Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel
Theatrical Release (Select Theaters): February 23, 2018
Run Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Reviewed By: Adam
Time has passed since Surge’s first big screen adventure. Surge has settled in as Big City’s superhero. His nemesis, the Metal Master, is out of jail again, trying to reconcile with his estranged parents (played by Linda Blair and Gil Gerard). Are they more concerned about their son being gay than being a supervillain? Metal Master is tempted to continue a life of crime by Augur (Eric Roberts), old arch enemy of Omen, the sage superhero from the first movie (played by Robert Picardo and Nichelle Nichols). Augur sends Metal Master on a mission to Las Vegas for a strange crystal with unique properties key to Augur’s diabolical scheme. Surge tracks Metal Master to Las Vegas and is out of his element in a strange town. Surge is soon aided by local college students, Wendy, Marvin and Todd, deploying their own talents to help Surge uncover Metal Master’s activities, which also puts Surge in awkward situations. Cut off from his support in Big City and in need of more help, Surge activates the artificial intelligence in his high-tech car, the Surgemobile (portrayed first by Bruce Vilanch, six-time Emmy Award winner, comedian and writer, and later another artificial intelligence personality played by Shannon Farnon, Wonder Woman from the Super Friends!). Their search leads them to famous Las Vegas headliner, Frank Marino, whose penchant for fine jewelry allows Frank to recognize the crystals – precious Celinedioium! Frank guides Surge and his new friends. Surge faces off with Metal Master on the Hoover Dam, imperiling California, Nevada and Arizona. Metal Master escapes, leaving Surge with catastrophe to avert.
A short repast allows Surge some downtime while Todd shows him around Las Vegas. Their quiet time is interrupted by further news on the Metal Master. Augur and Metal Master realize Surge and his friends frustrated their plan. An infuriated Augur confronts Surge, causing Omen to step into the fray, sending Surge and the Surgemobile elsewhere while he/she grapples with his/her nemesis. Meanwhile, Metal Master faces an even greater challenge – his disapproving parents.
Unbeknownst to Surge, Augur is part of a supervillain community, The Council, each member of which is as powerful as Omen, and stirred to emerge from the shadows after many years of peace with Omen and her cronies. Find out what happens next with cinema’s first out gay superhero when an array of legendary superheroes and villains clash, with more zany antics in this all-ages, light-hearted, star-studded sequel!
I was having this discussion with Scott recently about how movies now a days are trying way too hard to be really artsy and there isn’t as many mindless action/comedy movies anymore. Well, Surge brings that back! Don’t get me wrong, that isn’t a burn on Surge at all. It made it more enjoyable. Not going to lie… after I watched the trailer for Surge, I was a little worried it was going to be really lame and corny. It did have it’s corny moments, but that didn’t stop this one from being a fun watch. You could tell director, Vince Roth was going for the Adam West Batman vibe to this movie. In my eyes, it was a terrific idea! Loved the throwback look. My hands down favorite part of this movie were all of the cameos! So many former actors that played super heroes “came out” for Surge. It was fantastic. This is what the made the movie so fun to watch. Who will show up next!? If you’re a fan of super hero movies, Surge is certainly worth the watch. Be careful though because you may just “get the urge, to surge!”
After watching Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel, we were able to have a little Q&A with Director and lead actor, Vince Roth. *WARNING – SPOILERS!*
Q: What gave you the idea of Surge?
A: I grew up watching the “Super Friends” cartoon, which is where I developed my penchant for the superhero genre. In my adult years, I made a lot of costumes of other people’s characters, which has now become its own thing called “cosplay.” Then in my professional life, as a corporate attorney for a high-tech company, the marketing department created a superhero character for one of its marketing campaigns called “Commander X.” I made, at that time, what was my piece de resistance of costumes and the company liked it so much, that when trade shows came around, they would transfer me out of the legal department and into the marketing department and send me off to be the living embodiment of Commander X. It was at a trade show that I decided I should do something with a character of my own. Surge had been in my head for many years, and the movie was a vehicle for me to bring Surge to life.
Q: Will Surge be making any Comic Con appearances?
A: Surge typically shows up at San Diego Comic Con and Salt Lake Comic Convention. In fact, many of the celebrity interviews and many of the celebrities who came on board from the sequel are as a result of Salt Lake Comic Convention. We’re just now finishing the theatrical run, and I’m still pretty busy with distribution for the sequel at the moment, but when time permits, I’ll see what cons we can have Surge show up.
Q: Were you able to get any superhero tips from the one and only Stan Lee?
A: I barely met Stan Lee only once, but was not able to discuss Surge of Power or anything for that matter, he was so busy. But, if he is not prevented by MARVEL from doing cameos in other movies, we’ll invite him to join us.
Q: How did you get so many big names to make cameo appearances?
A: We had 20 cameos in the first movie, and our 3 featured celebrities from the first movie all came back for the sequel – Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek’s Uhura), Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk) and the late Noel Neill (Lois Lane from Adventures of Superman). This gave a lot of credibility to the sequel. We’ve developed a shtick with having celebrities show up, kind of like the also campy Batman TV show from the 60s. So, it’s a staple in our world of Big City to have celebrities. In the sequel, we take it even farther, by having celebrities cast in dramatic roles, not just cameos, throughout the movie.
Q: Were you going for an Adam West Batman type look with the quality?
A: Yes, I knew that if I was going to introduce a new superhero, especially an indie movie, I would need to differentiate our world. There hadn’t yet been an openly gay superhero on the big screen, so that became my mission and decided to use comedy as a platform, because humor has been an effective vehicle for gay characters to be accepted by mainstream audiences. Look at the success of “Will and Grace” for example, which,
incidentally, was brought back after 10 years, so why can’t Surge return after a lengthy
hiatus. Camp is a common trope in gay entertainment, and a natural superhero parallel is the campy Adam West Batman TV show. Both Surge of Power movies have a similar campy flavor as the 60s Batman. We’re not shy about it. There’s even a line Bruce Vilanch
delivers that homages Batman when he tells Surge, “that cape is a throwback to the 60s.”
The inspiration from Batman is noticeable, and I think we added our own flare in our
contributions to the superhero genre.
Q: Why did it take so many years for a Surge sequel?
A: Homophobia is why it took so long. There were some people who really did not want this movie to be made, which made it all that much more important for me to get it done. Pixar’s “The Incredibles” was released in 2004 and its sequel is due out later this year, 2018, which is 14 years, so I think we’re still within range for superhero movies, haha. The first movie, “Surge of Power: The Stuff of Heroes,” started screening in 2004 and was released in 2006. I was busy promoting the first movie at cons for a few years before I was talked into embarking on the sequel, but homophobia and life interruptions caused us to put the sequel on hold for several years. This actually turned out to be a blessing, because it allowed us to improve on scenes not yet shot, expand the script to add new scenes, and, of course, we went gangbusters on celebrities, putting them in roles throughout the movie from start to finish, and we enlisted a lot more focus group feedback to give the audience what it wanted. So, the delays allowed us to arrive at a better end result and audiences are enjoying it.
Q: We saw the post credit teaser scene… is there another Surge in the works?
A: We actually have already shot scenes with Nichelle Nichols as Omen for the third movie, “Surge of Power: Call of the Champions,” and for our web series, “Big City Chronicles.” There is a little sneak peek of Nichelle on set for “Call of the Champions” that is on the Blu-Ray and DVD as a Special Feature that runs for almost 5 minutes. So, Nichelle will appear as Omen throughout all Surge of Power projects. We also have already shot a handful of cameos for “Call of the Champions.” Now, how many years it takes me to actually make the whole movie, remains to be seen, but, folks can keep an eye on our activities and our progress by watching “Big City Chronicles” episodes, which is a variety show consisting of celebrity interviews, behind-the-scenes looks at all the movies, sneak peeks and new mini adventures of Surge. Keep an eye out at http://www.surgeofpower.org