21st Dec2018

‘SuperGrid’ Review

by Faye Ellis

Stars: Leo Fafard, Marshall Williams, Natalie Krill, Amy Matysio, Jonathan Cherry, Jay Reso, Tinsel Korey, Fei Ren, Daniel Maslany, Sheldon Bergstrom, Josh Strait, Laura Abramsen | Written by T.R. McCauley, Justin Ludwig | Directed by Lowell Dean

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I was probably one of about seven people that wasn’t enamoured with Wolf Cop. There’s a lot of love for it, but I just didn’t have the same blast with it that everyone else seemed to. That’s not to say it’s a bad film, I was mid festival, severely sleep deprived and in need of a good rest. So, when offered Lowell Dean’s latest piece, SuperGrid, I was eager to see if this was a one off. Seems that yes, it was.

Deep in the throes of a pandemic, Brothers Jesse (Leo Fafard) and Deke (Marshall Williams) are tasked to do a ‘run’ across the SuperGrid, a dangerous wasteland overtaken by rebel gangs and infected citizens, desperate for a cure. Having failed the run previously, and losing their sister in the process, the Brothers must make their way through the grid to retrieve a mystery package. It soon becomes apparent that the cargo they have been sent to collect, could be the answer to ending the infection.

It’s clear where the films influences lie, especially given that Dean is a child of the eighties. The dystopian, murky backdrop screams Running Man and Mad Max, which is great. Complete with jacked up cars, high speed chases and boss shoot outs, SuperGrid is a love letter to every action film we watched as kids, although we probably shouldn’t have been watching them, but this was a different time. It brings nostalgia rocketing into the present, and has a ball doing so. The makeup effects used during the action sequences deserves a mention, as nothing makes you take notice like a close-up head explosion. BOOM! Let me tell you, that thing was gruesome, just how we like it. The ‘infected’ effects are also really well presented, verging on the disgusting at times, the film clearly knows its target audience and plays to it.

As with a lot of eighties futuristic action films, it would be easy for the acting to become ropey, but the cast play their roles perfectly. Impressively, the film features an established cast (Natalie Krill, Amy Matysio, Jonathan Cherry and – much to my husband’s delight – WWE regular Jay Reso, aka Christian). Everyone seems to be having a lot of fun with their portrayals, and it shows. All your typical action genre characters are here – crazy villain, selfless scientist, car jacker upper, guy you first thought was a baddie but turns out to be a goodie. With SuperGrid it seems Dean is making the film that all film makers want to when they grow up.

SuperGrid is on limited release across Canada now.

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