Nov 05 2012

Five Movies Featuring (Slightly Insane) Homemade Superheroes

Published by at 11:00 am under Editorials,Lists,Movies

At some point in every young man’s life, he wants to be a superhero. This is usually LONG before he learns just what it takes to be a superhero. Before it hits them that a superhero’s life is a life met with constant struggles and physical violence. Also,factor in the death of those you care most about. Once that stuff starts to sink in, the true allure of being a superhero slowly wanes. In other words, we let our dreams die, but with good reason. The crazy thing is, you hear about these guys in real life now, all the time. Some idiot with a low IQ puts on some spandex and thinks he can go save his town.

Well, not only is that guy an idealist, and an idiot, but he will most likely be stabbed at one point. And in that single second, he will realize, this was the worst f*cking thing I could have ever possibly wanted to do. Here are five “superhero” movies all featuring indie, home grown heroes that don’t have any mutant abilities or, in most cases, common sense. I’m retarded, so I still want to be a hero. But most normal people think otherwise. Here are five movies that show why.

Boy Wonder

Not so much a mask as a warning to people that he will murder them if necessary.

I cannot begin to properly summarize my love for this film. I also find it shocking that nobody has seen it, especially considering how brutal and badass it is.

Boy Wonder is about Sean. A troubled young man whose Mother get’s killed in a car jacking, and that sends him down a very dark road of vigilantism.  It starts slow, but once Sean has tasted the power from what he has done, he pushes his own limits further and further. I will not spoil any of the major plot twists and reveals (there are a few) but I can confidently tell you that this is the REAL adult version of the Kickass Story. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Kickass (comic and movie, as I will explain later) but we can all admit that jet packs are a little over the top, right? Boy Wonder has none of that. Grit and realism, through and through.  As if a psycho kid was cast in the Charles Bronson role for Death Wish.

And by the time it all end, you are giving (what I consider top be) one of the greatest endings to a “comic book” movie ever. Just remember, don’t ask questions you’re not ready to get the answer to.

Super

Was anyone else as shocked as me at just how violent this (awesome) film ended up being.

Some people walked away from Super very, very confused. As I walked from the theater, here are just a few of the comments I recall hearing:

Wait, she raped HIM?

Well, THAT was violent.

Man, he was the worst good guy EVER!

Man, the guy from The Office went dark on us, huh?

Shit, that was depressing….

I think people went and saw Super expecting a Fantastic Four fun-fest starring Dwight from The Office. What they actually got was a nihilist view on the very bad shape the world is in, and a lesson on how violence only begets more violence. The thing is, this, to me, felt like the most realistic way a person would turn themselves vigilant. We see that Raiin Wilson plays him as an extremely wounded man, which is why he does what he does. The moment I knew I loved the flick was the moment I knew everyone else would hate it:

He caves a guy’s’ skull in with a wrench for cutting in line at a movie theater. Yes folks, that’s how insane, dressed weirdos WOULD most likely act.

And don’t even get me started on the Ellen Page and just how wonderfully manic and awesome she was as his eventual sidekick. Oh, and that rape scene? Yeah, that shocked me. As you know, takes a lot to shock me.

Defendor

This is how he dresses for Sam Malone when no one else is at the bar.

Defendor plays out like the true to life story of someone with a slight mental problem, trying to help people, and being taken advantage of and vastly misunderstood in the process.

This film is better than most in the “homemade superhero” genre, because they deal with the actual legal problems that a “superhero” would encounter, even if they were working toward the greater good . Think about it, does Batman read any of those people their rights before he arrest them? Nope. So his arrests wouldn’t be admissible. And Defendor deals with that side of it. How the politics would play out, and how the citizens of the city would come to view you. Also, Kat Dennings is in it, so there are TWO MORE good reasons to watch the movie.

Sad and seemingly honesty, by the time the movie ended, I remember thinking to myself: I bet there is a Defendor right now, somewhere, that we just don’t know about. Bleak but honest, and also quite moving, definitely merits a viewing.

Kickass

Here is a little concept teaser from part two, coming way-too soon.

People who know me know my love for the Kickass comic pretty much jump started my comic addiction all over. I thought the comic was pretty-much perfect. The idea of a nerdy comic-obsessed kid trying to become a superhero was awesome to me (gee, I wonder why). And you know what made it so awesome was the fact that, for multiple issues, he was getting his ass kicked. I liked that they showed us that being a superhero, realistically, sucked. The comic book even moreso than the movie, because in the comic, he doesn’t get the girl (kind of the whole point of the story, that only bad comes from what he does for the most part) and I thought that was a brave story to tell. And the movie did a good job of telling it, for the most part.

I have already finished the second book and can tell you that, if they do it right (massive battle in Times Square of good versus evil) it should be pretty f*cking epic. But please, no jetpacks. Even the comic didn’t do that. What the hell were they thinking?

Mystery Men

I feel a certain palpable giddiness anytime I see this movie is on.

Ah, Mystery Men, how I love thee. Much like Kickass, above you, you did spin-off from a comic, but it was a comic very few people read (though it was awesome: The Flaming Carrot), and the fact that such a small, indie comic would bring in such a massive amount of talent for their cast boded well for this film. Thing is, not many people liked it, and not many people saw it. But the people who did see it, mostly loved it. It did the one thing comic book movies never do, and that was allowed itself to be funny and laughed-at. And that is where a lot of joy of this film comes from. From the sense that they were all having fun. I mean, who wouldn’t want to dress up with Paul Reubens and Ben Stiller and play superheroes?

It can be said that, over the years, this film has amassed a bit of a cult-following, and it is well deserved. It is a funny, well-written, wonderfully-acted film. And unlike most of the other movies on the list, doesn’t take itself too seriously, which only adds to its charms.

Honorable Mentions:

Griff The Invisible: A British take on the superhero idea (and the “insane person” idea) but I mention this film with hesitancy because of a friend I have named Invisi-Bill, who just may have been robbed here. Seriously, stay tuned for details.

Orgazmo: The South park guys made a movie about a sex-superhero? Not as awesome as it could have been, but watch it to say you did.

He looks as confused by the concept as we are.

The Specials: A Mystery Men ripoff with Rob Lowe. Only see it if you are on a ton of good drugs. Otherwise, not worth it. Actually, even then, not worth it.

Mystery Team: Maybe one of my five favorite comedies of all time. Donald Glover stars (pre-Community) in what could best be described as a “Scooby Doo” riff, more than a superhero riff, but still, might be the best film on the list, regardless of that fine print.

” My whole brain is crying!”





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14 responses so far

  • Papa.Panda

    Remember seeing the trailer for Boy Wonder on here and thought I’d keep my open for it, then I saw it was streaming on Netflix and watched it. I loved the movie. I thought at first it was just going to be like Batman but in the end it was nothing like it.

  • Bad Acid

    I loved Mystery Men. So glad I got it on DVD. I never read the comics, but I loved the characters and the sets they made. You can tell the sets are dioramas, but thank goodness it came out before the Matrix, when everything following would be CGI.
    Also, the actor choices were so off the wall, yet worked so right, just check out the actors and cameos:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mystery_Men

    definitely worth a watch.

  • Todd X

    I enjoyed the list, gave me some things to watch.

    However, there were a couple of movies missing that maybe you did not know about, Michael Rapaport in Special and director Paul Williams’s Nunzio are two that might make the list based on movies on your list I am familiar with.

    Special is a movies about a man that enters a blind drug trial only to find that the drug gives him super powers.

    Nunzio is about a mentally challenged man that really wants to be a superhero.

    While the movies are not outstanding they are better than mediocre, possibly even good.

  • Lightspeed

    It’s great that you mentioned Orgazmo, but you left out some very important information. It’s not just about a sex-superhero, but a Mormon sex-superhero with a sidekick named Choda Boy who shoots cock-rockets. Chris Nolan should do a gritty reboot.

  • Tim W.

    Mystery Team might be the best film on the list.

    *takes mustache off*

    We meet again, old friend.

  • T-Bone Wilson

    Griff The Invisible was Australian. Everyone in the movie is Australian. Come on, man.

  • vision2

    I´m still pretty sure that you cannot get raped by Ellen Page

    There is just no way not to enjoyit

  • Connor

    Paul. Ever watched a british tv-show called Misfits? It’s pretty awesome but I’m not sure if you’d get the humour, it’s pretty lowbrow.

  • Uli

    Don’t forget Ichi. The greatest of all superheroes. Then again, he is not slightly insane, he is totally insane.

  • monstrinho

    i remember annoying my comicbook reading friend deliberately by going ‘Watchmen?’ Yeah that’s just a remake of Mystery Men, right?’

  • squirrelpool

    wat about meteorman?

  • HJRO2

    There’s a really good one called Franklyn, although it only kinda goes into the homemade superhero genre, the insane part is right though.

  • Kinetic Soul

    I don’t know if anyone mentioned it in the comments, but I thought ‘Griff the Invisible’ was a pretty awesome movie as well. This is probably one of my favorite genres of film though. Nice list.

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