Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel

| January 8, 2018

I have a pretty high tolerance for bad movies.  Give me something like Sharknado or Birdemic or The Room, and I will watch it over and over again.  I will have my friends over to watch it over and over again.  I will write glowing reviews, and analyze it, and do podcasts about it, as these films bring me immense joy in how completely they miss the mark.  However, Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel is not a “so bad it’s good” film.  It’s just painfully bad in every way.

I need to start by saying that I am an ally to the LGBTQ community and will always continue to fight for their right to be recognized as equal citizens along with the rest of us, and I don’t want my criticism of this film to read as a homophobic tirade.  I imagine someone involved with the film or a fan of the film reading my review and dismissing it as the opinion of someone who “doesn’t get it” or “just doesn’t like gay people.”  Not true.  The only good thing about this film is that it will never be seen by enough people to possibly set back LGBTQ representation in films for years.  This will just quietly go away and real films about the LGBTQ experience will continue to grow and thrive.

This isn’t to say that I enjoyed the LGBTQ message in the film.  If you told me this was made by a group of gay men, I would believe you.  If you told me it was made be a group of straight men, I would believe you.  If you told me it was made by a group of Martians, I would believe you.  It relies so heavily on gay stereotypes and clichés that I honestly can’t tell if it’s promoting the gay lifestyle or attacking it.  Again, if the director told me one way or the other, I would believe it.

The story is about Surge of Power (Vincent J. Roth, who also co-wrote and co-directed the film), a superhero with vague “energy powers,” who does battle with his nemesis Metal Master (John Venturini) to prevent him from doing something with something to destroy something.  Surge is aided by three new friends: a straight couple and a gay man who becomes a forced love interest 7 seconds after he’s introduced.  Also, Eric Roberts is in this.  Eric Roberts.  I don’t think he spent more than a day or two filming, but he’s there as a big bad pulling the strings.  There’s also a host of other cameos as the filmmakers seemed to catch up with random people from old superhero movies and tv shows at comic cons and whatnot.  Most of these people I don’t recognize, but their appearances are manufactured to indicate that they have some pop culture significance.  They’ll deliver random lines about being a bookworm, or how much better Superman is than Surge, and it reeks of some reference you’re probably not getting.

None of the humor lands, none of the references work, and none of the story makes sense.  Even the screener I was sent to watch the movie couldn’t manage to make it to the end of the film.  It got to a clip where Cher is talking about an earthquake in the film and then the DVD-R just gave up.  Perhaps it’s my own superpower to destroy DVDs with my mind that cause me this much trauma.  I will only use this power for evil.

About the Author:

Joe Ketchum Joe Sanders is a podcaster, playwright, and college instructor in Kalamazoo, MI. He has a master's degree in playwriting and a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Western Michigan University, where he currently teaches thought and writing, and is the host of the Quote Unquote Guilty podcast, part of the Word Salad Network.
Filed in: Video and DVD
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