Super Fuzz (1980) — Cop gains all the powers of the rainbow, save one

“If a man is in the middle of an atomic blast, the least he can do is drop dead!”

Justin’s rating: Three supers and one duper

Justin’s review: I’ll give this much to Super Fuzz: Not many movies start with our protagonist furiously shoveling down beans while he’s about to be executed for the fourth time. I guess that’s when you know you’re in for a bit of a different type of cinematic experience.

A staple of early HBO movie rotations, Super Fuzz introduces us to Dave Speed (Terence Hill with a thick Italian accent), a police officer who was exposed to a nuclear blast in the Everglades. Instead of melting him into a puddle, the blast gave him a wide array of superpowers that work most of the time. As long as Dave doesn’t see the color red, that is. It’s his (ahem) kryptonite.

Dave has way too much fun with all of his powers, which include telekinesis, super speed, invincibility, walking on water, and precognition. And just in case you missed the subtlety of the moment, every power usage is accompanied by a ludicrous musical motif. The sixteenth time you hear it, you’ll be primed to laugh because of how dumb and predictable it is. Sometimes the music can’t wait patiently, jumping the gun to start belting out “super SUPER!” in anticipation of a power usage to come.

The bulk of the “humor” here is this super cop frustrating his sergeant (Ernest Borgnine) by claiming to have these abilities but never clearly proving it. As he’s giving Borgnine a stroke with his powers, Dave also works to thwart a local crime boss. Through a wacky sequence of events, Dave gets framed for murder and winds up being the target for multiple kinds of execution. As long as the color red doesn’t make an appearance, he outlasts each one.

It is oddly refreshing to see a superhero who doesn’t have a damaged psyche or struggles with the calling of this profession. Dave is all too delighted to abuse any situation to his advantage, even if it means sending an entire stadium’s worth of people into the abyss or mind-controlling gangsters to dance in unison.

Listen, nobody’s going to successfully argue that Super Fuzz is anything approaching a good movie with its campy tone and irregular internal logic. But it achieved a weird sort of cult status for its frequent broadcasts on HBO, over-commitment to the bit, and its incredibly silly theme song (super-super-SUPER!). It’s hard to hate on this movie, even if there’s nothing about it to love.

And I will admit to finding the theme really infectious to the point that I kept randomly bursting into “super-SUPER!” while walking around the house. My family is worried and would like to know if a very specific intervention can be staged for this flick.


  • These opening credits will make you colorblind
  • Superheroes are very hard to execute via capital punishment
  • That is one chunky wireless phone
  • The Indians don’t look thrilled to have their home village nuked, for some reason
  • “What elephants?”
  • Trucks like to drive around doing illegal gambling in the back (with everyone in black tie, no less)
  • Wait, did Dave just annihilate all of those people so he could have alone time with this cutie?
  • Heh, he catches the bullet in his teeth
  • If you grow up in the mountains, it means you can’t swim
  • That little girl looks way too pleased the grown-ups are making out
  • He broke every single bone?
  • Bad guys in Florida all wear old man hats
  • “Two go’s with the guitar and then it’s my turn”
  • Reading a Superman comic on the ceiling
  • super-super-SUPER!

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