As any filmgoer will attest, the special effects in the classic Godzilla movies consisted of a man in a rubber dragon suit stomping on miniature scale models of unsuspecting cities and knocking over toy cars. Now imagine what would happen if you substituted the man in the rubber dragon suit for a nude fireman wearing gladiator sandals.
No, Uncle Phil hasn’t been sticking codeine in his Pez dispenser. I just witnessed what may be the single weirdest movie ever made, and what is certainly the funniest adult movie this side of “Flesh Gordon.” The flick in question is “Giant Muscle Matt: A Superior Force!” and the film’s insanity is matched by the bizarre story of how it got made.
“Giant Muscle Matt: A Superior Force!” takes place in an unidentified small city, and I do mean small. This is obviously a miniature replica of a typical midsized metropolis, and the camera pans over the itty-bitty buildings to reveal some rather well-crafted handiwork. Alas, this little city has a very big secret: there is a nude muscular giant chained up on the outskirts of town. It is never explained who this nude giant is, how he got there, and how the wee townspeople were able to wrap chains around him. The giant also has a large black hood covering his head.
Needless to say, the giant is not pleased by this situation and after much struggle he breaks free of his chains. For the remainder of the film, the giant goes about smashing the town to pieces. His sandals come crashing down upon the roofs of the homes and buildings, reducing them to splinters. He snaps off the spire on the county courthouse and abruptly announces: “Court is adjourned.”
He also scoops up the screaming residents (actually plastic toy figures, but who’s quibbling) and begins popping them into his jaws. After consuming a shrieking woman, he announces: “She was a bony one!” Some more people are swallowed and he then states: “I feel stronger after eating those people.” A brief bodybuilding flex-and-pose routine follows, and then its back to mayhem as the giant resumes his destructive ways. The final indignity arrives when the giant gets his revenge by employing a certain part of his anatomy which most people don’t equate with urban demolition. Needless to say, the giant never shows remorse over who is going to mop up after him once his payback is complete.
“Giant Muscle Matt: A Superior Force!” is obviously an adult film, and at first it is hard to conceive that this was actually made by adults (let alone being for adults). But it is so ebullient in its silliness that one can’t help but get caught up in the lunacy. The basic concept is so bizarre that it is impossible not to wonder where this will wind up. And when the utterly rude finale takes place it does not feel vulgar, but rather it is laugh-out-loud hilarious because the filmmakers dared to push the proverbial envelope so far.
As with the aforementioned “Flesh Gordon,” it also works as a parody of adult cinema through its merger of the tawdry skin flick conventions into outlandish sci-fi. If the beloved Flesh could provide three decades’ worth of jollies by fighting the Penisaurus, then why shouldn’t the nude giant take the torch for the next three decades’ worth of smutty cult devotion?
The story behind this film has to be told. “Giant Muscle Matt: A Superior Force!” comes from the collaborative efforts of two guys calling themselves Matt Cassidy and Carlo. Those are pseudonyms, since Matt is a firefighter and EMT and Carlo is a police officer, and neither would be able to keep their day jobs if their filmmaking adventures got back to their respective superiors. Matt is the focus of a series of DVDs they’ve produced and sold online; Carlo is the guy behind the camera and in the marketing driver’s seat. Originally these offerings were standard-issue affairs with Matt flexing, posing and enjoying his own company (hint, hint) for the camera. (The trademark of the series is Matt not showing his face on camera, hence the giant’s black hood, although glimpses of his mouth and nose are seen here.) “Giant Muscle Matt: A Superior Force!” takes the clothing-free blaze warrior into a more sophisticated realm – this little production actually cost $4,000 to create and was funded by a devoted fan of Matt’s DVDs. Go figure!
Maybe “Giant Muscle Matt: A Superior Force!” can be considered a guilty pleasure. So, I plead guilty. This film is wonderfully weird and truly astonishing. Maybe Matt and Carlo can find someone with a Godzilla suit and shoot a kaiju-inspired sequel?