the time.
- William Shakespeare: The quotation is delivered rather hammily.As: Wake up. Raise! I wake you up!
The Crossing Keeper: Why, let the stricken deer go weep, The hart ungalled play.
As: For some must watch, while some must sleep; So runs the world away. (Beat) You are delirious!
The Crossing Keeper: Nah, I like Shakespeare.
- Stylistic Suck: The story (intentionally) makes little sense, the acting is weird, the montage sloppy. The director himself says that he was aiming for "wonderfully silly", but...
- Sophisticated as Hell: Jurek. His "sophisticated" and "worldly" phrases are immediately followed with "Take off your hat" spoken in a noticeably crude, yokel way.Jurek: We shall make love the French way. Take off your hat!
- Superheroes Wear Tights: Although just how As would have been able to get hold of a classical superhero costume goes unexplained (like a lot of other things, to be fair). He's not wearing a cape, though.
- Take That!: Underneath the Affectionate Parody of superhero stuff, there's also a less affectionate parody of both Public Service Announcement material and contemporary crime novels and films which were always deadly serious, tended to have foreigners, traitors and western-styled playboys as villains and seemingly naive, but flawless heroes.
- Villains Act, Heroes React: As is only contacted after the water shortage (caused by villains) stumps both Milczarek and his computer.