ABCs OF SUPERHEROES

This picture does a better job articulating the kind of experience ABCs of Superheroes is, than this entire written review.

This picture does a better job articulating the kind of experience ABCs of Superheroes is, than this entire written review.

There's a fine line between a bad movie, and a so-bad-its-good movie, and boy oh boy, does this one straddle that line. Hard.

Let me paint a mental picture for you to help visualize what that line straddling would actually look like.

Imagine Uwe Boll as a drunk half-naked clown, being tasked to take a sobriety test and walk a straight line (this being the metaphorical line separating bad and so-bad-its-good) while riding a one-legged ostrich, wearing women's underwear (the clown, not the ostrich, but either one works), and the officer is also half-naked, and also on a one-legged ostrich. For good measure, let's just say the officer is Lloyd Kaufman. Ridiculous right? Crazy, right? Yeah, that still doesn't even begin to describe what's happening here. Not even close, but at the very least you're beginning to understand what Jens Holzheuer and Oliver Tietgen's M.O. is with 'ABCs of Superheroes'. A film that not only celebrates the absurd, the perverted, and imbecilic, it also gleefully revels in it.

No apologies are made for what's on display here; an amalgamation of the most insane, depraved, mind-numbing, sensibility assaulting short stories - all of which tenuously attempt to cover a differently gimmicked superhero that corresponds to its assigned letter of the alphabet. A for Almighty Ape, B for Bonarr, C for Cowboy Man; you get the idea. So if there's any structure, it's in the presentation of the film. As for the short stories themselves, like other films structured this way (especially ones with this much variety in content), they are going to be hit-or-miss. What tickles and what offends will come down to the individual viewer's personality, but let's be real here, if you were actively seeking this film out to begin with, I suspect most of what ABCs has to offer will be exactly what you were looking for.

Oh, but what exactly is on offer you ask? Well, not to give too much away, but the smorgasbord of lunacy includes such imaginative setups as superheroes premised around menstruation (equipped with suitably themed weapons), an epic cgi-filled battle between an incoherently hilarious Bai Ling and a mostly naked, "Electric Eel Woman" (who's real power seems to be the amazing ability to keep her breasts from falling out of her outfit). Then there's my personal favorite, the letter "F"; a riff on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, fighting and fisting their way to a stinky, bloody victory. That's just 3. There are 23 others just as good (bad?) as these, all filled with copious amounts of gore, awkward titillation, and bad acting - all the elements that make this one just oh-so charming.

As a fan of cult and exploitation films, stuff put out by the likes of Toetag Pictures, Vinegar Syndrome, and Troma Entertainment, basically movies made in what many would say, "poor-taste", I can definitely say, "I've seen some shit". But DAMN if this isn't the cinematic equivalent of the kind of P.T.S.D. inducing event, searing it's images into my brain, scarring me for life. Can't say I regret watching it though (I definitely laughed my ass off in disbelief); actually if anything, I'm grateful. As much as ABCs of Superheroes is a juvenile and playful experience, it can also feel like a mental endurance test. Exposing me to levels of perversion and depravity even I wasn't prepared for, it certainly tested my threshold and tolerance for this kind of stuff, each letter forcefully pushing them to new heights.

...


Ok now, NOW, I've seen some shit.

This makes less sense within the context of the film, believe it or not.

This makes less sense within the context of the film, believe it or not.