Suburban Heroes is difficult to describe but the words Low Budget, Super Hero, Reality TV, and Lampoon come to mind.
I met a couple of the guys, Mike Kammer and Terence Cover off the show at the Motor City Comic Convention in Novi (a suburb of Detroit) Michigan. I enjoyed chatting with the guys and I saw that the DVD announced that it had been at the 2007 and 2008 Tromadance New Mexico, the 2008 Riverside Saginaw Film Fest, and the 2008 Summer Tromadance Film Fest.
Now, I have only recently begun writing about this sort of thing and had been entirely unaware of the Tromadance phenomenon, but I got an email about it from Lloyd Kaufman a few weeks ago and found it to be quite interesting.
Tromadance was started my Lloyd Kaufman, the President of Troma Entertainment. I met Lloyd Kaufman at Gen Con Indy 2010 and had a pleasant conversation with him. He is a strong advocate of Net Neutrality and supporter of independent film makers. He had given seminars on making and producing movies but I had missed them. Instead, Sunday afternoon shortly before close, I ran into him as I wandered through the Exhibition Hall. He was off in the distant corner opposite the main entrance and it was just a matter of happy coincidence that I ran into Lloyd and Toxie.
Lloyd and I chatted a bit and he was kind enough to give (I had already overspent my budget for the con) me a photo montage of him from one of his recent flicks (Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead) and he signed it saying, “You will make better movies than me!” I have seen several of his movies and, shamefully, my first, fleeting thought was, “Well, I would hope so!” As in a near death experience, all the great movies I have seen that lost millions passed before my eyes and I looked at the kindly fellow and thought, “Well, as long as they are money makers like the bulk of yours are, a good bad movie wouldn’t be a bad thing.
I remember walking away thinking how kind he was to give me that photo for free and to chat with me even though I told him at the outset I wasn’t going to buy anything. Now as I think back to that day I remember walking away with a “Free” photo, a book and two DVD sets on how to produce and direct low budget films. Yeah, he’s that good.
Tromadance was his response to Sundance and other film shows that claim to be giving the independent film makers a chance but that charge a fee for them to enter the film festival. Tromadance doesn’t charge an entry fee and gives new, low/no budget film makers a venue where fans can go and watch their films for free.
I figured that, if it was good enough for Lloyd to endorse, it was good enough for me to take a look at. Worst case, if it was bad, well, they let me have a copy for free and signed it to give away on my site. Its really hard to argue against free.
So I went into the show with low expectations and wasn’t disappointed. To the contrary, I was somewhat surprised as I watched it while eating my lunch, that I had to cover up snorts of laughter by feigning coughing fits. The show takes place in a time, place, world where Heroes and super powers are real. It isn’t a laugh a minute show but I would say there are several chuckles and at least one good snort per episode.
At the center of the show is Captain Pain (Mike Kammer), the leader of the Freedom League of Justice Fighters. He is the Brains of the outfit though he is the dumbest member of the crew and the only one who failed the test for super powers (that snort turned into a real coughing fit when he failed his test!) when the IRS audited them (they receive government funds as a super hero group.)
Batman, Superman, Spiderman, and other super heros are, in part, defined by their super villain nemesis. Captain Pain takes the BYE on the more serious villains that pop up on the Government’s Villainy Database, only to be defeated by a super flasher, the Cosmic Crank.
Captain Pain’s one team member at the outset is Hunter Wiggins and their first quest is to find a hero to round out their team with a real, super power. Terence Cover is that Hero! If this sounds interesting, at least check out the first episode (see caveat below mom!) The episodes are free on their site so check them out and become fan on Facebook!
There is some profanity which is to say Mom won’t like it (she appreciates me mentioning her now and again. Hey! Dave Letterman has his mom on his show so, why now?)