More than a decade before Superman TMP and over a quarter of a century before the current superhero craze exploded into cinema's, the Three Supermen were already flexing their super-suits in a series of big screen adventures produced all over the globe (but predominantly in Italy). I'm not quite sure why the Italians wanted to make the American institution of the Super Hero their own. They certainly pay homage to the American roots by having the trio work for the FBI. And in this particular installment, the trio gets involved in yet another US mainstay: the Western. True, some of the best Westerns of all time were made in Italy and Spain (just like this picture), but as this installment came out in the year of Blazing Saddles, it seems they thought the time was right to ad some spaghetti to their superhero spoof.
These supermen films are not for viewers who are easily annoyed or bored. There is childish humor, silly action sequences and non stop slapstick. If you think you can handle that, read on. Two silly inventors straight out of Tintin travel back to the dawn of time during the test run of their brand new time machine and get a look at some amazing footage from a cheap dinosaur film in which a giant and noisy Turtle-saurus faces some kind of Rhino-tops. From there they skip straight to the last day s of Pompei on their way back. Not sure from which films the footage came unfortunately.
Back in the present we skip to the Department of Justice under a large portrait of Tricky Dick. There George, the oldest and seemingly wisest of the three supermen is being briefed in his latest mission to steal professor Panzarotti and his time machine. So he travels to Italy to meet the other two Supermen, Sal and Brad, who of course start a fight with him like they always do. Later they try to break into the professor's place in a sequence shot day for night. The mansion is guarded by two mechanical apes who offer no challenge at all. They find George already in process of stealing the coveted mechanized MacGuffin, and together they watch and comment on a lot of black and white stock footage of WWII. Because everybody knows the 1940s were in black and white. Lo and behold, the further back in time they travel, the more colorful it gets. They skip past ancient Rome only to end up in the old West (makes as much sense as anything in this picture).
The heroic threesome decide to dress in period clothing and remain in the west at the sight of a beautiful blonde. At this point it becomes some kind of slapstick spaghetti western complete with instrumental music that seems to be played by the same orchestra that provided the music for Wickie the Viking music. As always in this series, the viewer has to be prepared to take in a lot of mugging, spitting and mumbling by Sal Borgese. At one point he seems to invent 'The Robot' while dancing on stage at a saloon but unfortunately his version still needed a lot of practice. After a whole lot of nonsense our heroes return to the present with the girl only to have the time machine inadvertently destroyed by it's inventor. But don't worry, it will be back in 1979's 'Supermen vs The Godfather' starring real life Turkish superman Cunyet Arkin.
5 out of 10
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