STUDIO: Magnolia Home Entertainment
MSRP: $26.98

  • Outtakes
  • HDNET: A look at Special

The Pitch

Drugs give you powers.

The Humans

Michael Rapaport, Paul Blackthorne, Josh Peck, Jack Kehler and Alexandra Holden

The Nutshell

Les Franken (Michael Rapaport) loves his comic books. One day, he becomes involved in a clinical drug test. Halfway through the test, Les notices that his body is changing. Developing strange new powers, Les takes to the streets to fight crimes. Thrill to the exploits of an awkward white guy slapping around poorly educated thugs.

One twist away from Pfizer Country.

The Lowdown

Hal Haberman and Jeremy Passmore make an interesting debut with this fascinating take on the superhero. Les is our hero in this tale. He’s a traffic cop that can’t stand the boring hell that his life has become. So, he volunteers for a clinical drug test to try and better his life. What happens is that the drug exposure grants him powers.

The first thing that Les does is start fighting crime. He believes that he can float through the air, read minds and walk through walls. In reality, the poor bastard is just tripping balls. It’s not long before the authorities are after Les to stop him. Les feels confused and targeted by a vast conspiracy. So, he decides to fight back.

Say, aren’t you Randy the Ram? Young Les knew that asking the question meant that the aging Wrestler would lose another fingertip. But, the extra blood gave the Boar’s Head meat…something special.

The film works as a fascinating statement on our obsession with being better. Whether it’s designer surgery, living beyond our means or desperately trying to keep up with the class wars…no one wants to be who they are. When Les finds out that his powers aren’t what they think. He doesn’t try to settle down and find a way to work it all out. He flips his lid and tries to make the world realize his delusions are real.

The world of super heroics is made and broken by the demands to update to the times. Special does this by playing against the 70s Paranoia Cinema mindset. It’s a great cross-breeding that allows for some interesting results. Does it make for the best film ever? Of course, not. But, it’s a solid experience that deserves to be seen at least once.

Special is a decent indie feature. The problem is that the transfer looks 16mm mud. The special features don’t really do a hell of a lot to explain the film. The audio is rather thin, but that’s too be expected for a feature shot on the cheap. Does that make it a bad experience? No. It just isn’t something that’s going to wow you.

The cleanest comic shop in America.

The Package

HDNET: Look at Special

HDNet always get the first look at this Magnolia Pictures features. This is a standard 22 minute runthrough of the film. Actors and other talent come together to discuss what it was like to work on the film.

Outtakes – The filmmakers throw on some outtakes that spotlight the actors’ ability to flub lines. There’s nothing that amazing to see here.

You too can morph into a middle-aged Emma Stone.

7.6 out of 10