I just watched a foul and mean spirited superhero film. It's probably the third I've seen that was designed to be ugly and disturbing.
The first one I can recall in this catagory is Special. Michael Rapaport plays Les, a loser battling depression and futility. He signs up for a drug study for a new mood elevator/anti-depressant called Specioprin Hydrochloride. It turns out that a very small number of people have an "adverse reaction" to the medication:
The film was good, but not great. Let's say ***/*****.
After that, I watched a better, darker superhero film called Defendor. Don't call him Defender, it's DefendOR!
Woodey Harrelson has the title role in his bester performance. Defendor has Down Syndrome. He is looking for the supervillain, Captain Industry who is responsible for all of the city's problems. Now the fact that he misunderstood his abusive grandfather complaining about captains of industry fucking up his job has nothing to do with it.
Defendor tortures people during interrogation with bottles of lime juice and nut crackers. He foils gunmen with a wrist rocket slingshot. He uses a World War One trench club to get his point across.
His sidekick is a crack addicted prostitute who steals from him and uses him for a place to sleep at night, feeding him lies about the mythical Captain Industry to placate him. It's some sick shit.
It was a good film. It succeeded on more levels than I'd thought possible. ****/*****
The best of the lot I just got done watching, Super. It was the meanest, grossest, most unspeakable superhero film ever made. Rainn Wilson plays Frank, a short order cook whose wife falls off the wagon, returns to a life of drug abuse, and leaves him. In his despair, he is the beneficiary of divine intervention. Than finger of God literally touches him and sends him on a mission to make crime "Shut Up!" Now, being touched by the finger of God might, at first glance, look like some twisted Hentai bullshit, but it's not. It's divine:
After his enlightenment, Franks knows what needs to be done. You might be too much of a pussy to do it, but then you've never had tentacles saw the top of your head off, roll a corndog on your brain, and have God electrify your grey matter. In the scene below, it's important you you understand that it's not a dream sequence. It's not a fantasy. This is what the character actually does in the film:
It's hard to award stars to a film as fucked up as Super. But it was nearly a perfect film.