Wednesday, 2 April 2008

3 Dev Adam (1973)

Oh, spidey! What have they done to you?

Spider-Man, Captain America and Santo? How could you go wrong? Oh, but you can. So very, very wrong. 3 Dev Adam (3 Mighty Men) was Turkey's response to the superhero craze. Throwing together a rudimentary knowledge of some popular superheroes with a blatant disregard for copyright laws, the result is an uncomfortable blend of superheroics and a straight crime film.

The film opens with our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man down at the beach with some friends. At least, I think it's him. His outfit has gone from red and blue to red and green, and there's nary a web to be seen. He's looking a bit paunchy too, and what's more, he has these big honkin' eyebrows protruding from his mask. He's none too friendly either. In fact, he buries a woman up to her neck in the sand and shreds her face with an outboard motor while cackling insanely. I'm beginning to think this movie isn't strictly canon.

It seems ol' webhead is the head of an international crime organisation, and the Turkish police have called in the services of Santo, Captain America (played by Aytekin Akkaya from Turkish Star Wars) and Cap's useless sidekick/girlfriend Julia. Santo explains that Spider-Man is stealing Turkish artifacts and then selling them in the USA for a pittance. Then he's buying them back for a huge amount, but paying with counterfeit money. This is a pretty stupid scheme, but it's worked well for him so far. It should be noted that these heroes really like a drink. In almost every scene where they're off the clock they've got a drink in their hand. Being in this film, I can't really blame them.

Before long, Spider-Man is attacked by a couple of trenchcoated mafia types, but he foils them by hiding behind some wooden planks and then stabbing them with a switchblade. See, it could have been worse than organic webshooters. He emits a gravelly "Adios, mafia!" but I think "Arrivederci, Mafia!" would have worked better.

Upon discovering the bodies of the mafia goons, our heroes split up to try and gather some information. Captain America is out for a drive with the police chief when he asks why they wear costumes. Captain America responds "The Spider is a child-minded lunatic. When he sees someone else wearing a mask he wants to destroy them. My suit is bullet proof." "I see." responds the police chief. Well I'm glad he does.

Julia is sent to an international fashion show, which is being held in someone's living room for some reason. She is discovered by Spider-Man's girlfriend Nadja (not MJ) when she starts snooping around behind the scenes. Luckily, Cap is driving nearby, and the captive Julia is able to signal them with her high-tech watch. She is taken to a house in the countryside by some goons, tied to a column and slapped around. Soon Cap (in costume, finally) punches through the paper-thin door and starts a fistfight with the goons (unfortunately it looks like he couldn't get his shield through customs). At several points he hangs from a rope and executes the most awkward and embarrassing blows ever committed to film. Spider-Man shows up and they engage in a brief footchase, during which a drunken bum sees the costumed superheroes and blames his booze. Oh, my aching sides! Eventually Spider-Man leaps into his crappy old car and drives off. Cap clings to the side of the vehicle but is dislodged by repeated blows to the head.

Meanwhile, Santo stakes out Spider-Man's PO box. He follows the courier back to a gym, and that evening he dons his wrestling outfit (shiny silver mask, sequined cape... perfect for sneaking around unnoticed) and stalks around the main office, shoving various documents down the front of his lycra pants. He is discovered by the mafioso owner and engages in a punch up with him and a bunch of Karate dudes who arrive for some late night sparring. He also heroically helps himself to the contents of the gym owner's wallet.

After throttling a woman in her bathtub and stealing her precious artifact, Spidey calls a meeting with his henchmen. Remember the gym owner from earlier? Well it seems the papers Santo stole contained some sensitive material, and Spidey suspects the gym owner of being a spy. In a Richard Gere meets Bond villain type of punishment, he places one end of a plastic tube over his face and inserts a couple of ravenous guinea pigs. Death by guinea pig! Spidey's cackle goes into overdrive.

While the police chief takes in a striptease (with nipple tassels, this is a kid's show after all) at Spider-Man's private club, Cap and Santo storm the counterfeit operation and beat up the mafia goons. Spider-Man, meanwhile, stabs a couple while they're making out in the shower. That's the second time he's ambushed people in their bathrooms... what a pervert! Later he has sex with Nadja, where she hallucinates a bunch of freaky puppets during orgasm. Yeah, I don't know either, maybe it's a Turkish thing.

During another one of Spidey's robberies that night, he is ambushed by Santo and Captain America, and here is where it gets really weird. Spider-Man is fighting both Santo and Captain America in different rooms simultaneously. Santo and Cap pummel both Spideys, and that's when another Spider-Man pops up and runs away. What the hell? Well, as far as multiple Spider-Men go, it's no less stupid than that whole Clone Wars saga. Anyway, Spider-Man shouts "Goodnight Americanos!" to our heroes and drives off in his car.

The next day, Santos and Captain America head to Spider-Man's gentleman's club in eye-searing leisurewear. Julia is posing as a famous stripper, and their plan is to create a diversion so she can kidnap Spidey's courier. For some reason, their diversion consists of getting into a fight and then pretending to faint. Why the bad guys don't immediately beat them to death or shoot them I don't know, but it works, and Julia knocks the courier unconscious by clobbering her on the head with her shoe (luckily it's the 70s so she's got chunky platforms on).

The bad guys take Santo and Cap to an old warehouse. While Julia and the police chief attempt to extract info from the courier, the two heroes stage an escape by pretending to beat the crap out of each other. Captain America chases after Spider-Man and, after being hindered by some sort of super-powered floor fan, starts another lackluster fight. Eventually Cap crushes his head in some sort of hydraulic press, but suddenly another cackling Spider-Man pops up out of nowhere. Where are they all coming from, and who is going to clean up all these Spider-corpses? A few more Spideys are beaten and crushed by industrial equipment before they stop spawning. So I guess he's defeated then? Okay. Our heroes say their goodbyes, but not before some kid plays a trick on Cap by hiding in the taxi wearing a Spider-Man mask. Ha, ha, ha! What a joker!

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