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Movie Review: Super Fuzz

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Many a lonely afternoon was spent watching Sergio Corbucci's idiotic buddy cop flick Super Fuzz (aka Super Snooper) during its mid-'80s run on HBO. To this very day, the theme song remains lodged in my cinema-addled brain; in fact, I could probably sing the entire thing for you right now if you'd like. How impossibly sad is that?

If you said you'd never heard of this forgotten Italian gem, I wouldn't be that surprised. Unless you were one of the few individuals who had cable during its adolescent years, chances are this one passed you by. No, only those sad, pathetic individuals with no friends and nothing to do remember Terrence Hill's turn as the iconic David Speed, a man who gains some pretty nifty powers after being exposed to the radioactive fall-out from a nuclear test rocket launched by our own lovely US government.

Words simply cannot convey how truly and deeply I loved this movie as a child, and I'm happy to say that I still enjoy it as much today as I did all those years ago. Does this mean the film has aged well, or has my taste in cinema simply stopped growing? The world may never know.

As stated, lovable beat cop David Speed is granted a bevy of incredibly spiffy super powers thanks to a little harmless exposure to deadly radiation. Ah, the '80s. And while he can catch bullets in his teeth with little damage to his crowns and can easily predict the appearance of urban pachyderms, nobody really believes that this goofy bastard has these wonderfully bizarre abilities. Even when he survives a multi-story fall from a window and escapes from a full body cast after breaking every bone in his body, those around him absolutely refuse to acknowledge his gift.

To be fair, whenever he attempts to demonstrate the aforementioned powers to any of his close, personal friends, he always encounters the color red, which is essentially his version of Superman's kryptonite. After coming to terms with his affliction, David wanders around town fighting crime and demonstrating his new-found abilities to anyone who happens to stumble into the scene. And it never gets old. Never.

However, there is something that resembles a story draped casually across this zany concept, though it's not nearly as cool as the gimmick that essentially carries the movie. You see, some mob boss named Mr. Torpedo is counterfeiting one-dollar bills and transporting this wonky currency inside shipments of frozen fish. Speed decides to investigate, gets his partner in trouble, is ultimately blamed for his murder, and is forced to clear his name. That's the flick in a nutshell.

It's nice that they attempted to throw a plot in there somewhere, but I would have been just as happy watching David ramble around town, using his powers to capture burglars and what-not. What can I say? In this manly (cough) chest beats the heart of a seven year-old boy, one that still smiles a crooked smile whenever my mind wanders to this gloriously stupid motion picture. Simplicity can get you pretty far with me, in case you haven't noticed.

And make no mistake about it, folks: Super Fuzz is brutally simple. Had the film not been led by the charismatic Terrence Hill (My Name Is Trinity), the whole thing would have fallen apart five minutes after those gloriously cheesy opening credits; he's the proverbial glue that holds this moronic picture together. The action is pretty weak, the comedy is probably weaker, and the performances are basically what you'd expect from this kind of production. Thankfully, Hill manages to provide enough amusement to keep you watching for the duration, even if you find yourself throwing casual obscenities at your television as you do so.

And if you're the type to doubt my immortal words, behold the presence of Ernest Borgnine. His turn as Sargent Willy Dunlop is the stuff of lame '70s situation comedies, far beneath his talent as an actor. That said, the movie never takes itself seriously enough to warrant finely-tuned performances from its cast, so expecting something deep and meaningful is an excerise in delusion. A polished, well-crafted comedy it most certainly is not.

Amazingly enough, the fine people at Somerville House will be releasing a crisp new widescreen version of the film on Region 1 DVD this February! How cool is that? You know you want to reserve a copy, so why not give into temptation? Impress your friends and family.

Honestly, I don't know what else to say about Super Fuzz that hasn't already been said by its legion of devoted fans. As long as you don't expect much from it, chances are you'll have a smashing good time, especially if you're into early-'80s camp. I mean, what can you honestly expect from a movie that finds its hero obtaining superhuman powers while attempting to deliver a parking ticket to a tribal Indian? Terrence Hill makes the whole things work; without his sly grin and dimwitted performance, Super Fuzz would be entirely forgettable.

And you know what? I'm not ashamed to admit that this is still an all-time favorite of mine. Not one bit. Does it make my taste in movies seem childish? Perhaps. Does it put my opinion of other motion pictures in jeopardy? Well, not really. One look at the films I've enjoyed over the past year should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect from me. And like Freaked, Troll 2, The Garbage Pail Kids Movie, and other fine examples of questionable cinema, Super Fuzz essentially made me who I am today.

For the better, of course.

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