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All Will Hail Marco Spitoni When Badass Nazi Battle Robots Attack!!

Merrick here... I actually got a hold of this link last week (thanks for the e-mail, Kurt!), but I’m just now getting around to posting it. Sorry for the delay, it's been a really crazy week for me…I’m running way behind on nearly everything. Even though this has been “out there” for a bit now, this is still pretty damn sweet and, in many ways, embodies the exact kind of Geekiness that drives AICN’s heart. So, we wanted to be sure you knew about it. I wanted to call your attention to the video linked below. It’s called C.O.D.E GUARDIAN, and it’s by a filmmaker named Marco Spitoni. He lives and works in Northern Itlay, and animates using 3DStudio MAX. The project’s subject matter is deliriously simple, but also elegant in its coolosity: during World War II, giant battle robots from Germany and the U.S. blast the crap out of each other (and the various defensive efforts sent out to thwart them). That’s about it. While not feature film caliber (nor is it intended to be), the rendering here works very nicely. The film’s editing is tight and smart…use of music (from outside sources) is well considered and appropriate…and the design & direction are a lot of fun. My only criticism of the piece would be some the voice work, which sounds a tad hammy to me. Other than that, it’s hard not to think about TRANSFORMERS while watching C.O.D.E GUARDIAN & wonder if what we have in store for us will be as inspired and clever. It’ll look better…but there’s something about the vibe of this that I find truly endearing and compelling. By the way, we don't know Marco, or anyone on this production (as far as I know). But, there is A LOT of talent at work here. Hollywood take note! And, if you bag him, give him some room to work his magic. He's good. You can learn more about Spitoni HERE.


Or, if you prefer, you can watch it right here:

Part 1

Part 2

Watch it. Enjoy it. Touch yourself when you think about it. I know I....never mind.

Readers Talkback
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  • May 2, 2007, 10:33 a.m. CST


    by Err

    Starring Shia Labeouf.

  • May 2, 2007, 10:34 a.m. CST

    sky captain

    by Lane

    minus real people.

  • May 2, 2007, 10:36 a.m. CST

    Best Anti-Semitic Artificial Intelligence Movie Ever!

    by Heckles

    Will the French robots surrender?

  • May 2, 2007, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Speaking of Sky Captain...

    by Keo

    Are we ever going to see a sequel? But I absolutely love this video. A friend showed it to me last week and I shared it with everyone I know. Very, very impressive.

  • May 2, 2007, 10:41 a.m. CST

    Gillian Anderson's naughty bits

    by NachoNegro

    Interesting how a lot of actresses are deciding to go for the full on nudity late in their career - presumably with the thought in mind "I might as well do it while I'm still hot". Look at Meg Ryan, for In The Cut. Personally I am 100% behind any project that brings a fully naked Gillian Anderson to the big screen (although I might skip the shotgun rape). As for those saying she's long since past her sell by date, need I remind you she's nearly 40,l and has had 2 kids?

  • May 2, 2007, 10:43 a.m. CST

    They'll have to modify the Rush Hour 3 trailer...

    by Err

    if the robots go to France to: Over the centuries, France has been invaded by the British, conquered by the Romans, defeated by the Germans, divided by revolution, and pwned by giant robots...but this summer, France will be invaded by a no other...*Cue Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan singing "Lady Marmalade."

  • May 2, 2007, 10:44 a.m. CST

    Watch the whole thing here

    by Volstaff I dunno if the quality's any better bthan YouTube, but it sure can't be any worse. And you don't have to watch it in 2 parts.

  • May 2, 2007, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Wow, that's incredible

    by I Dunno

    I dare you negative fucks to hate on this.

  • May 2, 2007, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Right on, Nacho...

    by Abin Sur

    Right on.

  • May 2, 2007, 10:52 a.m. CST

    YO JOE!!!

    by nonsensical

    I swear, I watch this and I think, "Wow, you just know there is a US Robot to attack. Which of course there is. It's like an episode of G.I. Joe... cool, but predictable.

  • May 2, 2007, 10:54 a.m. CST

    ...but it's not a Tom Poston TB

    by chrth


  • May 2, 2007, 10:54 a.m. CST


    by Mr. Lahey

    does every article posted on this site start with an apology or an excuse? It's fucking annoying.

  • May 2, 2007, 10:55 a.m. CST


    by 11dayempire

    Nice direction, but I'm not wild on the visuals; those robots just don't look like products of the 1940s. I mean, yeah, we didn't have giant fighting robots in WW2, but they look a bit too much like mecha designed in the 21st century; they don't quite have the right aesthetic.

  • May 2, 2007, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Wow, you're really smart, nonsensical

    by I Dunno

    Because the goal of that piece, after character development, was to throw some plot-driven twists and turns at you and keep you guessing.

  • May 2, 2007, 11:04 a.m. CST

    That was fun

    by GilesT

    Holy shit! There appears to be a giant Nazi robot attacking us! <br> <br>Hmm. Giant robot you say. Land-based, heavily armored. Send in a squadron of light aircraft.<br> <br>Er... don't we have our own giant robot?<br> <br>Quiet you.

  • May 2, 2007, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Iron Giant goes Nazi

    by ewokstew

    I always knew that robot was a racist

  • May 2, 2007, 11:19 a.m. CST


    by Err

    Or Too Nazi-y?

  • May 2, 2007, 11:24 a.m. CST

    Nazi Darth Vader Robot ,Sky Captain & Godzilla..COOL!

    by AllPowerfulWizardOfOz

    That was awesome! Any place we can grab a nice clean copy of that somewhere that is not the FLV version?

  • May 2, 2007, 11:26 a.m. CST

    The music is from the tank fight in Last Crusade!

    by kinghenryVIII

    Pretty wild they're using Indy music.<p>On a side note .... THAT WAS FUCKING AWSOME! Ho-ly shit.

  • May 2, 2007, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Does this have Transformers beat?

    by kinghenryVIII

    That was awsome. I feel like I'm 10 again ..... don't confuse that with feeling a 10 again!

  • May 2, 2007, 11:34 a.m. CST


    by mentat75

    Quite impressive. What gets me most is how universal John Williams' music really is. This guy and his team have skill but it was made all that more exciting with the music. Kudos Marco et al.

  • May 2, 2007, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Why is this not feature-worthy?

    by Sith Witch

    I'd pay to see this over 85% of what's at the multiplex at any given time.

  • May 2, 2007, 11:39 a.m. CST

    The Music...

    by Roderich

    is also from John Williams' score of Episode I or II (don't remember exactly).

  • May 2, 2007, 11:41 a.m. CST

    Destroy the Nazi's!!!!!!!!!!!

    by Rat Fink

    Giant robots always kick ass

  • May 2, 2007, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Great work

    by F69

    That CGI was better than any videogame FMV sequence I've seen, this guy should be getting payed for this shit. Oh, and speaking of Nazis and robots I found this over at YouTube.

  • May 2, 2007, 11:51 a.m. CST

    bit boring,

    by kingoflight

    world war 2 stuff is so boring, this made it a little better with the robots but not alot.

  • May 2, 2007, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Fair point anchorite...

    by F69

    But this stuff certainly wouldn't look out of place in any PS3 or XBOX 360 game.

  • May 2, 2007, 12:09 p.m. CST

    Ark of the Covenant?

    by Hairy Nutsack

    Where I first saw this video there were several comments below it saying things like "Nice cameo of the Ark of the Covenant at the end there." I rewatched that thing I dunno how many times and never saw the Ark. What gives?

  • May 2, 2007, 12:21 p.m. CST

    wow good eye I love the way the planes had weight

    by skiff

    sure was fun to watch, cooler than sky captin at least we go to see some real robot action.And I like the way he stayed on a scene long enough for you to focus a lot of guys cut so fast on the fx shots you can't enjoy them.

  • May 2, 2007, 12:26 p.m. CST


    by conniebrean1

    Meg Ryan used a body double in In The Cut.

  • May 2, 2007, 12:26 p.m. CST

    In the words of Turkish from Snatch

    by chavee

    "What do you need protection? Ze Germans."

  • May 2, 2007, 12:29 p.m. CST

    This Guy is an "Indy" fan

    by Turd Furgusen

    Not only does he use the music, but the "lost arc" falls out of the crate after the downed plane hits it.<p> Does that help, Hairy? <p> Che Bella!

  • May 2, 2007, 12:30 p.m. CST

    You see the arc at :18 on youtube

    by Turd Furgusen

    In the first one.

  • May 2, 2007, 12:42 p.m. CST

    Flippin' Awesome!

    by Bones

    I love the music he used:<P> Close Encounters<p> SW Episode II Some good Hanz Zimmer generic battle music<p> The Tank Battle from Last Crusade<p> The Japanese theme from 1941<p> The End Title music is from Crimson Tide.<p> Very fun stuff! Absolutely great CG Camera work too! I hope he does more shorts--and gets a feature at some point.<p> Oh, and I think the reason the voice-over work is stilted (which I thought added to the fun, actually) is that it was dubbed over Italian by some folks who speak English as a second language. This was great--now will we ever see a finished version of "Man Conquers Space"?

  • May 2, 2007, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Nazi machine gun nipples rock!

    by boba_rob

    Awesome video, very cool. Reminds me of Sky Captain. Hopefully this guy gets a chance at his own feature film using the same ideas.

  • May 2, 2007, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Spitoni? Reminds me of a Jackie Martling joke...

    by Some Dude

    When is it okay to spit in an Italian woman's face? When her moustache is on fire! Great animation BTW.

  • May 2, 2007, 2:04 p.m. CST


    by blackwood

    You know why? Because it was stupid - and not in the way it should be.<br><br>"Wait, don't we have out own giant robot? Maybe we shouldn't have sent all those people to die. Meh."<br><br>It is technically efficient, like most Hollywood fare - but it lacks imagination and soul (like most Hollywood fare). The editing is garbage. There is nothing in this piece that shows one shred of genuine originality - just competency, and a the geek cred of having watched a lot of action films. Compare this to Blomkamp's robot vids - there is no vision here. Just pretty, empty spectacle. But take heart, lovers - Hollywood will snatch this boy up. He's of the ilk they like - skilled and without soul. And Sky Captain was pretty, unmitigated garbage. Next.

  • May 2, 2007, 2:37 p.m. CST

    Wow, Blackwood...

    by Bones

    Forgetting that this is a home-made project...and is an homage to "Hollywood fare" we should dislike this project because of a lapse in logic? GIANT FUCKING ROBOTS, Buddy!!! Fighting in WWII!!! What do you want? Perfection?<p> This project is a portfolio piece for this guy, to show off his skill sets. It accomplishes everything it sets out to do in spades and was made by a very small crew.<p> Now, go off and make something better or SHUT THE FUCK UP. <p> And another thing--Sky Captain completely RULED. IT wasn't trying to update the Movie Serial experience like Raiders or Rocketeer--it was trying to recreate the experience, with all the innocence, the allusions and inconsistencies found therein. It was a Geek Fetish Movie, and if you couldn't enjoy it, I feel very sorry for you.<p> Now, having ranted--thanks for expressing your opinion.

  • May 2, 2007, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Wow, indeed

    by blackwood

    You should like whatever you like, I don't particularly care. It does show off his skill set - and he is quite skilled. But that's the problem - all skill with no soul. As a technical piece, I can't fault it. As a spectacle meant to incite some sort of reaction, it left me utterly cold. I've seen it all before.<br><br>I don't want perfection. I want something new. I want what Merrick promised in his article - imaginative and clever. I am the first one to cry GIANT ROBOTS, and that's why this disappointed me so much... because it was exactly what I fear/know/suspect Transformers will be - empty. All execution.<br><br>And save your Sky Captain pity, mister. I get why you like it, and bully for you. But I am pandered to enough, and increasingly dissatisfied with emotionally castrated filmmaking. Homage is becoming a tired excuse for hollow procedurals aping the style but lacking the spirit.<br><br>As for something better... just you wait.

  • May 2, 2007, 3:10 p.m. CST

    kinda cool .. but ....

    by caipirina

    I enjoyed watching it ... but it would need heck of scripting to get that as a feature .. sure there is some talent there and Marco will no be very happy that he has been featured on BoingBoing and AICN ... and I hope that gets him a job .. the movie industry sure needs talent ... but I think sky captain has shown us just how limited our geek powers are ... too bad .. i would have loved a scy captain trilogy ... so .. darth vader looking nazi mechs on the big screen ... i'd love it .. but doubt it will happen ..

  • May 2, 2007, 3:16 p.m. CST

    So he can make this damn cool thing...

    by DerLanghaarige

    ...but can't hire somebody who speaks fluid German? It wasn't THAT bad, but still very bad grammar :P

  • May 2, 2007, 3:20 p.m. CST

    I would pay to see that on the big screen!

    by DerLanghaarige

    Thank god that Transformers is coming soon. (even if it has no giant fucking Nazibots with Bruce Campbell's chin)

  • May 2, 2007, 4:20 p.m. CST


    by IForgotAbout19

    How could you possibly hate the voice acting?

  • May 2, 2007, 6:27 p.m. CST

    I wish there really was a

    by IForgotAbout19

    I wish there really was a "Beatnik Man" cartoon

  • May 2, 2007, 6:54 p.m. CST

    What's this about nude Gillian Anderson now?

    by BannedOnTheRun

    That would be better than 100 giant Illinois Nazi robots.

  • May 2, 2007, 7:14 p.m. CST

    This reminds me a lil bit of Negadon...

    by Womb2dooM

    The main difference being is that I paid $15.00 for Negadon and I was disappointed.

  • May 2, 2007, 7:15 p.m. CST

    old serials idea

    by stvnhthr

    Wouldn't it be cool if a major studio put shorts like this before their feature films? How about doing a 1/2 hour long cgi film, cutting it into 6 5 minute sections and putting it at the front of a half dozen summer releases? It would add something to the movie going experience and get audiences to check out all the studio's releases so they can see the whole story.

  • May 2, 2007, 7:31 p.m. CST

    Ummm... I don't get the ending..

    by crackerfarmboy

    So the robo-Jap and the G.I. Ro-bot just stop moving? How sad. Cool concept though, and it's just like the Japanese to build superior electronics!

  • May 2, 2007, 7:33 p.m. CST

    A subtle citation from Star Wars

    by Stefano

    Look in the first video from 3:13 to 3:08, the way the robot turns his head towards the camera... I think Marco wanted to refers the scene (thus paying homage to it) in Return of the Jedi when Luke is in the pit with the Rancor. Look at this video and look just after that piggy alien gets eaten... the two shots are very similar - at least to me :)

  • May 2, 2007, 8:01 p.m. CST

    The kite at the end of part 2

    by tHEmOOG

    Is the plane from Battle of the Planets

  • May 2, 2007, 8:31 p.m. CST

    How Mike Bay REALLY wanted to make Pearl Harbor

    by the_shogun_gunslinger

    that was pretty fuckn cool. animation was excelent

  • May 2, 2007, 10:35 p.m. CST

    been done before

    by darwinwins

    at least in comic book format. g.i. joes and the transformers crossed over to fight cobra during WWII. it was pretty sweet.

  • May 2, 2007, 11:24 p.m. CST

    Please sir may I have some more?

    by Livinejs

    That was awesome. Who gives a shit about voice over work and logistics? That was some excellent animation thrown together with some awesome fight music capped off with the US of A kicking the crap out of the Nazis again...brilliant.

  • May 3, 2007, 1:55 a.m. CST


    by Bones

    ...Many Kudos for the intelligent response. And for not being baited by my trash-talk.<p> I do understand and agree with the idea that there needs to be more originality and emotion in modern film--but I see nothing wrong in unplugging and unwinding as well.<p> Please don't mistake that for being indiscriminate. Michael Bay has yet to make a film that I have enjoyed besides The Rock, and that had more to do with Sean Connery and Ed Harris dining out on scenery in that movie. It would take a miracle to make his "Transformers" enjoyable. <p> Gattaca, Amelie, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind were all unique and engaging...and three of my favorite films.<p> Perhaps I see a difference between "movies" and "films" and ask different things from them.<p> I don't really know. But swearing and ranting aside, I do appreciate seeing another persons view--so thanks again.

  • May 3, 2007, 2:26 a.m. CST


    by Speaker for the Dead

    yep, and I remember an anime about american mechas attacking germany during WW2. must also add that spitoni's mecha design is frakking horrible.

  • May 3, 2007, 4:26 a.m. CST

    What's with the youtube shit, AICN?

    by DocPazuzu

    At least post a link to the guy's homepage ( for God's sake. I'm sure he could use the hits more than fucking youtube. Not only that, but you can actually download the whole film in a decent format. Sheesh... As for the film itself, very impressive.

  • May 3, 2007, 4:39 a.m. CST

    Good job, mate

    by Col. Tigh-Fighter

    Well done. Ignore the naysayers. <p>Love the seen it all before comments. Frakkin Tools, lol.

  • May 3, 2007, 6:06 a.m. CST

    Wow, geek mana ,love it!

    by KillaKane

    Yeah voices let it down, would be kiler with some pro acting talent. Great concept, hokey but seriously fun!

  • May 3, 2007, 8:08 a.m. CST

    This is a big thread on CGtalk

    by Random Sime This is a thread on a CG website about CODE Guardians