2013 / Director. Jason Trost.
Superhero movies bore the shit out of me. It's not that I hate the genre (I love it) but the market is so saturated with them that I'm rarely impressed. There are exceptions, however, with some offbeat and quirky takes on the superhero mythos seeping through the cracks. Some recent gems have included Defendor, Super and Kick-Ass (to a lesser extent) and the most recent one is ALL SUPERHEROES MUST DIE. Knowing the back story to this movie really makes a difference and what has been achieved is amazing. Director Jason Trost had previously made the gnarly low budget turf-warfare dance film The FP which caught a lot of people's attention. With the offer of $20K and just a few weeks to make a movie he went to work on this new and unusual story. Within the space of a couple of weeks he went from the first word of a script to wrapping up the shoot. That's unheard of... and the quality of the movie is stupidly good. 4 superheroes wake up in a small town unaware how they got there. Their powers have been subdued and their bodies have been battered. A broadcast starts up on small television monitors and they discover that they're at the mercy of an arch-nemesis. Dozens of innocent civilians are strapped to bombs, scattered around the town and the heroic foursome must compete in the villainous games, which lay ahead of them. What ensues is a gauntlet of gladiator style fights and barbaric dilemmas. The result is a twisted and fun new take on the superhero genre that plays out as though the The Avengers had been dropped into The Running Man. Considering all of the films restraints (budget, time etc) this movie really couldn't be any better. Of course were it granted more time and money there are a lot of things that could have been done differently and improved... BUT it's the modesty and independence that lends this movie it's charm. The character creations are good and the costumes for each is believable. They look like superheroes out of a DC comic and aren't at all tacky and thrift-shoppy. Their dialogue and sense of justice is well written, once again demonstrating a knowledge of genre. James Remar plays the homicidal villain and if I'm going to be fair, I think he's probably given too much screen time. His shtick becomes repetitive and droll after a while and it could be the case that his celebrity was a draw-card to capitalize on. It's a small bone to pick from what is otherwise a wicked little treat. Find a copy and check it out.