All Superheroes Must Die (UK - DVD R2)
Our Marcus watches superheroes with no powers play Saw on a micro budget
A group of masked heroes wake up in strange locations with ominous wounds on their wrists. Each are greeted by villain Rickshaw (James Remar) on a TV screen and a game begins that puts innocent lives at risk. There are of course rules to this game and a time limit but these costumed heroes have a job to do and they are starting in a bad place.
The budget for this superhero flick where all of the heroes have had all their powers taken away is tiny and the places this movie can go limited. In fact it’s closer to a Saw movie than the current wave of epic superhero adventures but despite all that All Superheroes Must Die reaches out beyond its limits and provides an okay ride, even if it’s behind a mask that it doesn't really have a hero behind it.
This 'solve the puzzles to survive while taking each other out' plot feels very horror based despite the fact this is the age old comic book stuff of dramatic twists and hard choices. This is in tune with the low rent superhero thing that Watchmen spawned but it’s not played as borderline comedy violence like Kick Ass or funny like Super, it played very straight and sits somewhere along the lines of comic book titles like The Boys or stuff like Halcyon that have taken the real world set up of Watchmen and found their own approach.
All Superheroes Must Diemay very well come with its own genuine movie superhero ( X-Men First Class’s Lucas Till) but really this is a movie that neither excels at being a superhero flick or steps up to its horror side. Despite playing the world of heroes and villains straight and hinting at a larger world (even having an Uncle Sam type villain character turn up played by Neil The Frogurt Guy from Lost) I couldn't really help but feel this one just put a mask on to hide it’s real identity as just another Saw clone
The film is low budget and set at night, so this DVD already has a mountain to climb in the visuals department. Lighting attempts to play with the Watchmen colour palette, with plenty of yellows and greens backed up with neon strips to create comic book colour boosts. The streets are of course dark and only lit with streetlights giving and orange or greenish tint to things and most locations are filled with strip lighting keeping a real world approach despite the heightened colours used in this comic book world.
Details are pretty good and the wildly low budget costumes work in a Kick Ass cobbled together sort of way. All the Saw style trap set ups are clear and understandable (despite their budget restrictions)and while the sets never really feel all that real, the set dressing is never lost in the largely dark film's heavy shadows.
The 5.1 track is basically dialogue in the front and a moody nothing of a score that hovers around the rears. Sound effects such as chains and crashes sound crisp and clean and the audio presentation in general is tight but there's very little going on really and the film just manages plays well with its budget limitations.
The introduction with Jason Trosts, (writer, director, star) (02:28) warns that the film isn't reflective of the posters for it and how it was made for $20,000 in two months and more. Really the short intro runs quick like a mini commentary.
'The Cultastrophe Pre-Show' (06:25) provides a fun retro look at old trailers in a fake build up to the movie.
'Toronto After Dark Q&A' (12:13) talks about sequels and where it might go plot wise and how a film like this gets made, what got taken out due to budgey and the timescales.
'Blood Beasts' is four 7-8 minute episodes of some other Trost work set in a post apocalyptic world and the last extra is the 'Theatrical Trailer'.
Jason Trost makes the most of what he has here and while he never hides his low budget he certainly doesn't let it hold him back too much. The flick itself doesn't really deliver on the superhero goods, despite the costumes and feels like a rather typical horror set up despite the lack of gore. Judging by this I think Trost has more in him but that remains to be seen I guess. The disc is pretty standard stuff across the board really.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over
Release Date: 7th October 2013
Disc Type: Single side, dual layer
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 English
Extras: Introduction, Cultastrophe Pre-Show , Trailer, , Blood Beasts Episodes, Q&A,
Easter Egg: No
Director: Jason Trost
Cast: Jason Trost, Lucas Till, James Remar
Length: 74 minutes
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