Aug 4

Jeeg Robot’s Homage to Spider-Man

by Tiffany Froese

Thursday, August 10 at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas, audiences will have the unique opportunity to get swept up in the story of an unlikely hero inspired by the Japanese manga, Steel Jeeg, and meet a very different saviour from the heart of Rome.

This is the second of three posts by Rome native, Paola Richard in our series on the film Lo Chiamavano Jeeg Robot (They Call Me Jeeg).

Jeeg Robot’s Homage to Spider-Man

By Paola Richard

Italians in their late forties can’t help but remember Steel Jeeg, the super popular Japanese anime that inspired the movie. However, They call me Jeeg is more reminiscent of the classic superhero, Spider-Man. The main Actor Claudio Santamaria’s love for the Marvel star has been long declared in numerous interviews. Many similarities are disseminated throughout this Italian style tribute with an often hilarious sense of irony.

The film features a petty criminal, Enzo, who stumbles upon his powers after a dip into an extremely toxic section of the Tiber, the worryingly polluted aquatic artery of Rome. Accidental contact with nuclear waste as a source of power echoes the radioactive spider bite in the Marvel character. In one of the most memorable scenes of the movie, Enzo’s antagonist, the Gipsy, shouts: “Who are you? Have you been bitten by a spider? A bat? Have you dropped down from another planet?”

Alessia, the traumatized female protagonist who’s convinced that Enzo is the Japanese manga character, Steel Jeeg, teaches him that, “With great power, there must also come great responsibility”, which is the moral ballast in the original Spider-Man comic book by Stan Lee and Steven Ditko. Even the two masks resemble one another, although the Jeeg Robot one is hand knitted by Alessia during the movie.

The homage to Peter Parker, alias Spider-Man, is quite detectable throughout the film. Enzo/Jeeg Robot will stop a tram in Rome with his own two hands, just like Spider Man stops the metro in New York; Both the Italian and the US heroes will save a girl from a fire; and both escape police arrest. Most strikingly, they are both originally from suburban areas of big and famous Cities: Rome and New York. (See the previous post)

If Tor Bella Monaca is Queens, Rome now can claim its own super hero.

  • Posted Under: Blog
  • Post created on: August 4th, 2017