Superhero Shorts: Wolverine’s Claws Suck
I was very happy with the first article in this Superhero Shorts series and I will definitely be continuing this series every Saturday. I’ve also gotten some good responses from filmmakers talking about their short films. This week I take a look at another comedy video by the YouTube filmmakers Greg and Lou. Wolverine’s Claws Suck is their only superhero themed comedy video made in 2009 with over 2 million views on YouTube. Lou from Greg and Lou graciously answered a few of my questions about their video, but first let’s take a look at it.
I saw this video quite a while ago and really loved it. Watching it again for this article and it made me laugh just as hard. It starts out with a question pondered by many a superhero fan and I’m sure it’s been discussed often in many different variations: If you could have one superpower, what would it be? This video takes it literally as there is a service where one can receive one superpower for a price. As with many of the fan’s discussions, there is a caveat. Their choice: Wolverine, actually has two different powers. He has his natural mutant healing ability as well as the scientific experiment that gave him his adamantium claws. They end up choosing the claws, hilarity and blood ensues. I thought the setup for this video was fantastically simple, and the reasoning behind the choice is one that many people on the spot would choose without thinking of the consequences. The payoff is just as great with some convincing claw effects. My only problem with the claws is a minor fanboy complaint. I always perceived that the way Wolverine’s claws should work is when he wants them to come out, he swings his arms out in an arc. My assumption was that the centrifugal force was what made his claws come out, rather than an unknown muscle or certain way of flexing that brought them out. But of course, that would ruin the entire concept of what makes the video funny in the first place. The escalation of injuries were paced very well and it just made me laugh harder and harder as it went on, and just when I thought it would be over, they went farther. In a great way. Did it make you laugh too? Let me know in the comments section down below.
I’d like to thank Lou Perez of Greg and Lou for taking the time to answer a few questions about their videos.
Bubbawheat: Could you tell me a little bit about how you came up with the idea for the short?
Lou Perez: The idea started during an improv scene a while back. Greg and I were a part of a larger sketch/improv group called Hammerkatz. During one of our practices, our coach, Eliza Skinner, had us working on scenes where our characters had specific physical details. When I stepped off the backline and Greg followed, I had Wolverine in mind, so out popped the claws. Greg followed with “his own claws.” Then we started screaming.
BW: Were you surprised when the video went viral?
LP: We thought the idea was going to blow up right away, but I think it’s been sort of a small build to viral, when compared to other popular videos. Some videos go viral overnight and have millions upon millions of hits. Ours we had to wait for. But we’re happy so many people have watched it. It was a hot, uncomfortable shoot, and Greg lost a nipple. So more hits are validating.
BW: Did you ever do, or consider doing other superhero themed comedy shorts?
LP: We’re excited about this spoof of The Dark Knight Rises that we shot; we should be releasing it soon. [ed: you can see that video here] We’d love to do more superhero videos, but the drawback is that superhero videos often require special effects, and that’s something you have to pay for. We were fortunate to have our good friend and DP, Paul Rondeau, working on the Wolverine video. (Paul shoots a lot of our videos. If a video looks nice, it’s because of Paul. If it looks like shit, it’s because Paul had a sweeter gig that day.) I have no idea how the hell Paul did it, but he’s the reason the claws look so awesome. All I know is that he went above and beyond to make the video happen—and he deserves a lot more money than we could ever afford to give him.
BW: Do you get many comic book fanboy comments complaining about how you got something wrong?
LP: Those comments are always the best. And it’s the same comment over and over again: “The adamantium isn’t a mutant power.” We deserve to be called out for getting things wrong. We’re assholes for disrespecting fictional realities. But we prefer the in-depth fanboy comments to being called “fags” or being told in misspelled words that we’ve “oviusly nevr had sEx,” which are really popular comments on our other videos.
BW: Is there a project that you’re currently working on?
LP: We’re continuing to shoot one-off sketches and are working on some new web series, but something that we’re really excited about is our sitcom Gold Farmers is a finalist in the Comedy Central Short Pilot Competition. The show is about three friends who open up a World of Warcraft gold-farming operation. We’re up against 24 other pilots, but hopefully there’s at least one Dwarf Paladin on the contest panel.
BW: And finally, what’s your favorite superhero movie?
LP: Mine might be X-2: X-Men United. But Batman Returns holds a special place in my heart. Danny Devito’s penguin butt is incredible.
BW: Thanks again for agreeing to answer my questions.
LP: Thanks for asking us. I’m happy you enjoyed our video. I hope your readers like it too. Best of luck with the site!
Stay tuned for next week’s episode where I take a look at acclaimed short film Batman: Dead End and talk with the writer/director Sandy Collora. If you have a suggestion for a short film that you’d like me to review, or if you have done your own YouTube Superhero Short and would like to be featured here, leave a comment below. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.