You’d think that when I told you that there’s a movie about a guy who develops incredibly weird super powers and is a bit of a schlubby roommate with his overweight friend that it’s also a movie unlike anything else I’ve seen. But when it comes to this site and the amount of indie movies I’ve seen, there are actually quite a few bizarre similarities. This is not the only movie I’ve seen where the hero as a main character has the power to shoot food out of his hands. This also isn’t the only low budget movie involving superheroes where two friends and roommates have a friendly-yet-contentious relationship with each other. This isn’t even the only movie I’ve seen that seems to have chosen a random word out of the dictionary and added “man” to the end. The point is, I’ve seen quite a few of these movies, and I’m not trying to say that any of them are copying off each other, I highly doubt that any two projects had ever even heard of each other. But I have, and when looking at them comparatively, this ends up falling somewhere in the middle of these quirky, low budget, superhero movie concepts.
As for Spaghettiman specifically, it follows the typical low budget superhero route by playing up the comedy angle. Clark is the slacker friend who looks like a stereotypical homeless guy with the huge, unkempt beard, thinning hair, and clothes that look like he’s been wearing them for a few days. The only thing missing is the several layers of coats, instead he prefers a red, zippered hoodie. He’s set up right away as an analogue to Randall from Clerks. He doesn’t want to work or really do anything, he just wants to get money for it. Whether he’s eating a couple slices of a pizza he delivers, or goes on and on to his roommate about how he essentially plans on walking all over his generosity. His roommate Dale is the overweight comic book nerd who is aspiring to become a cop, but he will never pass the physical requirements and is constantly made fun of by two other members of the force. Both play their roles well enough, but there’s not much to go on beyond their stereotypes.
Where the real fun comes in is when the super powers kick in. Through the magic of a malfunctioning microwave and reheated spaghetti, Clark is able to expel spaghetti out of any orifice of his body, first revealed when he takes his morning pee and ends up with a toilet full of cooked spaghetti. But most of the time it eventually just comes out of his hands. And as this is a low budget film, there’s never any real special effect shots, merely editing and throwing lots of spaghetti. It’s a joke that never quite gets old throughout the hour and a half run time. Especially when it borders on absurdity as he begins to knock out criminals with clumps of spaghetti and even appears to break someone’s ankle via a well-aimed toss of a handful of noodles.
But it’s not just the typical story about a guy who gets an absurd super power and goes out to fight crime, the extra layer of humor comes from the fact that Clark is an opportunistic slacker. His costume is a paper bag that he just happens to find laying on the ground that he tears eye holes in. Not only that, but he continues to use the same bag for the entire rest of the movie, even so much so that when he gets to the point where he’s going to give up the superhero life, he tears up the bag, and when he gets sucked back in he doesn’t make a new one, he just tapes up the old one. And on top of all that, he doesn’t just save people, he demands payment for his services, even to the level where he will save someone from having their wallet stolen, only to request all of their on-hand cash as payment. It can be a fine line for this to be funny and not turn him into a dislikable character, but the sight of this guy with a paper bag over his head is so non-threatening, and Ben Crutcher has a great amicable tone to his voice that it works more often than it doesn’t. Especially some of his later moments when he realizes that he gets caught up in the heroism and forgets about the capitalism.
For all the humorous moments that it has, there is an actual plot to this film and it does go to some interesting places with a slight Shyamalan twist along with a cadre of entertainingly incompetent would-be criminals. When all is said and done, this is a fun diversion if you’ve seen every major superhero movie under the sun. If you’re someone like me who has seen a lot more of the superhero nooks and crannies, it falls somewhere in the middle. I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as Squid Man, but I liked the characters more than 28 Minute Epic or Real Heroes. It’s currently available on digital and can be found through its website.