USA, 2010, 89 min
Writer/Producer/Director: Steve Wilson Briggs
Co-Director: Tony Iwane
Cast: Joseph Eastlack, David Jones, Sandra Young, Kate Tran, Brian Levy, Veronica Combs and Roque Guiterrez

A suburban family man is zapped unconscious by his toaster and awakes believing he has a divine calling to be a superhero. Finding no crime in his suburb, without superpowers, armed only with a whistle, he dons his mask and cape and sets out to fight crime in the ghetto.

I wasn’t going to see The Amazing Mr. Excellent. While the premise alone made it sound like one of the most interesting films being offered up at the fest, it suffered by being shown Saturday at 1pm. The time when 3 other films I wanted to see were also being shown. I had initially decided to see a con man movie instead. However, upon arrival, I was approached by the film’s director, who was outside promoting his movie. When he told me he had made the film (with his co-director) for 50 thousand borrowed dollars and written all 16 tracks of music for the film himself, I had to give the film a look. After all, this is what TVIFF is all about.

The film, it turns out, was pretty darn good. It certainly had the audiences attention and roars of laughter were illicited often. Being a comic book nerd, I couldn’t help but have a soft spot for it and the play it was making on the genre. I mean, who can’t love a superhero who wears a homemade Halloween costume and who’s only powers are infinite bravery and a glorified rape whistle?

Being a 50k film, it does suffer a bit from it’s limitations. The quality is comparable to a late night Skinemax film. This is not a slight of the quality of the film. Just a way of giving you an idea of what the film will look like. There were also a few moments where the audio was slightly inaudible. Though, I remember the same thing happening in Clerks and I love that movie just fine. Ultimately, great idea… decent acting… solid filmmaking on a budget. If the film can get distribution, I would definitely say: RENT IT!!!

SIDENOTE: The filmmakers contacted me after reading this review and informed me that the version of the film I saw was their earlier submission to the fest and was not the version that was supposed to screened. They also said the film has had audio and color correction and the film is now up to movie quality! If I can see a newer version and address the changes, I will! ALSO, it is a good film so check it out either way!!!

I could easily see this film finding a cult following and it’s poster gracing dorm walls across the country!

You can visit this film’s website by CLICKING HERE!!!


  1. Hey Kai,

    It’s Tony, the Co-Director of The Amazing Mr. Excellent. Thank you so much for coming to view our film, we really appreciate it, and I’m glad you enjoyed it. That’s what it’s all about. I just wanted to comment, though, and say that at the screening you attended they accidentally played our months-old screener DVD instead of the newer DVD with much better sound and picture. Thanks for the write-up, and I love the site!

    • Noted above, sir. It really was a fun film and you guys should be very proud of it. Review posts don’t generate a lot of comments on the site like our other posts but people read them and will hopefully hunt your film down and see it!

      • Steve Wilson Briggs Says:

        The lead actor’s name (Mr Excellent) is Joseph Estlack, too. Not Eastlack. The Temecula festival printed his name incorrectly.

  2. Is that picture above of the stars at the festival? Kinda looks like it with the people in the background staring at the camera.

    Love the enthusiasm of the filmmakers here and that you dug their film. Kai, you’re such a softie!

    BTW, Tony – if you’d like to get some additional exposure for your film in the form of screener reviews or just a plug, ask me or Kai about the LAMB (the Large Association of Movie Blogs), a directory of blogs with over 700 members. We love to support the indie film community!

    How similar is this to Special? Seems like it shares a few elements, at least tonally speaking.

    • Haven’t seen special so I can’t say. It’s definitely worth a look though. Especially for the budget! I’ll e-mail Steve about LAMB.
      No on the pic too. That is a set piece from the film’s climax I do believe (I can’t see it from the screen I’m on but pretty sure).

  3. …sounds like a fun film that definitely plays to the current mainstream fascination with parodying superheroes.

  4. Kai,
    It’s Steve -The writer, director, producer of The Amazing Mr. Excellent. Can you email me your mailing address so I can mail you the movie with the finished audio. Sorry, it took so long, but I had to do it myself and I’ve learned getting things to conform to industry standard is harder than I guessed. Hope you’re well. Loved the program and your guests.

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