Italian Spiderman

“Italian Spiderman” is a 2007 parody of Italian action-adventure films produced in the 1960’s and ’70s and was produced by Alrugo Entertainment, an Australian filmmaking collective. Originally, the film began as a fake trailer on Youtube, but was later expanded into a full length film made up of ten short episodes released on Youtube along with the trailer. While the planned sequel never occurred and Alrugo was disbanded shortly after the end of the first film, a spiritual successor was made in the form of the Dinosaur production company and the spy film parody “Danger 5.”

The plot of “Italian Spiderman” opens with an asteroid from a distant galaxy crashing into the Earth and being discovered by Professor Bernardi. After studying the asteroid, Professor Bernardi discovers that it contains a substance capable of cloning any living being. Due to the danger of such a substance, Professor Bernardi entrusts custody of the asteroid to the superhero Italian Spiderman. Italian Spiderman is not a description of the character, nor is it a name to hide his identity from his enemies; the character’s name is literally Italian Spiderman. He is a rude chain-smoking misogynist whose superpowers include whatever is convenient to the plot. Almost immediately upon giving Italian Spiderman the asteroid, Bernardi is attacked by Captain Maximum but is repealed by Italian Spiderman. Afterwards, Captain Maximum turns the professor into a snake and steals the asteroid from Italian Spiderman. For unknowable reasons, Captain Maximum offers the asteroid the Italian Spiderman if he wins a surfing contest. Captain Maximum quickly cheats, however, when it becomes apparent how great of a surfer Italian Spiderman is. He could not win even by cheating however, because Italian Spider has the ability to summon penguins to his aid. Captain Maximum escapes Italian Spiderman, and then Italian Spiderman goes off to meet the Captain in his lair for a final confrontation between Captain Maximum and his cloned army against Italian Spiderman.

“Italian Spiderman” is an incredibly unique film that is incredibly enjoyable. There is almost no rhyme or reason to most anything in the film except for the loosely tied together plot. Characters appear and disappear for no reason, and Italian Spiderman is capable of literally anything as the plot demands. Unlike most genre-based parodies, there doesn’t need to be any background for film viewers though Italian action-adventure movies from the era produce tremendous amounts of unintentional humor. At the end of the day, it’s hard to recommend the movie to anyone as it has a very off-beat and avant-garde kind of humor that can be hit or miss for people. As mentioned above, people who do enjoy “Italian Spiderman” will love “Danger 5,” a television show about a team of spies working to kill Adolf Hitler with the same sense of humor by a production company made from part of the filmmaking collective that made “Italian Spiderman.”

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