You guys can keep your Dark Knights and Avengerses. For my money, the single greatest super-hero film of the past decade has been Alrugo Entertainment's Italian Spiderman.

Originally produced as a trailer for a nonexistent exploitation flick that had been lost to the ages, Italian Spiderman became so successful as a YouTube hit that the South Australian Film Corporation gave the producers money to make a full-length film. Now, the whole thing has been released to the web in a Complete and Uncut form, and it's in the running for the best thing you'll see all week. Clear out the next 40 minutes and watch it after the cut!



Produced and directed by Dario Russo, Italian Spiderman is an amazing combination of '60s Italian action pictures like the awesome Danger Diabolik and the long and storied history of international bootleg super-hero cinema. It's even shot on 35mm film to get that classic effect, and for something that's meant to look cheesy, the production values are pretty fantastic.

The plot follows Italian Spiderman, who is consistently referred to as "Italian Spiderman" in one of the film's best recurring gags. Despite his name, and his obvious connection to his unmustachioed American counterpart, Italian Spiderman doesn't seem to have many spider-related powers -- it's a little more than halfway in before he uses some kind of telepathy to command a spider to attack one of his captors.

What he lacks in wall-crawling, though, he makes up for in other powers that are added seemingly at random over the course of the film. He can decapitate a man with a single karate chop, teleport, fix a chicken with a stare so intense that it lays a pack of cigarettes instead of an egg, and -- perhaps most amazingly -- summon penguins to attack bikini girls. It's a pretty great set of powers, which comes in handy when you're fighting someone as devious as the rudo mastermind Captain Maximum:

Unfortunately -- and perhaps fittingly -- there isn't likely to be any more Italian Spiderman after this. But take heart! For one thing, the creators have moved on to the similarly awesome Danger 5, done in the same retro-exploitation style, but with the added bonus of being about five men killing Hitler.

Plus, even with only forty minutes to his name, I think we've all learned a lesson from Italian Spiderman:

Seriously, to parapharse Benito Cereno: If this summer's Amazing Spider-Man movie is half as good as its "Italian" counterpart, then it'll be the second-best Spider-Man movie ever made.

[Via io9]

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