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Razor Digital presents
SuperGuy: Behind the Cape (2002)

"This isn't a comic book. This is real life."
- SuperGuy (Mark Teague)

Review By: Rich Rosell  
Published: July 01, 2004

Stars: Mark Teague
Other Stars: Charles Dierkop, Katherine Victor, Jan Garrett, Peter Stacker, Tim Peyton
Director: Bill Lae

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (brief mild language)
Run Time: 01h:15m:24s
Release Date: June 22, 2004
UPC: 690445006424
Genre: comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A- A-B-B- B-

DVD Review

The saving grace of every reviewer is that little indie gem that pops up that might have otherwise gone largely unnoticed. Case in point with SuperGuy: Behind the Cape, another entry in the "mockumentary" genre, which this time chooses to lambast the world of the superhero. Coming from writer/director Bill Lae, this phony doc examines the life and troubled times of SuperGuy (Mark Teague), a caped crusader with more than a passing resemblance to a certain man of steel.

Lae masterfully incorporates interview footage with various people directly involved with life of SuperGuy, aka mild-mannered Mark Trent, as well as shaky, grainy home movie footage of his childhood, to fill in the character's backstory. Once his powers are revealed to the world, the story then shifts into the big-money world of SuperGuy Industries, whose exploitation of the hero leads to the inevitable public backlash. Tossed in for good measure are a few commercials, a crazed religious cult, a rash of SuperGuy-induced suicides, a music video, a poorly executed rescue of a runaway jet and lurid excerpts from the tabloids, all contributing to his mighty downfall.

Working with an obvious limited budget, Lae has seemingly focused the bulk of his energies on the script, which consistently tears down its subject with the kind of precision that can only come from someone who loves the material to start with. All of the dialogue has a natural, unscripted feel to it, and the cast are either fabulous ad-libbers or they are able to really morph Lae's words. Teague, as the beleagured hero, doesn't use the same kind of macho swagger of a Patrick Warburton, and instead plays SuperGuy as a fairly down-to-earth and humble guy who only occasionally blows his top, especially if his costume isn't clean. Veteran character actor Charles Dierkop, here playing the bitter dad of SuperGuy, is a riot, spouting of all kinds of vicious rants about the hassles of raising a future superhero. Tim Peyton, playing a nerdy SuperGuy collector, has a great scene that is awkwardly comical, and one of the funniest bits in a film filled with many great moments.

The successful execution of a humorous "mockumentary" is always an iffy proposition. Comic icons like Christopher Guest have mined it pretty well in recent years, but there have been more a few pale imitators that have risen up along the way. SuperGuy: Behind the Cape is one of those titles that might slip under the radar of the masses, but if you're looking for a dead-on parody of the superhero genre, I can't recommend this one enough. This is funny stuff.

Trust me.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: SuperGuy has been issued in 1.33:1, and like the audio side of things, Lae's budget restrictions are evident here, as well. Quality varies from scene to scene, depending on whether or not it involves effects or not. Colors come through on the soft side, looking more muted that vivid, with some sequences looking slightly more washed out than others.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: Audio is presented in very basic 2.0 stereo, and the limitations of Lae's low budget don't really hamper the impact of the transfer one bit. Though a little flat in spots, any inadequacies in fidelity are not all that distracting in the scheme of things.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
2 Original Trailer(s)
4 Deleted Scenes
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Photo Gallery
Extras Review: Under the Super Features banner, Razor Digital has included Bloopers and Behind the Scenes (10m:30s), which mixes blue screen effects, typical bloopers and flubs, with most of the behind-the-scenes material being just a collection of footage of various scenes being shot, with no formal narration.

A set of four brief Deleted Scenes are mostly uneventful except for a longer scene from Ronald Pittman (Tim Peyton), an obsessed collector of all things SuperGuy. Funny stuff.

Also included is a fairly large Photo Gallery that is broken down into a number of separate sections (Posters, Comics, Photos, Behind The Scenes, Newspapers, Magazine Covers).

Six Razor Digital trailers are provided, and the disc itself is cut into 20 chapters, with no subtitle options.

Extras Grade: B-

 

Final Comments

Here is a real unexpected treat from Razor Digital—an insanely clever mockumentary about the caped superhero known as SuperGuy. Though the film is a low-budget affair, the writing is laugh-out-loud funny, and the fake documentary format suits the material perfectly.

It's obvious writer/director Bill Lae knows a thing or two about comic books and superheroes, and he lampoons the genre with zeal.

Highly recommended.

 


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