100 Essential Superhero Movies – You Decide! Special
Part of finishing off this list of 100 essential superhero movies is bringing in my audience, and so when I got down to the last 15-20 movies, I decided that I would let you decide. And what better than to reach out to other movie critics and reviewers to let them argue the case for a superhero movie that they are a fan of and at the bottom of the post, there is a poll where you can vote whether or not you agree if it should be included in the 100 Essential Superhero Movies list. But I didn’t want them to have all the fun so today I will be defending the case for Special, a low budget flick about a guy who isn’t really a superhero, but enrolls in a drug test study which causes him to believe he has superpowers. And things are winding down on this project, I will have the last You Decide articles by the end of this week, the last group of movies I decided to include, and one final giant poll to round out the rest of this list which will be finalized and posted in its entirety by July 9th.
Special is at first glance a fairly simple story about a guy with a simple life who takes part in a simple drug study. Les is a parking enforcement officer aka a meter maid with nothing to look forward to in his life except for this study testing what is essentially an anti-depressant. But what happens to Les instead is that he begins to get these delusions that he has super powers, it starts off as simply floating off of the couch, but it becomes increasingly powerful and addictive as he creates a costume and gains new powers the longer he takes the drug before he runs afoul of the executives out to make a profit on this drug and erase this single solitary side effect from their entire drug test.
What is great about this film is that it is an extremely unconventional superhero movie, but it also shows a lot of respect for the concept of superheroes. Les is obviously a fan of superheroes and sci-fi heroes, and he’s also friends with comic book shop owners. And while there have been a couple other movies similar to this where someone thinks they’re a hero and goes off to fight crime, this one isn’t instigated by his own choice, but through an outside force. It’s laid out very stark and very simply with occasional flourishes of his imagined super powers before quickly showing the audience what is truly happening from the onlookers’ perspectives. And on top of everything else, Michael Rappaport gives an amazing performance as Les, both during his extremely boring life before the drug, as well as the increasingly manic and paranoid delusions as the effects of the drug become more powerful. I think it is an essential superhero movie, and if you agree, make sure you vote in the poll just below here. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.