The Specials
By
Phil Davetas
11/8/2003 4:32:28 PM

Not familiar with the superhero clan, ‘The Specials’? Here’s an introduction to the cast of characters:

The Strobe – The father figure of an elite group of gifted mutants with assorted powers calling themselves ‘The Specials’ and of course, married to the beautiful ‘Ms. Indestructible.’

Ms. Indestructible – The mother of the Specials with the amazing gift of having indestructible skin and taking Nightbird under her wing.

Nightbird – The ambitious, young ingénue who desperately wants to join the Specials with her amazing power of laying eggs of sulfuric acid.

Amok – A reformed agent of evil who has suffered a cataclysmic air-brushing accident giving him powers of foul language and blue skin. Now he works with the Specials to fight the asshole forces of evil.

The Weevil – A weevil-powered superhero with the amazing ability to be liked but is falling under the bad influence of Amok. He also screws Ms. Indestructible whenever possible which causes a chain reaction that threatens the union of the Specials. He is now considering a career with a cooler superhero team: The Crusaders.

Power Chick – She’s gay, Alien Orphan’s guardian and can morph into anything that bad CGI can dictate.

Deadly Girl – A goth chick with collection of demons at bay and is pursuing a career with the Femme Five for which there is already eight of them.

Mr. Smart – The gadgeteer who has suffered a horrible olfactory accident and spends a bulk of the story with a bloody Maxi pad stuck to his face.

Eight – One mind trapped in eight separate bodies and has the gift of giving advice. One of the bodies comes in the form of X’s John Doe.

Minute Man – Not Min-it Man, but Mine-noot Man, who has the power to shrink himself down to about a foot. He also has the amazing gift for writing Scooby-Doo movies.

Alien Orphan – Nothing more than a gelatinous ball of mucus who can morph into any shape—particularly a green, gangly, vomiting dancing machine with a hankering for bloody marys.

U.S. Bill – Oh, I almost forgot about him.

After all the great battles are fought and before the next one is about to begin, this is the story of the elite Specials (the world’s sixth or seventh favorite superhero team) on a normal day. Don’t be fooled. This isn’t a movie about superheroes or fighting off a demonic madman bent on taking over the universe. This is actually about a family of misfits who are about to come apart at the seams. Their whole family structure is threatened by each other’s dysfunctional relationships. Their morals and ethics are gray despite how heroic the media makes them look. You might have to look at this movie as an independent film rather than a superhero parody. A lot of things are funny and deal with some superhero goofiness, but the emotions that run through the movie are real and complex as if you were watching One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Mystery Men at the same time. The levels of comedy are genius. There’s an unspoken running gag sneaking in from scene to scene that takes a certain keen eye to catch. Heed the pig button.

The deleted scenes are terrific and consistent with the theme of the movie. The commentary is about as funny as you can guess, although it would’ve been funnier if Jamie Kennedy was on it. The commentary reveals plenty of big, fat juicy gossip, trivia and filmmaking techniques. There’s an uncut version of the toy commercial featured in the film, but won’t make any sense unless you have seen the flick. There’s the uncut Ms. Indestructible and The Strobe’s wedding video. A red band trailer of the flick and a cheesy picture gallery.


The Specials (3 ½ out of Four)
R, 2000, 81 min., Pioneer Entertainment.

www.thespecials-movie.com

Rob Lowe, Jamie Kennedy, Thomas Haden Church, Paget Brewster, Kelly Coffield, Judy Greer, James Gunn, Sean Gunn, Jordan Ladd, John Doe, Melissa Joan Hart, Music by Brian Langsbard, Produced by Dan Bates, Mark A. Altman and Rick Mischel, Written by James Gunn and Directed by Craig Mazin.

Special Features:

Commentary Track with: Craig Mazin, James Gunn, Mark A. Altman and Mojo, 10 Deleted Scenes, The Specials Toy Commercial, Wedding Video, Trailer and Picture Gallery.

Heroes at Large For Better or Worse:

Bloody Mallory, Mystery Men, Batman: The Movie, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Scooby-Doo, Excel Saga, FLCL, The Return of Swamp Thing, Big Trouble in Little China, Hudson Hawk, Ghostbusters, Suburban Commando, Orgasmo, Dick Tracy, Evolution, Josie and the Pussycats, Hero At Large…

 

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