Spaghettiman (2016)

What happens if the Worst Person You Know got superhero powers? That’s effectively the premise of Spaghettiman, a movie in which a lazy and narcissistic slob of a man, Clark (Benjamin Crutcher), wakes up one day able to shoot spaghetti out of his hands (and other places). Why? He fell asleep while some spaghetti was being heated in the microwave, the microwave went haywire, and here we are. It doesn’t try to make sense; overthinking it is for squares, anyway.

He decides to help people with his new-found powers, but only if they agree to pay him to do it. This goes on for quite some time before a villain emerges—its identity is a secret to him but not the audience, but I’ll save you the spoilers anyway—and something resembling a plot kicks in. Mostly, the movie is a bunch of skits in which a loser saves people by shooting pasta at their attackers and then demands payment. Clark grows a little thanks to his powers, but mostly remains this awful guy throughout. You’re forgiven for hoping he winds up dead by the end of the film.

It should be noted at this point that Spaghettiman is a very low-budget indie movie. Aesthetically, it looks like it. The production values are terrible, the cinematography screams “high school project,” there are a couple of action scenes whose choreography will likely make you cringe, and the acting ranges from bad to terrible. Mix in a lackluster story and an awful protagonist, and you don’t have much going for you. So, what do fans see in it?

Well, many of the production issues will be ignored because they’re a product of means, not talent. Could it all look better if the filmmakers had more money? Probably. So, for some people, holding that against them isn’t fair. Fine. And there is a certain charm to the movie as a whole. It has intangibles that almost make it watchable in the moment. You know, like The Room, but nowhere near as funny. You may find a man singing a song about twins to a pregnant woman for two straight minutes, or dragging a man in a wheelchair up a flight of stairs funny, but I can’t say I did.

Its superhero parody elements exist but aren’t terribly clever. It’s just doing the same basic things but with a loser and spaghetti instead of a good person and something cooler. And it’s not over-the-top or silly enough to work on that B-movie level, either. It’s something that would work as a joke for a 10-minute short that drags on for far too long when stretched to feature length. You can put all your heart into it that you want, but when it’s a flawed concept from the get-go, and you don’t have a story that’s worth telling, it’s not going to work.

Spaghettiman is a movie that might have been effective as a short film, but was unable to do much of anything as a feature. It’s not funny, clever, smart, or especially entertaining. It follows a loser who gets superpowers and does the same thing over and over for the majority of the film until a half-baked villain plot thread is tacked on near the end. It wants to be a parody movie of superhero films but is just a bad version of them instead. Its low budget makes it hard to watch if low production values bother you, and while the filmmakers’ hearts were clearly in the project, it just didn’t work out.

Conclusion: Spaghettiman isn’t very entertaining or clever, despite its best intentions.

Recommendation: If the premise sounds funny enough to you, give it a shot. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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