Superbug Goes Wild (1971)

SUPERBUG GOES WILD (1971)
aka Superbug – The Wild One, Ein Kafer geht aufs Ganze

Article 3626 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-4-2011
Posting Date: 7-19-2011
Directed by Rudolf Zehetgruber
Featuring Rudolf Zehetgruber, Gerd Duwner, Kathrin Oginski
Country: West Germany / Switzerland
What it is: Herbie the Love Bug ripoff

An adventurer comes by a yellow Volkswagen with a mind of its own, and decides to drive it as a service car to a hovercraft in a rally through Africa in order to make money to save a down-on-its-luck medical clinic.

Sometimes trying to match up a movie listed in a reference book with its matching listing on IMDB, and then finding a copy of the movie itself can be a maddening process. The John Stanley guide lists the title as SUPERBUG-THE WILD ONE, which matches on IMDB to EIN KAFER AUF EXTRATOUR, the third in the series. However, the plot description says that most of the action takes place in Switzerland, whereas the plot description in the Stanley guide says most of the story takes place in Africa. After searching around a bit, I established that the African Superbug movie was actually EIN KAFER GEHT AUFS GANZE, the first in the series, though the Stanley guide says it’s one of the later ones. I found a copy of the movie called SUPERBUG GOES WILD, which, fortunately, turned out to be the correct movie. So now that I’ve finally been able to match things up, on with the review.

For the record, Superbug is a German rip-off of Herbie, the Love Bug; Superbug is actually named Dudu, and someone claims this is the word for “bug” in whichever African country this takes place in. Throughout the movie, the main character keeps referring to his car as the “love bug”, to further heighten the sense of rip-off. As for the movie itself, it is horrible; there’s not a funny scene in the movie, there’s no sense of a real race being run at any time, and the female doctor keeps showing up in every location, which really leaves us wondering just what route this race is taking. Dudu’s powers seem to consist of occasionally having eyes, saying “Jumbo Jumbo” on occasion, and transforming itself into a toy car so it can do 180 degree turns. Its vaunted abilities rarely come into play during the action. I’ve been curious about the Superbug movies for some time, but if this movie is any indication, they’re a truly dismal lot. Fortunately, there’s only three more I’ll have to see.

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