I almost put this off but for my laziness, the idea has been brewing for months. But last week I bought a Batman VCD. This shows how much I love Batman. I didn't buy a pirated copy. And the movie is Batman The Dark Knight Returns Part 1. I love movies. I love movies based on superheroes. I even love Filipino movies, except Filipino superhero movies. All except Rubberman, because for all its flaws, it has a promise that it can be made into a great movie.
Rubberman is a Michael V. vehicle that was shown during the yearly Metro Manila Film Festival. This was during the days before Enteng Kabisote and Ai Ai movies. This was before The Lord of the Rings. Back then, Pinoy superhero movies operated on the principle that there has to be a good origin story, good costume, a lot of plot-dictated powers, at least three (two of them forgettable, at least one of them the token woman) supervillains, and a slew of special effects from around Star Wars-era Industrial Light and Magic. Rubberman had NONE of those.
Point One: The Story
Rubberman didn’t center on the life or lovelife of the star. It actually started on the character of Roy Alvarez, the former “bearer” of the shoes. It didn’t even show him fighting as a superhero, only running away from trouble.
The pair of rubber shoes itself was neither mentioned as magical nor a supertechnological marvel. It just is. And it is part of a set that the supervillain was collecting. Think Diablo 2’s Set Items. The mystery of where the shoes came from add to the delight of possible fanfiction here.
Point Two: Costume
The producer might have gotten first say about this, because the first time Michael V donned the shoes, he got a keyword to enable him to transform into a costumed superhero. It was immediately corrected a few scenes after, when Michael V just wore what he could. In the world of checkerboard pattern Lastikman and stripperific Darna, Rubberman looked like a taong-grasa. Wouldn’t it be much better if it just stayed honest, since the audience knows the rubber shoes were just part of a super powered costume? It provided the hero’s powers. It was revealed earlier however that the hero is a fan of comic books. But it didn’t provide more information about why he chose hideous costumes.
Point Three: Powers
A superhero’s got to have super powers. It might not have been written in the Bible, but it could have been in the Diamond Sutra. Rubberman’s power s the shoes. It is not superspeed, nor elasticity, only the shoes. The producer again won some by giving the hero the ability to speedily disassemble a gun (despite only having been known to repair shoes), but the jumping ability (used for personal gain,to impress Jun Limpot), super speed (as fast as a speeding get away car) and elasticity powers (focused solely on the shoes, not transferable to the hero’s body are perfect and gritty, if not realistic.
Point Four: Supervillains
Rubberman didn’t have more than one supervillain. It contented itself with one, but it was the Great Dick Israel. The villain had collected almost all of the artifacts, and was using them all during the big fight scene, but he was barefoot. It is genius that shoes were the only article of clothing missing. Imagine if he was also missing trousers.
Point Five: Special Effects
What special effects? The depiction of super speed was the camera greatly speeded up, the taxi shown as being driven slowly and Michael V running as fast as he can.
Redone with a great vision, this will be at the level of the Hellblazer comics in DC, or Ultimate Spider-Man. I’d write a script but I’m too lazy.