• Super Task Force One

    Released by: Central Keystone Productions
    Released on: September 23rd, 2013.
    Director: Steve Rudzinski
    Cast: Steve Rudzinski, David J. Fielding, Seth Gontkovic, Aleen Isley, Bill Murphy
    Year: 2013
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    The Movie:

    Made possible by an $1145.00 Indiegogo campaign and a few hundred dollars on top of that, Steve Rudzinski’s Super Task Force One is a micro-budgeted love letter to Japanese superhero shows like Ultraman and more specifically, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. While Rudzinski’s film wears its influences plainly on its sleeve, it does a good job of capturing the inspired lunacy that makes those imports and shows like it so much fun to watch. Monsters, robots, mechs, superheroes, diabolical villains and ridiculously chaste heroes – it’s all here and Super Task Force One turns out to be a lot of goofy dime store fun.

    The movie introduces us to Jason Oliver (Steve Rudzinski), a nice enough guy who gets bullied a bit but hey, he’s got a foxy girlfriend to complain to about it, life could be worse for him. On a day just like any other, he finds himself walking through his local park where out of nowhere a big guy clad in a strange red outfit approaches him. He’s obviously injured and looks to have been in some sort of fight but before Jason can really do much about it, the stranger hands him a device that turns him into a green suited superhero just in time for him to do battle with a monster that appears out of nowhere wielding a fire-sword!

    It turns out that there’s a backstory to all of this, of course. Fifteen years ago the sinister Emperor Zagel (Bill Murphy) shut down the superhero squad known as Super Task Force Six and swiped their transponder devices which he then hoped to use to re-animate a giant robot that would give him absolute power over the universe. Our stranger in the park managed to get one of those transponders to Jason and now it’s up to Jason to embrace is new identity and keep the transponder away from Zagel long enough to stop him from carrying out his evil plan.

    If the idea of seeing something like Power Rangers or Super Inframan done with a small cast and crew using Halloween masks and crazy computer effects sounds appealing to you (and it should) then definitely give Super Task Force One some thought. With that said, let’s get one thing straight - the effects are pretty hit or miss but again, the low budget comes into play here. The movie looks like it was shot in a neighborhood park and/or on a few abandoned lots, with the interiors handled in someone’s basement. Don’t go into this expecting it to look like a high gloss production.

    Rudzinski obviously loves this type of stuff and while his script and concept work won’t win any awards for originality, he’s obviously someone who ‘gets it’ in terms of relaying that enthusiasm and love for genre to the screen. The fact that all of this is played completely straight helps to make this more enjoyable and even endearing, had this been done tongue in cheek or as more of a parody there’s no way it would have turned out to be as enjoyable as it is.

    Rudzinski plays the lead well. His character has a likeable naiveté to him that works well in the context of the unlikely hero he’s playing. As such, we want him to succeed and to save the day as he does all this the way the best heroes do – with truly noble intentions. Of course, he has to rise to the occasions first, but once he gets there and puts on that goofy green suit, it’s game on. Bill Murphy as the ridiculous Emperor Zagel is also fun to watch. He hams it up to be sure but it never feels out of touch with the tone of the story being told.


    This MOD Blu-ray release presents the movie framed at 1.78.1 in AVC encoded 1080p high definition and it looks about as good as something made on consumer grade HD can look. Clarity and detail vary from scene to scene with the sequences that take place outside in daylight looking better than those taking place in a dimly lit basement. Colors are nicely reproduced and black levels are good. Considering how ridiculously low budget this is, the movie looks surprisingly good on Blu-ray.

    The English language audio mix is also of pretty decent quality. Dialogue stays clean, levels are well balanced and the over the top sound effects have pretty decent presence. This won’t envelope you the way a big budget Hollywood mix might and there are a few spots where outside wind hits the microphone used to record the sound which results in some wind noise, but all in all, it sounds just fine.

    The main extra on the disc is the cast and crew commentary track which features Rudzinski, actress Aleen Isley and actor Seth Gontkovic. It’s a pretty active track with Rudzinski leading the charge, noting that this literally is his love letter to shows like Power Rangers before going on and talking about who did what on the movie and how they did it. He talks about his motives behind making the movie, establishing ‘the world’ early on, where certain ideas for certain scenes came from and the difficulties of some of the wordier lines of dialogue that were written for the movie. The talk about the use of humor in the movie, how the news report clips were shot and edited into the picture, how they changed a few things here and there to keep the movie more or less kid friendly, locations, staging the fight scenes and more. It pretty much covers everything you could want to know about the movie, but on the off chance that it doesn’t…

    … we also get a featurettes called Suit Up! which is an interview with Steve Rudzinski that clocks in at nineteen minutes. Here Rudzinski goes into more detail as to his love of Power Rangers and how that lead into his interest in Super Sentai and how this eventually led to him making this movie after working on a few earlier projects. From there he goes into detail about the movie making process, how he gathered together some of his collaborators and from there he shows off the suit used in the movie and some of the other costumes and props before finishing up by talking about the CGI scene used in the movie.

    We also get a piece called Shake The Heavens which has a commentary from Dustin Wayde Mills. This is the four and a half minute CGI scene from the movie and Mills talks about how it was put together, points out some of the details you might not have necessarily noticed (Hey look! Mount Fuji!) and what went into the 3-D modeling.

    Aside from that, we also get an official trailer for the feature, an alternate forty second Show Opening clip (basically an alternate trailer), menus and chapter selection.

    The Final Word:

    Super Task Force One is no budget filmmaking to be sure, so you have to go into this one expecting all the pitfalls that entails, but where it succeeds is with some wild creativity and a good understanding of the fun that the sources the movie pulls from were able to provide their respective audiences. The Blu-ray looks and sounds about as good as you can realistically expect and it’s got a surprisingly array of bonus features to accompany the movie itself. If you dig independently made nuttiness and/or Japanese superhero shows, you’ll probably appreciate what Rudzinski and company have created here.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!