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THE SUPER review

By now, I'm sure that you're aware of the Support Independent Horror campaign that's been running rampant throughout the internet. There's a good reason why so many people are urging you to support the indies. That reason is because, for the most part, indie films are mply better than the big budget studio drivel, and the indie filmmakers are in the buness of making films from the heart, because they love the genre, they love the subject matter of their films, and because they love what they do. The big studios make movies for the money. And nothing more.

When a filmmaker's work comes from the heart, the viewer can see this fact. You can see all of the love and hard work that went into the making of such a film. Can the same be said for most Hollywood movies? Not a chance. You can't see the heart, love and hard work put into them, but you can see all the money. But that's about it. Soulless money. No heart. No love.

Brian Weaver and Evan Makrogiannis have continued the carrying of the indie horror torch with their film The Super. Makrogiannis and Weaver co-wrote and co-directed the film about Queens, New York apartment building superintendent George Ros (Demetri Kallas), a Vietnam vet whose descent into depravity and madness is exasperated by the sometimes crazy, always annoying tenants of the building of which he is in charge. George goes from a frustrated little man, who may be just a bit touched in the head, to an avenging madman, with the help of Rusan immigrant Olga (Manoush), who may have as much of a penchant for homicidal behavior as she does for the sadomasochistic domination of men.

Kallas is as creepy as he is likable in the role of George Ros. I found it hard not to feel some form of pity for the guy, regardless of some of the horrendous things he was saying, or the equally appalling acts he was committing. This is only the second time Kallas has appeared in a film (his first was in Weaver and Makrogiannis' first film, The Turnpike Killer), yet he comes across as though he's a seasoned veteran. mply, the man can act, and he is very believable in the role. I hope to see a lot more of him in the future.

Olga, the Rusan immigrant who serves as a teacher of sorts for George, is played by the one-and-one Manoush (La petite mort, Philosophy of a Knife, Amélie )! Manoush has always been brilliant when it comes to playing roles in which she is a strong woman who is always in charge and usually quite vicious, and her work in The Super is no exception. From the moment she is first seen on screen, you know that this is not a woman that you'd want to mess with! Her Rusan accent adds to how strong the character comes off, and it came with a bit of a cost for the actress. She recently shared a story with me about this fact, telling me the following:

"To be more menacing and frightening as Olga I spoke my dialogue as deep as my voice could do .. with the result that I ended every day of shooting with throat pains and my vocal chords really felt like shit." (laughs)

The film also stars Lynn Lowry (I Drink Your Blood, The Crazies 1973) as Maureen Ros, who is as lovingly sweet as she is overbearing and demanding, Raine Brown (Booley) as a hooker who, well, let's just say what happens to her isn't in the usual job description of a prostitute, Brandon Slagle (15 Till Midnight), who is hilarious as Franny The Tranny, a transsexual who does the occaonal job for George and who looks like a cross between Amy Winehouse and Britney Spears, with the phyque of a wide receiver in the NFL, and Ron Braunstein (James St. James Presents Avantgarde) as Det. Sardusky, a cop who's perhaps more of a threat to citizens than the bad guys he's supposed to be arresting. Braunstein plays the Sardusky character in a manner milar to the way that the late Chris Penn played characters of this kind. I believe Penn would be proud of Braunstein's work here. Other cast members include Ruby Larocca (Flesh For The Beast), Edgar Moye (The Turnpike Killer), David Francis Calderazzo (The Sopranos) , Bill McLaughlin (The Turnpike Killer), Sara DeRosa (One Life To Live, The Other Guys) and Kathryn Zawiski.

Alex Lugones, who produced and directed the recent hit horror short film, The Devil's Toy, also produced The Super.

It's hard to label this film with one title as it's so much more. Sure, there's plenty of gore, lots of violence, some gross out scenes, and there's even quite a bit of humor, but there are so many layers to the film that it's not easy to ealy explain away as a horror comedy, dark comedy or even horror with comedic elements. Including elements such as revenge, betrayal, murder, love, comedy and tragedy, The Super has a rather Shakespearean feel to it.

In a film that is difficult to label, one label that does do this film justice is must-see! As I mentioned at the start of this review, in the world of horror movies, the indie film reigns supreme. And in this world, The Super continues the tradition of great horror with heart.

Often Adam Green (the Hatchet films, Frozen) is used as the poster-boy for the indie horror movement, and although I am a fan of Green's work, I must say that it's filmmakers such as Brian Weaver, Evan Makrogiannis and Alex Lugones

who would better serve as the faces of the indie horror scene. Green has been fortunate enough to have the right people, and some good cash, behind him for his films. It's filmmakers such as Weaver, Makrogiannis & Lugones, as well as Christian Grillo, Abel Berry and Andrew Rose, the Soska sters and many others, who often work on miniscule budgets, pour their love, heart and soul into the films that they make, and who are perhaps more suited for being used as the poster-boys/girls, or as the faces of Independent Horror.

Support Independent Horror.

Support The Super!

-review by Scott Ruth

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ny ghoul Tuesday 11/22/2011 at 01:28 AM | 87315