FFOW! Fan Film of the Week - 'Stupor Heroes'

Stupor Heroes TTSThe FFOW! series takes a look at that vast library created by the proud and the passionate: fan films.  Whether the budget and talent is astronomical or amateur, FFOW! celebrates the filmmakers whose love of comics, books, movies, video games, and TV shows inspires them to join the great conversation with their own homemade masterpieces.

Every summer in the city of Metropolis, IL, superhero fans flock to the four-day Superman Celebration festival and attend live concerts, a massive costume contest, and the Superhero Fan Film Competition.  The 2013 competition is now open for entries, so this week we take a look at last year’s hilarious first place winner.





Stupor Heroes is a two-in-one fan film that pays homage to both the heroes of the Justice League and the very last schmoes you would ever want to join their ranks:  the Three Stooges.  Written and directed by Thomas Hayes of Chublin Brother Video, Stupor Heroes starts when Larry, Curly, and Moe misread their directions and end up as janitors in the Justice League Secret Sanctuary, presided over by Martian Manhunter.  When Wonder Woman is kidnapped by Gorilla Grodd, the Stooges see this as their chance to rescue her and prove themselves worthy of joining the League.  But, the best laid plans of mice and Stooge go often awry . . .    


I love the Stooges.  Not everyone does.  That’s okay.  You are forgiven.  Hayes obviously loves them, too, because everything about this short perfectly apes their classic Columbia films.

When you first start watching it, you might think, “This looks cheap!  Martian Manhunter looks like a 1950s Ed Wood space invader.  Gorilla Grodd is a guy in a baggy gorilla mask.  All the camera angles look the same.”  Yes, yes, and yes.  Nothing about the Three Stooges is polished.  Their films were shot and edited in an hour.  They cut costs in every imaginable way, including re-cutting old footage from previously produced shorts into new ones.  The Chublin Brother filmmakers know exactly what they’re trying to accomplish, and they excel.  The acting, the camera work, the story, the sets, and makeup are all too familiar and too fun. 

Jeff Peeler, Kevin McCameron, and George Doerr IV are great in the lead roles of Larry, Curly, and Moe.  I really like Katy Peeler as Wonder Woman, because her delivery is exactly like all those actresses that were simply present as Depression-era eye candy.  Grodd is a perfect choice for the villain.  I can’t count how many times the Stooges encountered an escaped gorilla that was obviously played by an actor in a costume.  Ken Diekemper’s Martian Manhunter is the heir of actor Bud Jamison, the long-suffering straight man in many of the Stooges early shorts.

The gags are nicely nostalgic.  Upon first seeing Martian Manhunter, Curly askes, “What’s up with those antennae? Think he gets good reception?”  Larry replies, “Maybe he’s a receptionist.”  Moe promptly pokes him in the eye.

Stupor Heroes 2Later, the Stooges must prove fake their super powers to intimidate Grodd.  Moe is disguised as Superman, so he needs to bend steel in his bare hands.  Solution?  Bonk it over Larry’s head.  That guy’s skull must be made of adamantium, because it withstands any abuse.

To be honest, I could also go on about many gags and puns I loved, but I should just encourage you to watch it.  It’s so spot on, halfway through I forgot that this wasn’t an actual Three Stooges short (though no one will confuse it for Justice League).


Stupor Heroes is available at chublinbrother.com and also on YouTube.  For those in the Illinois and Kentucky area, check back regularly for the Metropolis Superman Celebration schedule of events taking place this June 6th-9th.





Last modified on Sunday, 11 March 2018 02:24

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