We here at Fandom are counting the seconds until Deadpool‘s release this weekend. In order to make the wait less unbearable, we’ve pulled together a list of five superhero movies that are guaranteed to tickle your funny bone. If they tickle you anywhere else, please tell an adult.
Though an entire generation sees the grim and grounded Christopher Nolan version of the Caped Crusader as the one true Batman, there’s another generation who sees the Dark Knight as the master of the Batusi. Adam West turned Batman from a comic book character aimed at kids into a cultural sensation. The 1966 feature pulls together the best elements of the television show — primarily, the villains — and goes the extra mile with exploding sharks and bombs you just can’t get rid of. Filled with campy self-awareness and juvenile abandon, Batman is just as valid an interpretation of the character as anything Frank Miller has done. It’s also a heck of a lot more fun.
The Toxic Avenger (1984)
Trashterpiece studio Troma hit it big with their 1984 superhero horror comedy The Toxic Avenger. The story of a ninety-eight pound weakling who falls into a vat of toxic waste and becomes a superhuman mutant, The Toxic Avenger is a down-and-dirty romp with loads of over-the-top violence and goofy sex. The film became notorious enough to inspire three sequels (skip II and III and just watch IV, which even features narration from Stan Lee!), an animated series, and a stage musical. The Toxic Avenger is not for the faint of heart or easily offended, but those who love ’80s excess and knowing stupidity will find it to be an absolute blast.
Mystery Men (1999)
A film way too ahead of its time, Mystery Men is like an off-kilter punk rock version of The Avengers. Pulling together an astounding cast (including a scene-stealing Geoffrey Rush) and a production design that is out of this world, Mystery Men is an absurdist amalgamation of Tim Burton’s Batman and the Super Friends Saturday morning cartoon. Though your mileage may vary with its reliance on patently dumb humor (fart jokes abound), it’s hard to deny its childish charms and surprising amount of solid performances. Keep an eye out for Michael Bay as a villainous frat boy.
While its sequel disappointed, Kick-Ass remains a delightfully vulgar piece of superhero silliness. More of a teenage comedy with people dressed in spandex, Kick-Ass overloads on ultra violence and foul-mouthed foolishness. Most will remember the breakout performance from Chloë Grace Moretz as Hit-Girl, but the movie is worth it for Nicolas Cage alone. His dime store Batman a.k.a. Big Daddy is a showstopper, channeling Adam West in all the right ways. The shock value may have worn off by now, but the jaunty tone and colorful palette make this one worth revisiting.
If you only watch one movie on this list, make it Super. Before he made the best Marvel film to date, writer/director James Gunn crafted this low budget piece of utter insanity. Led by a career best performance from The Office‘s Rainn Wilson, Super is just as hilarious as it is heartfelt. With scenes involving the giant finger of God and a Bible-themed superhero played by Nathan Fillion, it’s hard to find another superhero film as unrestrained in its oddness as Super. What you’ll find even more surprising is how Super will leave you sobbing right after it’s had you doubled over with laughter. A minor masterpiece of the genre.
Hope these films give you something to do while you’re microwaving your chimichangas. Deadpool really, truly releases this weekend.
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