- Jun 24, 2003
- Real Name
- Michael Osadciw
SUPERGUY: BEHIND THE CAPE
Studio: Creative Light Entertainment
Distributor: Razor Digital Entertainment
Film Year: 2002
U.S. Rating: Pending
Film Length: 74 minutes
DVD Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Closed Captioned: Yes
SLP: US $24.99
Release Date: NOW
Mockumentary Rating: :star: :star: :star: 1/2 / :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:
Starring: Mark Teague (Superguy/Mark Trent), Charles Dierkop (Sam Trent), Katherine Victor (MaryJo Trent), Jan Garrett (Elizabeth Trent), Christopher Fey (Superguy’s Chief Attorney), Peter Stacker (Narrator)
Directed by: Bill Lae
“A Real Life Superhero with Real Life Super Problems”
It’s 2004 and superheroes are flooding the theaters once again. With such films as Hellboy, Spider-Man 2, Van Helsing, The Punisher, and the upcoming Catwoman flick, people are flocking to the box office to see villains take these heroes on with all they can. The fantasy of a person with superhuman powers facing the most impossible situations – and successfully escaping peril – has always been a part of past and present culture. The Greeks and Romans modeled their gods and parables around people capable of super-human strength and heroics, most of the time capable of the strength of a particular animal. Society lived by these stories and more than likely lived by some message it told.
In the 20th century we saw the boom of comic book heroes. Once again, these heroes take on impossible tasks humbling all men. Some are modeled after animals and insects like Spider-Man and Batman proving our way of thinking isn't much different from those storytellers of the past. Villains seem stronger than the average man, who looks helpless in comparison. It takes the superhero to save the day and restore the balance of good and evil. Can the life of a superhero be celebrated? Would the world be a better place with one in our company? How would our superhero act in our modern-day society? Would we prefer to take his helping hand or would we be better off without him? These are some of the questions that Superguy: Behind the Cape answer for us.
Cleverly presented as a mockumentary, Superguy tells us of the daily life of the superhero named Superguy, or SG. His undercover daily life is Mark Trent, a young man working at a help phone line. When trouble is near he is a different being – a superhuman being donning a red cape, tights, and a yellow spandex top with an SG emblem on it. His appearance and his becoming closely resembles that of the popular comic book hero Superman. He can fly, stop bullets, and walk through fire. Nothing can kill him so he’s the prime person to save lives. This is a reality in Los Angeles and not a comic book. Superguy is real and the world has a real superhero.
This film is presented to us by narration through a collage of interviews, newscasts, and live events of cameras capturing Superguy in action. We not only see him in action when he’s saving people in helpless situations, but we are also treated to interviews by a Barbara Williams spoof to find out Superguy’s inner feelings about saving the world. Given the superhuman powers he possesses, is the real life of a superhero that wonderful?
According to Superguy, our superhero has some real super problems! Mocked is the reality of our daily living on our superhero: the incorporation of the name SG and developing the commercialism of the hero and the desperate need for people to embrace something new and only to reject it sooner or later. Superguy: Behind the Cape hilariously exploits society, government, collectors, super fanatics, and the legal action taken by those wanting a piece of the pie. For example, if you were a person saved by Superguy, or and innocent bystander who somehow got injured as a result of Superguy’s heroics, you have rights, and the right to sue with those slick lawyers.
Or one could also be a complete idiot who is so infatuated with Superguy you’ll throw yourself off tall buildings in hopes of being saved by Superguy flying through the air. This is creating problems on society bringing out the wackiest of wackos. Since Superguy can’t be everywhere at once, there’s bound to be some instances where he will fail someone. How do you think Superguy feels when you blame him for not being there to save someone who died when he was off saving someone else? This is extreme pressure on him, especially since the media is brutally ripping him apart and conjuring up controversy. Since society is feeling he is failing them, extremists, terrorists, and music artists of this crowd are making life difficult for Superguy until they eventually banish him from every day life. We’ve seen this unfortunate mentality before, but it’s sometimes the cost of being selfless and doing good deeds for others.
The film is pieced together really well that keeps the viewer’s interest all the way through. There were only about 10 or so minutes near the beginning of the film that dragged a little bit, or maybe I should say the interviews with Mark Trent’s father was uninteresting. Beyond that, the film was great. I had an interrupted watch the first time I put the disc in and I left the first half hour with mixed feelings on its presentation. On the second watch, which was uninterrupted, I found the film to be very clever and quite satirical. This has become one of my favorite independent flicks of the year. It’s no wonder this film received critical acclaim when it premiered at the film festivals in 2002. Superhero fans, rejoice! You can now see one in his daily life, behind the scenes and behind the cape.
VIDEO QUALITY :star: :star: :star: / :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:
Presented in 1.33:1, this movie seems to have been shot using a mix of film and consumer-based video cameras. The video is very iffy at times and noisy due to the low-res cameras, and there is extensive dot crawl on video generated text. I’m not sure what source this was taken from but it certainly isn’t a first generation copy, nor is it a film print from its theatrical release.
Compression artifacts aren’t that bad but do come up every now and then especially in the background images. Sometimes the picture can seem faded and/or washed out, but that is expected due to the way this film was shot (documentary style on a ultra-low budget). Since this is a 4:3 release, I tried the title on my calibrated Hitachi direct-view 4:3 36” TV to see how it would look in comparison to my 110” projector/screen set-up. As expected, the image was far more acceptable but realizing the noise on screen was still an issue. Don’t expect too much out of the image quality here. Its cheesiness should help enhance the film’s mockumentary goals.
AUDIO QUALITY :star: :star: 1/2 / :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:
Again, like the video, the audio is sub-par and I never expected much from it. The sound is presented in Dolby Digital stereo on a low budget. The audio isn’t always clean sounding; the narrating sounds a little strained and sound effects are thin. This is probably as good as it gets and shouldn’t distract you too much from watching the picture.
SUPER SPECIAL FEATURES :star: :star: / :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:
Superguy special features include over ten minutes of a bloopers and behind the scenes reel that is quite funny as we get to see the fun behind the camera. Also included are four deleted/extended scenes totaling about eight minutes. None of these scenes add anything to this mockumentary, but they still are a little funny. For the most part, the picture quality of these scenes is superior to the feature, most likely because they’ve been taken from their original source.
Two trailers are included: the captivating What If? trailer as well as the more comical The Coming trailer both market the film very differently. Aside from some sneak peaks and a chapter stop insert you get the privilege to sift through almost 200 stills covering Superguy in both fact and fiction – from posters to comics, from magazine covers to newspapers, and from photos to behind the scenes, your Superguy intake will be fulfilled.
Superguy is a mockumentary you must add to your superhero DVD collection. It’s a fun and funny film to watch, and some of you die-hard superhero fans just might find too many similarities between yourselves and the collectors/fanatics on here. I do know someone (in his 30’s) whose conversations consist of judging the winner of a Spider-man vs. The Hulk competition. I found it funny to see an accurate reflection of this in this film. Even if you aren’t a fan of superheroes at all, we can all take a little advice from this film: sometimes we can think we are superheroes ourselves and our busy lives might make us take on one too many projects we think we can handle; yet we really can’t. Our lives become just like Superguy’s: we are unable to be everywhere and to help everybody. Our lives can become a super mess because of it despite other’s and our own expectations of ourselves. As long as we can understand that and do something about it, the rest of the world won’t have that same expectation. Sometimes the world is a tough place, we just have to find our own balance between saving the world and saving ourselves from high expectations.