Super Fuzz tells the unlikely story of rookie police officer Dave Speed (Terrence Hill) who gets exposed to a radioactive red powder that gives him super human powers. Dave’s partner (Ernest Borgnine) cannot understand how Dave can suddenly see through walls, withstand ten story falls, and catch bullets in his teeth. Counterfeiters in the South Florida area can’t understand how this one cop can cause them so much grief. A plan is devised to frame Officer Speed, making it look like he killed his own partner. Sentenced to death, neither bullet, nor noose, nor gas chamber, nor electric chair can kill off this super trooper. Breaking free from prison Dave sets out to prove that his partner is not dead and that he is an innocent man.
An imported Italian production also know as Super Snooper, a title that connects the film with is cheesy theme song, this comic book crime story got a theatrical release, but found its legs on television as Super Fuzz. On-line, the film garners great reviews from its many fans who grew up during those budding moments of cable when channels were scrapping for material. Their love for the film exceeds the many obvious short comings the film possesses. The sound smacks of overdubbing, an effect that always distances the audience to the same degree that actor’s image always feels distanced from their voices. Such a simple technical element is not enough to tank an entire film and to a certain degree it creates reason for embrace. It’s lovable flaw in a film full of pleasingly bad moments. Borgnine knows the film to be a slapstick superhero parody and he plays up every scene with facial mugging and over the top reactions. Hill on the other hand holds a coodemeanorrr. He is the straightman of the comedic duo. The jokes themselves are cartoonish, goofy, physical, and often sped-up for comedic effect. They provide for memorable moments, but at my age they register a mere chuckle at best.
Not surprisingly, most of the folks who champion this film, like my colleague, remember it from their youth. They grew up with this film and have a strong, nearly inexplicable attachment to it. More than nostalgia, their love feels like that of a parent able to overlook numerous blemishes. At it’s heart Super Fuzz does not try to posture itself as anything more than a wacky, comic book come to life and in this fact the film is wholly admirable, serviceable, and charming. Sadly, it’s a charm that had to grow on you and it helps if the seed was planted early. Never having seen this film as a child I feel some what cheated. I will never possess the same loving fascination that so many others now hold towards Super Fuzz. Regretfully, this is just how it goes sometimes. We grow up with personal, enigmatic experiences not shared by everyone we meet. Thinking back there is certainly something from my youth that I cherish, but unless experienced by others at the same time or the same age would fly soundly over their heads. Maybe it’s my love of Klondike Kat cartoons, something I do not rightfully understand myself nor expect others to understand. Whatever it is, there will always be personal artifacts from our past that we hold dear, but others cannot appreciate to the same degree, if even tolerate. In Super Fuzz, I see the appeal. I only wish I had seen it sooner. Perhaps, should I ever have kids, I’ll sit them down on a rainy day and let them watch Super Fuzz. It’s always nice to give your kids opportunities you never had and there is a good chance it will be better than the crap they’ll want to watch.