Review: All Superheroes Must Die / Cert: 15 / Director: Jason Trost / Screenplay: Jason Trost / Starring: Jason Trost, Lucas Till, James Remar, Sophie Merkley, Lee Valmassy / Release Date: October 7th
All Superheroes Must Die is the tale of a group of four superheroes – Charge (Trost), Cutthroat (Till), Shadow (Merkley), and The Wall (Valmassy) – who are brought back together by an old foe and his evil plan to destroy their town. Don’t be expecting to see any familiar faces here, as the superheroes in question have come from the mind of creator Jason Trost. With no backstory initially given to any of the characters, the film picks up the action straight from the off as our group have to make their way through the town to carry out specific tasks given to them by the villainous Rickshaw (Remar), with the lives of civilians hanging in the balance. To make their task even more difficult, the superheroes aren’t quite so ‘super,’ having also been stripped of their powers. As the title suggests, there are most certainly consequences to our heroes’ actions, with bloodshed, death and explicit language all dished out in full force.
Made for a bargain $20,000, the film (formerly known as Vs) is a plucky underdog in the grand scheme of the superhero landscape. Despite the fact that we don't get to see any of our heroes’ actual powers, each character has their own unique persona, attitude and outlook. The crazed games created by Rickshaw leave the team having to question their own morals, agendas and beliefs, as the sinister villain does his best to channel traits from the Joker, the Riddler and Saw’s Jigsaw. As the film progresses, we begin to learn about the history of the heroes and their time previously working together, and it’s an effective way of getting around having to sit through the whole origins issue that pretty much every superhero film has to tick off their to-do list.
All Superheroes Must Die is a rare beast, in that it gives us a distinctly adult superhero film. All of the cast swear like nuns with Tourettes, and there’s grainy, dirty, grim, low-budget bloodshed a plenty. Not having to be constrained by the usual rules of a superhero film, Trost’s movie looks to make up the rules as it goes in a way that optimizes its modest budget and resources.
Whilst the film may appear flawed and amateurish to those more used to the likes of Iron Man, Avengers Assemble and Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, Trost does a good job with the tools at his disposal. The action and acting are nothing great, and it often feels like the sort of fan-made short film you find online, but I can’t praise James Remar’s fantastically delivered bad guy enough. All Superheroes Must Die isn’t going to become your new best friend, but it may become the scruffy, dirty homeless guy that you say hello to now and again.
Extras: Intro from Jason Trost / Two Featurettes / Four episodes of ‘Blood Beasts’ / Trailer