• Supercock (Garagehouse Releasing) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Garagehouse Releasing
    Released on: April 23rd, 2019.
    Directors: Gus Trikonis
    Cast: Ross Hagen, Nancy Kwan, Tony Lorea, Logan Clarke, Louie Florentino, Joonee Gamboa, Subas Herrero
    Year: 1975
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    Supercock – Movie Review:

    Alternately known as A Fistful Of Feathers and Fowl Play, Gus Trikonis’ 1975 picture, Supercock, tells the story of an American cowboy named Seth Calhoun (Ross Hagen). He’s the proud owner of Friendly, his priced cock and quite possibly the toughest chicken around. When he gets word of enter the First International Cockfighting Olympics taking place in The Philippines, he heads on over to get in on some of that action. After all, it’s not like Seth’s got many prospects in America, and the $100,000.00 prize money sure would help.

    What Seth doesn’t realize is that the whole thing is a crooked scheme concocted by the three Nono Brothers: Heeno (Louie Florentino), Speeno (Joonee Gamboa) and Seeno (Subas Herrero). This dastardly trio will do whatever they feel necessary to keep Seth and Friendly from winning the competition, and that includes stealing Friendly form Seth. Thankfully Seth isn’t going at this all by his lonesome. He soon teams up with the beautiful and mysterious Yuki Chan (Nancy Kawn) and a crazy WWII veteran still hanging out in the country known only as G.I. Joe (Tony Lorea) and soon enough these three are doing everything they can to get Friendly back in time to win the prize.

    What a bizarre film this is… who was it made for? It’s a film that revels in the inherent cruelty of cockfighting (and it does show some rather graphic depictions of this so called ‘sport,’ so those with an aversion to animal cruelty, take note) and, at the same time, works in as many goofy ‘cock’ jokes as it seemingly can. It’s a puzzling picture, one that is entertaining in its own strange way, but that will likely have trouble finding an audience outside of those obsessed with cinematic cult curios. Thankfully, being rather obsessed with cinematic cult curios, this writer was able to find enough of merit in the film to be entertained by it. Even bad cock jokes are still funny, after all. The film also serves as a weird sort of travelogue showing off the seedy, Filipino cockfighting scene of the day – while much of this was obviously setup for the movie, it does appear that the locations are pretty authentic and those fights… well, they’re not so fake.

    Director Gus Trinokis, the man who gave us The Evil, Swinging Barmaids and Nashville Girl, paces the movie well enough. There’s a fair bit of action here and the Filipino locations add a marginally exotic flavor to all of this. The cinematography is more than competent, the film is nicely shot and framed and it features a pretty neat little soundtrack too.

    As to the performances? Ross Hagen, star of Women Women and Angels’ Wild Women, is fun in the lead. He plays his dopey cowpoke with enough charm to make it work. He’s also rather amusing to watch when he’s constantly running around with a chicken in his arms. Sultry Nancy Kwan, Hagen’s Wonder Women co-star, is pretty solid here too. She’s maybe a bit typecast but she plays the ‘mysterious Asian hottie’ stereotype well enough, political correctness be damned. Tony Lorea, who, yeah, also showed up in Wonder Women, is just flat out goofy as G.I. Joe, but goofy is the name of the game with this film so it sort of works. The three Filipino guys who play the Nono brothers do a nice job of chewing the scenery.

    Supercock – Blu-ray Review:

    Supercock is presented ‘in HD for the first time ever from the only known 35mm print materials obtained from Ross Hagen’s estate’ and while it never reaches the heights of something taken from a negative could hit, it’s a rock-solid transfer by anyone’s standards. There’s some mild print damage noticeable throughout but generally speaking the picture is clean enough. The image sports decent depth and shows good detail and texture. Colors look a little faded here and there but overall come through rather nicely. Black levels are solid. The AVC encoded 1080p transfer shows no problems with compression artifacts nor does it demonstrate any obvious noise reduction or edge enhancement – it looks like film, and that’s a good thing.

    The DTS-HD Mono track is on par with the video in that it isn’t absolutely perfect but it gets the job done without any real issues. Dialogue is clear, clear and balanced and the score sounds fine, if a tad flat in spots.

    Extras start off with an audio commentary by cult film director Fred Olen Ray, who didn’t really have anything to do with the film but who did know Hagen in real life. He admits that he doesn’t know anything about the movie but as it plays out he offers up details about the different people that appear in it and that made it. He’s got a good knowledge of the Filipino film scene of the day and he tells some great stories about Ross Hagen and his incredible amount of energy. He notes how Hagen’s wife did the wardrobe in the film and had a role in Wonder Women and some of his other pictures, how he dealt with an operation named Cinevid and how the Hagen’s were involved in that having owned a bunch of films from throughout their lives, dealing with a producer who wound up dead and the difficulties involved in that type of thing, how and why he didn’t sue Jack Harris, getting Ross Hagen to play the villain in Star Slammer after working with him on some earlier films, Hagen’s work for Al Adamson on Angel’s Wild Women, Hagen’s claims to have worked on the original Planet Of The Apes film and quite a bit more. If this isn’t always specific to the film and occasionally drifts off into Fred telling stories, it hardly matters, because Fred tells great stories. This is a lot of fun, it plays out as if you’re sort of sitting down with Fred drinking some beers and listening to him talk, and that’s not a bad thing at all.

    Garagehouse also includes a ten-minute archival interview with the film’s leading man, Ross Hagen, conducted by Mike Malloy that was conducted in 2007. Recorded over the phone, it’s an interesting talk that covers how Hagen started making films in The Philippines after the success of Midnight Cowboy which, through bizarre circumstances, led to him making Wonder Women (the first film he made out of the United States), what it was like working in The Philippines at the time, who else was working there at the time, how he wound up making a PG film called Supercock and all of the double-entendres that they got away with because the movie featured an actual chicken in it (and some of the trouble he got into with the title), some of the reviews that the movie got when it first premiered and a fair bit more. This is pretty interesting stuff, definitely take the time to listen to it.

    Rounding out the extras are a selection of Garagehouse Pictures trailers (The Intruder, The Dismembered, The Satanist, Trailer Trauma, Trailer Trauma 2 and Ninja Busters), menus and chapter selection. The release also features new cover art by Stephen Romano.

    Supercock – The Final Word:

    Supercock is very definitely a product of its time, a bizarre mix of politically incorrect comedy and action that takes us through the weird Filipino cockfighting scene of the mid-seventies. Garagehouse Pictures has done a nice job rescuing this legitimate cinematic obscurity from oblivion, giving it a nice release with some decent extras as well.

    Click on the images below for full sized Supercock screen caps!