The Specials is an R rated superhero comedy that predates most of the people that want it. Now marketed as being from the writer/director of Guardians of the Galaxy, there is a huge gulf between this indie fun and the Marvel Cinematic machine. This film falls somewhere between Mystery Men and The Boys. Nowhere near as violent as the Garth Ennis adaptation, but still has the same 90s/early 00s weird comedy.
Director Craig Mazin and Writer James Gunn have come a long way in the last 20 years. While Mazin would go on to direct Superhero Movie after The Specials, he was also one of the people that brought us The Hangover sequels and Chernobyl. James Gunn would go on to find ways to bring humor to the MCU before Waititi did the same thing with a funny Rock Man.
My college days were spent with four films being constantly talked about by other film nerds. It’s how I learned I was more of an arthouse snob than a cult cinema fan. While I tip-toed into John Waters territory, these college cineastes were watching Troma, Freaked and The Specials around the clock. Did they have it on DVD? No. This was back in the day when everything was VHS or local indie theater. If you were lucky, somebody else was spending too much cash on DVDs too.
The past is a funny thing and it helps to frame a lot of what is present in The Specials. From watching a lot of material that would become bigger following The Incredibles and the Superhero Movie Boom, it’s hard to judge such a pioneer in a fair light. Especially when you have to get around jokes about “gay” costumes and Jamie Kennedy playing a blue-skinned pervert.
Mockumentaries about superheroes feel so commonplace now. But, this film is charming and wonderful. Everything feels dated in a way that bothers my soul, as I still think 2000 wasn’t that long ago. That being said, the cast is charming and the movie holds up after two decades. So, throw back and enjoy some laughs with The Specials’ Blu-ray debut.
The Specials lands an extraordinary Blu-ray from La-La Land Entertainment. You get a new 2K scan, the commentaries, a new featurette, deleted scenes, commercials and so much more! The disc even comes with a DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track. I don’t know why I was expecting less on the audio, but damn if it didn’t impress. Check out the A/V Quality in those screenshots and gallery.