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Surge of Power

Too mild-mannered to qualify for the Vanity Project Hall of Shame, writer-producer-production designer-star Vincent J. Roth's "Surge of Power" nonetheless feels like a private wish-fulfillment project that's not quite clever enough to compel public viewing. Specialized home-format release will be this hero's biggest adventure.

With:
With: Vincent J. Roth, Robert Hurt, Joey Bourgeoise, John Venturini, Seth Harrington, Hagen O'Brien, Barry Workman, Alan Mills, Tom Tangen, Nichelle Nichols, Lou Ferrigno.

Too mild-mannered to qualify for the Vanity Project Hall of Shame, writer-producer-production designer-star Vincent J. Roth’s “Surge of Power” nonetheless feels like a private wish-fulfillment project that’s not quite clever enough to compel public viewing. Despite reasonably slick widescreen presentation and the alluring hook of a gay superhero, spoof is too low-key, running a gamut from kinda-cute to sorta-lame with a lack of story momentum that is compounded by gratuitous “celebrity cameos” only a fan convention dweeb could love. Specialized home-format release will be this hero’s biggest adventure.

Protag Gavin (Roth) is — just like Roth offscreen — an attorney and comic book fanatic who always wanted to be a superhero. He gets his wish when an accident in his corporation’s laboratory gives him psychic and physical powers. Unfortunately, the same gifts were given to mad scientist Harold (John Venturini), who uses them to commit crimes while now-masked ‘n’ costumed hero thwarts ’em. There are potentially funny ideas (Gavin’s newfound powers can be stalled by dance music, and he still “throws like a girl”), but the barely-there script, perfs and direction go for a deadpan tenor that’s not supported by much actual wit.

Surge of Power

Production: A Surge of Power Enterprises production. Produced by Vincent J. Roth, Tom Tangen, Michael Donahue. Co-producers, Victor Stone, Shawn Mohler, Charles A. Phillips. Directed by Michael Donahue. Screenplay, Vincent J. Roth.

Crew: Camera (color, Cinemascope), Matt McFarland; editor, Peter Gahan; music, Ken Fix; production designer, Roth. Reviewed at San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, June 23, 2005. Running time: 85 MIN.

With: With: Vincent J. Roth, Robert Hurt, Joey Bourgeoise, John Venturini, Seth Harrington, Hagen O'Brien, Barry Workman, Alan Mills, Tom Tangen, Nichelle Nichols, Lou Ferrigno.

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