Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 22nd, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1975
Director: Anthony B. Major
Writers: Ed Dessisso, Leonard Jackson, Bill Jay, Tony King, Anthony B. Major
Cast: Leonard Jackson, Bill Jay, Tony King, Bob Reed, Virginia Fields, Marcella Lowery, Sam McKnight, Myron Parker
DVD released: November 23rd, 2010
Approximate running time: 105 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Scorpion Releasing
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Synopsis: Two private detectives with distinctively different styles are hired to find a purse snatcher who mugged an old lady.
If Shaft can’t and The Hammer won’t …then Super Spook will!
This film’s tagline pretty much sums where this film’s inspirations come from. Unfortunately when compared to those aforementioned films. This film pales in comparison in every way. The haphazard plot is loosely held together by the interweaving stories of the two detectives, who are both looking for the same purse snatcher. In between moments of detection there is a randomness to everything which transpires in this film. Reportedly a lot of the film was improvised and this is most evident as the film drags on. Without a doubt this film most glaring flaw it is padded plot that draws things out way beyond their tolerable level. Without a doubt the padding of the plot is easily this film greatest flaw.
Even though the majority of Blaxploitation films tended to lead more towards action and exploitation. Many of them also incorporated comedy into them. Super Spook falls into this latter category with its off the wall characters, who often find themselves in the most unusual of situations. Anyone looking for a gritty urban action film should look elsewhere. What action does transpire is poorly executed.
The most enjoyable aspect of this film is its cast, who all go for broke in their respective roles. With the standout performance coming from Leonard Jackson in the role of the bumbling private eye known as Super Spook. First and foremost this film is satire. And while some might find the brand of humor on display in this film hard to digest. While those with a more adventurous sense of humor should thoroughly enjoyed this oddity.
Scorpion Releasing presents Super Spook in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. This film was shot on 16mm and blown up to 35mm. There is noticeable grain that varies in degree throughout. Colors look good, flesh tones look accurate and details generally look crisp. There are no problems with compression and edge enactment is kept in check.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. Dialog comes through clearly and background noise is kept to a minimum.
Extras for this release include a stills gallery, a trailer for the film (2 minutes 49 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), a short film titled ‘Off Duty’ (7 minutes 10 seconds – 4:3 full frame) that was also directed by Anthony Major, a interview with actor Tony King (9 minutes 4 seconds -4:3 full frame), who discusses various Italian films that he appeared in like Cannibal Apocalypse, a featurette titled ‘Looking Back: The Making of Super Spook’ (53 minutes 6 seconds – 4:3 full frame), which includes comments from director Anthony B. Major, producer Ed Dessisso, editor Sandy Tung, Actors Tony King and Randy Harris and a audio commentary with Anthony B. Major, Ed Dessisso, Sandy Tung, Tony King and Randy Harris. The short film ‘Off Duty’ revolves around a black man who finds it difficult get a taxi. So he puts on various disguises. The featurette does a great job retracing the various stages of the production. And while there is some information in audio commentary that is also covered in the featurette. There is still more than enough of information that is exclusive to the audio commentary. Some topics include how there was no script and everything was improvised, how the film was shot in just nine days and some of the inspirations behind the film like Superman, The Lone Ranger and Blaxploitation films. Overall Super Spook gets a strong DVD release from Scorpion Releasing.