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The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel

January 10, 2018 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Surge of Power Revenge of the Sequel

The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #444: Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel

Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that firmly believes that Reb Brown should get the key to the city whenever he arrives somewhere because he’s goddamn Reb Brown, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number four hundred and forty-four, I take a look at the low budget superhero comedy Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel.

Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel

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Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel, directed by Antonio Lexerot and Vincent J. Roth (he’s listed as a “collaborating director”), Revenge of the Sequel is the sequel to the equally low budget superhero comedy Surge of Power: The Stuff of Heroes, which apparently came out in 2004. I haven’t seen that movie, but, as far as I can tell, you don’t need to see that movie to understand what’s going on in Revenge of the Sequel. There’s a kind of recap of the events of that first movie to get you up to speed on what kind of world the movie exists in.

The movie stars Roth as Gavin Lucas, aka Surge, the superhero protector of Big City. Surge has the ability to sense the energy fields around people and things and to shoot energy beams out of his body. He can also fly and owns a pretty sweet car that advertises his personal website. Surge also has a utility belt that has everything. As the movie begins, we find out that Surge’s arch nemesis, Hector Harris (John Venturini), aka Metal Master, has been released from prison. Lucas meets Harris at a local bar to talk with him and to see if he’s still the super villain he was before prison (Metal Master was also the main villain, I believe, in the first movie). Harris is still very much the villain he was before, but to a certain extent he seems a bit defeated. Harris tries to poison Lucas to show that he’s still a threat but Lucas uses a universal poison antidote to stop that shit.

So Harris leaves the bar, upset that he still can’t close the deal on taking down his arch nemesis. It’s at this point that Harris runs into Augur (Eric Roberts), a sort of mystical evil being that wants to take out Big City and, well, probably the world. Augur is also looking for a main henchman and believes that Harris could fit the bill. Maybe. Harris, Metal Master, has been in prison for years, and while he’s still very angry, can he be trusted to carry out Augur’s wishes? So Augur gives Harris a test to complete. Harris is to go to Las Vegas, “Sin City,” and retrieve a powerful crystal that, when weaponized, will allow Augur to do evil stuff. Harris agrees to the test and heads for Vegas.

While all of that is going on, Lucas finds out about Augur and Metal Master via Omen (Nichelle Nichols), a mystical being who is a force of good, and decides to go to Vegas to try to stop the villains from doing whatever it is they’re up to. At the same time, Lucas’s helper Jordan (Victor Stone) thinks that, while in Vegas, Lucas should try to live a little since he’s been with companionship for so long. Lucas isn’t too keen on that advice, as he knows that, oftentimes, being a superhero and protecting a city is a lonely business. Living a little isn’t a bad thing, though. Maybe if there’s time? So Lucas, in full on Surge mode (the costume, the car, all of his usual Surge materials), heads to Vegas.

Vegas is, as you’d expect it to be, pretty damn fabulous. There’s all sorts of shit to see and do there, including mega famous drag queen Will E. Bee (Michael Gray). It’s here we learn that Bee has the super crystal that Harris wants/needs, a crystal that’s named after Celine Dion. We also find out that Harris’s and Augur’s big scheme is to use the Celine Dion crystal to take out the Hoover Dam.

The Hoover Dam? Can anyone in this movie really take out the Hoover Dam? On this budget? Nah. But they’re going to try.

The one thing you’ll notice about Revenge of the Sequel is that what it lacks in budget it makes up for it with energy and heart. It can’t destroy the Hoover Dam or have its characters flying around and fighting like a Marvel Studios movie. It can destroy a bridge and have some decent enough looking CGI special effects (like the Surge energy blasts), but those sequences will be few and far between. When we do get those scenes, though, they look good. Not great, but good. They also don’t look out of place, which is something that tends to happen quite often with big budget special effects extravaganzas.

As for the flick’s heart, you can tell that everyone involved has a great love and affinity for comic books and the superhero genre in general. Yes, there’s a real sense of parody going on, too, but at the same time you’re meant to root for the hero Surge, and you do. He’s a consummate good guy, the kind of hero that the kids of the world can look up to. You’re meant to take him seriously. Everyone and everything else around him? Not so much. That’s kind of refreshing, in a way.

Now, the main characters in Revenge of the Sequel are gay. The world in general in Revenge of the Sequel is gay/gay friendly. Surge is in desperate need of a boyfriend, and the Metal Master is dealing with family abandonment. Metal Master’s parents, as played by Gil Gerard and Linda Blair, disowned him a long time ago because of his “choice of lifestyle,” something that Harris resents/feeds off of. Would Harris be the Metal Master if his mother and father accepted him? It’s quite possible Big City would have a different supervillain to deal with if the Harris family told Hector that he was loved and wanted and it was okay to be gay.

Even in this “enlightened” day and age the gay subtext of Revenge of the Sequel may be off putting, mostly because we don’t see that kind of thing in superhero movies. There’s also an abundance of scenes featuring half naked men in bulging underwear, something that can make “real men” uncomfortable. It shouldn’t, but there’s a chance it might. I thought the scenes were bizarre, not because “Eww, gay men make me feel uncomfortable,” but because I’ve never met real people in real life so prone to walking around sans clothing. Do real people do that? Maybe it has something to do with living in a part of the world that can get super cold. You’d be nuts to walk around anywhere in just your underwear.

The eventual sort of love story between Surge and Todd (Sean Rogers) is sweet. There’s a fun montage of their big date night that’s hilarious because Surge doesn’t take his mask off. And Roth and Rogers have actual chemistry, something that always helps with love stories. I’m going to assume we’re going to see more of these two in the eventual part three.

The only real issue I have with Revenge of the Sequel is that it’s too slow. There are too many slow moments and it would be cool if there were a few more action scenes. Again, the movie clearly can’t be a Marvel movie but it would have been cool to see Surge fight off some nameless/faceless henchmen. Some of the dialogue could have been tightened up, too. That would have been great.

The flick’s main cast does a great job. Vincent J. Roth is terrific as Gavin Lucas/Surge. He has the kind of natural integrity that you need to play a good guy superhero. He plays Surge as a kind of low key Adam West in the 1960’s Batman TV show. He really is the kind of clean cut hero that kids can look up to (or should look up to).

John Venturini is excellent as the villain Metal Master and the angry ex-con Hector Harris. Venturini gives Harris a goofy quality that fits in with the movie’s overall tone; he’s a formidable villain but he also knows that the whole thing is kind of ridiculous. Venturini also manages to sell his super villain outfit, which includes a giant magnet helmet. You have to be damn good to make that kind of thing work.

Both Gil Gerard and Linda Blair are great as Hector’s parents Harold and Helen. It’s interesting how they sort of come around to the idea that being gay isn’t the end all be all that so many people make it out to be. Helen comes around first, while Harold is a bit too stuck in his “grouchy man” ways to figure it out until later. Man, I haven’t seen Gerard in anything in a good, long while. What the hell has he been up to?

Eric Roberts is hilarious as Augur the mystical villain. He’s clearly having a blast hamming it up, and, hell, why wouldn’t you ham it up in the costume he wears in the movie? Mariann Gavelo is superb as the flick’s hot babe Wendy. She’s funny and absolutely gorgeous, a great combination. And Sean Rogers does a good job as Todd, the eventual love interest for Surge.

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And then there’s Reb Brown as the Big City news reporter Roger Stevenson. It’s great to see him in a movie again, although he isn’t beating the crap out of anyone (maybe that will happen in part 3?). And you may end up asking yourself what I ended up asking myself while watching the movie: How many Captain America ties can one person own? I mean, yeah, Reb Brown is Captain America, but, hell, where do you get a Captain America bolo tie from? Is that something you have to get custom made?

Now, the all-star cameo cast that appears in this movie is nothing short of phenomenal. You will see Nichelle Nichols (from Star Trek), Bruce Villanch, Robert Picardo (he plays the male version of the Nichols character), Austin Stoker (Lt. Ethan Bishop of Assault on Precinct 13), Lou Ferrigno, Kato Kaelin, Larry Thomas, Jay Underwood, Rex Smith, Ken Davitian, among others (check out the full cast list via imdb here). I know that Vincent J. Roth has been to comic book/horror/pop culture conventions as the Surge character (there’s apparently a YouTube TV series where he goes around interviewing various celebrities in costume) so I’m going to assume that he got all of these people to appear in the movie via his convention connections. Still, it’s pretty goddamn amazing that all of these celebrities agreed to do the movie, even in a cameo capacity. Who the hell is going to show up in the next one?

And that’s the big question: what will part three be about? And who will be in it? The end of the movie implies there will be a part three. Will we have to wait fourteen years for the next Surge adventure? I hope not.

See Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel. See it, see it, see it.

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: None.

Explosions: There may have been a few small CGI ones.

Nudity?: None.

Doobage: Some cool animated opening titles, a bar montage, talk of homophobia, bill paying, multiple news reports, a hidden business card message, gas buying, a utility belt that has everything in it, a bubble shooting gun, desert stuff, a rock attack, multiple Elvis impersonators, shower taking, CGI bridge destruction, a magician that makes himself disappear, car saving, cars that keep driving off a demolished bridge, a dating montage, taking on homophobia, autograph signing, hot tub hooey, a British midget, a gross contortionist, a car that transforms into a robot, multiple good vs. evil fights, portal hooey, talk of a part three, and a hilarious bit over the end credits about gonorrhea.

Kim Richards?: None.

Gratuitous: Comic book shop owner and comic book buyer talking about Surge as a comic book, a town named Big City, an all-purpose antidote, Gil Gerard and Linda Blair, complaints about “the gay culture,” Eric Roberts, Austin Stoker, multiple flashbacks to the first movie, a sports drink named after Surge, silly string attack, Bruce Villanch, a fart joke, Reb Brown, Reb Brown wearing multiple Captain America ties, off screen cruising for companions on the internets, Frank Marino, bitching about fashion, sushi eating, Nichelle Nichols, Robert Picardo, and an end credits montage of celebrities talking about Surge.

Best lines: “Hey, isn’t that the guy who just got out of jail?,” “Another beer? As often as possible,” “So how’s your cocktail?,” “Stupid defective mail order cyanide,” “Hector, are you still living that, uh, lifestyle?,” “Oh, Hector, be a good boy,” “Oh, blame the supervillain for everything?,” “Yes, yes, I know who Spinal Tap is,” “If this is what validation feels like I think I like it,” “Did you just run over a cat?,” “Are you always chasing some bad guy?,” “Have you ever opened a comic book?,” “Nice cape. Likewise,” “Let’s go back to my place. To study the crystal,” “Lady, this is what you call help?,” “Henchmen do not negotiate,” “If that doesn’t just pickle my pipe,” “I’d like to see Batman do this,” “Good Lord, why does she have to be a bitch all of the time?,” “I’m a drag queen, not a mind reader,” “That Wendy chick is hot,” “Metal Master follows the rules?,” “How many supervillains have you taken down by annoying them into submission?,” “Have you ever thought about a sidekick?,” “Homos!,” “I have to go. Duty calls. Story of my life,” “Sin City will never be the same!,” “This is what I get for working with a limp wristed dandy,” “I want some action! Well, then, we’ll just skip to the climax,” “Listen to your car,” “So we’re going with the staffs again, huh?,” “Wait. Am I sensing a… cliffhanger?,” “Make a difference when you can,” “I like my superheroes flaming! You guys know what I meant,” and “I’m sure whatever he does next it will be awesome.”

Rating: 8.0/10.0

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It: This was the big horror movie event of 2017, although I’m not entirely sure it’s really a horror movie. To me, it comes off as more of a dark fantasy than a horror movie. The kids are outstanding, but Pennywise isn’t very scary and the movie looks like a one hundred million dollar franchise movie. The CGI isn’t very convincing, either. Still, it’s not bad, and it will be interesting to see how it plays on a smaller screen. I know this was a big mainstream hit, but am I the only one who wasn’t completely enamored with it?

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Babes with Blades: This is some sort of mega low budget action-fighting sci-fi movie and seems to be a vehicle for stunt performer Cecily Fay. And that’s cool. Sure, the movie could probably use a little more money and polish, but it also looks kind of fun. And Fay looks credible in the trailer, which is ultimately the only thing that really matters. Rent it to see if it works. Here’s to hoping that it does.

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B-Movie News

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Martial Arts Kid 2:Payback starting an IndieGoGo campaign!: The upcoming sequel to the family martial arts action flick The Martial Arts Kid is trying to raise funds to be an even bigger and more badass movie than the first one via an IndieGoGo campaign that begins January 15th. Martial arts/action movie legends Don “The Dragon” Wilson and Cynthia Rothrock are set to return, and the hope is that more martial arts badasses will join them (like Chuck Zito and T.J. Storm, who were in the first movie, and Sasha Mitchell). Please check out the movie’s website here for more information. The world needs this sequel because, well, I want to know what happens next. So, again, please check out the movie’s website here for more info.

Check out my review of the first movie here and then check out the trailer for the first movie below.

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I think this looks better than the first one, as it seems to be tad darker and sleazier (that tends to happen when your story moves to prison and underground MMA fighting). Here’s to hoping that it kicks more ass than Vengeance. I wish it was playing in a movie theatre near me. I sure as hell would be there opening day to check it out. Be sure to check out the movie’s official Facebook page here.

What do you guys think? More badass?

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Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel

Vincent J. Roth– Gavin Lucas/Surge
John Venturini– Hector Harris/Metal Master
Eric Roberts– Augur
Sean Rogers– Todd
Gil Gerard– Harold Harris
Linda Blair– Helen Harris
Victor Stone– Jordan
Michael Gray– Will E. Bee
Mariann Gavelo– Wendy
Reb Brown– Roger Stevenson/Star
(check out the rest of the cast here)

Directed by Antonio Lexerot and Vincent J. Roth (collaborating director)
Screenplay byVincent J. Roth, Antonio Lexerot, and John Venturini

Distributed by Indie Rights

Rated PG-13 for some suggestive material
Runtime– 90 minutes

Website: http://www.surgeofpower.org/