SUPERBUG, SECRET AGENT (1972)
aka Ein Kafer gibt Vollgas
Article 4233 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Rudolf Zehetgruber
Featuring Rudolf Zehetgruber, Joachim Fuchsberger, Kathrin Oginski
Country: West Germany / Switzerland
What it is: Alleged comedy
Jimmy Bondi and his enhanced car, Dodo (aka Superbug) become embroiled with a gang of counterfeiters.
Given the fact that the primary human character of the Superbug movies has the name of Jimmy Bondi, it’s no surprise they should take a stab at the superspy genre. Still, the James Bond series weren’t quaking in their boots with the encroachment of the Superbug series into their territory any more than the Herbie the Love Bug series did. I can’t honestly say that the movie disappointed me, but that’s because I’ve seen enough Superbug movies to keep my expectations where they belong (extremely low), and the movie was just as bad as I expected it would be. For the uninitiated, Superbug is a Volkswagen with a personality; it talks, and assaults anyone that insults it by hitting it with tires, hood ornaments, door handles, etc. It’s big trick this time around is that it travels on water, and the movie is obsessed with showing this footage as much as possible. The movie is sluggish and painfully unfunny. However, I would like to make a few observations.
1) The part of the movie that most successfully makes an attempt to amuse me involves a villain being whacked on the head by Superbug’s hood ornament, leaving a VW signal imprinted on his forehead.
2) In the English dub of this movie, someone had the good sense to redub the car with the name of Dodo, because even being called a name of an extinct bird known for its stupidity is better than its original name, which is Dudu.
3) For several minutes the movie turns into a travelogue of Lisbon. In most other movies, that would be filler; here it is a high point.
4) Two repeated phrases would make for a good true/false quiz on the movie. The false statement – “I may look stupid, but I’m not.” The true statement – “That’s not funny!”