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Web Video / Italian Spiderman

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"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 Italian Batman. (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. Instead a new series, Danger 5, was created.

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 and then 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.
  • Chairman of the Brawl: A mook breaks a chair across Italian Spiderman's back, which only pisses him off.
  • 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.
  • Designated Hero: Invoked. Italian Spiderman is a perverted slob and enormous hypocrite who uses women as human shields, brutally murders thugs who pose little to no harm, and goes on capers for pretty much the hell of it, not out of any sense of right and wrong.
  • 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.
    • See Never Trust a Trailer: one of them seems to be the Goblin, an enemy shown in the trailer that actually isn't part of the narrative.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Averted, Italian Spiderman isn't just some random superhero name. ''That is really his name.''
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: During the surf-off, Captain Maximum sends two mooks to beat up Italian Spiderman, but he has an ace up his sleeve: "I summon Penguini!"
  • Expendable Clone: Professor Bernardi casually murders all the clones created by his experiments with the asteroid serum - in front of the originals.
  • The Faceless: Neither Italian Spiderman or Maximum never take off their masks.
  • 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.
  • Gratuitous English: The "Shut your mouth, pussycat!" scene, pictured above.
  • 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.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Italian Spiderman is an extremely brutal killer of mooks who largely pose no threat to him. At certain points, he even seems to enjoy wasting them.
  • 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.
  • Kavorka Man: Despite being obese and a Jerkass, Italian Spiderman has a sizable harem in his house.
  • Kick the Dog: After duplicating a rat and his lab assistant, Bernardi kills the clones of both rat and assistant.
  • Killer Rabbit: Italian Spiderman telepathically goads a harmless tarantula into attacking a guard. Blood goes everywhere.
  • 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.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The Goblin never shows up in the full series.
  • 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.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Italian Spinderman is, to put it lightly, an absolute pig when it comes to women. Hilariously, he always smacks other men for displaying the same behavior.
  • 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.
  • Running Gag: Italian Spiderman constantly insults and hits any girl he encounters, often after (or before) hitting another character for not respecting women.
  • 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.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Italian Spiderman.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Maximum says this to Bernardi before killing him.
  • Your Head Asplode: The mustache boomerang causes this.