Superhero Shorts: Blinky Productions
Superhero Shorts: Blinky Productions
Welcome to this week’s edition of Superhero Shorts where I take a look at a different superhero themed short film and get the creator of the film to answer a few interview questions. This week is a double feature from prolific fan-film creator Chris Notarile of Blinky Productions. He has created dozens of fan films of superheroes such as The Punisher, The Question, The Shadow, Power-Girl, the Joker, and many more. He’s also created many horror fan films as well as full length original horror films. Today I’ll be looking at two of his films, The Protector and Punisher ’79 which you can watch right below.
I was drawn to this video more than his other fan films for a couple reasons. First, I wanted to feature an original creation of his aside from one of his many forays into the DC or Marvel universe. Second, the story of an elderly superhero who has lost his powers due to age rather than a supervillain is one that fascinates me as something original in a sea of similar stories. It’s the antithesis of an origin story that doesn’t involve any spectacular deaths, instead it’s a career that ends in a whimper. In the short, The Protector looks back on his public career. I also like it because it’s not only a look into the retiring of a superhero, but also a look at sensationalism of superheroics and the dichotomy of what makes an interesting superhero television show as opposed to a more realistic version of the events. The only downside is that I would have liked to see a bit more realism to the remembered version, like I think it would be much more likely that the scare wouldn’t cure anyone of their gambling addiction, or that saving the guy once would have gotten him away scott free from then on. But aside from that, I enjoyed the slower pace of this short film and a unique look at a golden age superhero.
note: The original upload of Punisher ’79 has been removed to a Copyright Notice from Marvel, so I am including this demo reel which includes a clip of Punisher ’79 instead.
One thing that I noticed about this movie that is completely unintentional, but it reminds me a lot of an early scene in the Avengers with Black Widow tied to a chair. While it doesn’t have the extreme choreography or hot chick in a dress, it still has a great sense of claustrophobia and the same kind of humorous back and forth between the villain Jigsaw and the Punisher. As far as the representation of Jigsaw, I can’t say anything for the comics as I’m only familiar with the Punisher movies, but Jigsaw does make an appearance in War Zone. Between the two versions, I think I kind of like the Shakespeare quoting Jigsaw better than the goofy laughing Jigsaw, but the makeup in this version is definitely showing the lack of funds. It gets the job done, but it’s nothing special. The Punisher here does a great job, I enjoyed both his look and his demeanor in this short. The action may be short, but it gets the point across and shows off the Punisher’s attitude more than his fighting skills.
Luckily I was able to get a hold of Chris Notarile to ask him a few questions about The Protector, Punisher, and some of his other projects as well.
Bubbawheat: How many of the hollywood Punisher movies have you seen? What did you want to accomplish that they got wrong?
Chris Notarile: I’ve seen all three Punisher films. In my series I wanted to bring Punisher back to his politically incorrect Vietnam vet roots.
BW: What do you think is at the heart of telling a good Punisher story?
CN: Frank Castle is not just a man out for vengeance, he’s a soldier without a war to fight, so he makes new ones for himself. He is addicted to killing and without acknowledging that, you neglect a very important side of him.
BW: Do you think it’s possible for a Punisher movie to really be done right in Hollywood?
CN: Unless I’m doing it, no. They will never go with a periodic piece, which is the best way to showcase the character.
BW: How did you decide to go with a voice over in The Protector rather than have him telling his story to someone else?
CN: I wanted the story to be internalized. The Protector ends up being a very lonely man because of his powers. He becomes forgotten. And having speak to someone about who he is or what he does would take away from that specific brand of isolation.
BW: I’ve wanted to see this type of story for quite a while now, where did you get the inspiration for an aging superhero past his prime?
CN: George Reeves actually. It’s the story of his life and possibly his demise. The man was past his prime trying to stay young. I saw Hollywoodland and it was one of the main sources of inspiration.
BW: I’ve heard of that movie but haven’t gotten around to seeing it yet. I saw you’re working on a comic book to tie into the short, will it be an ongoing series or a one-shot? Is it based on his past adventures, or a mix of current day where he’s past his prime as well as his memories of his heyday?
CN: Issue #1 is complete. The story stays strictly in the 1940s during his prime. No modern adventures whatsoever. I want to keep the focus of the book cheery and optimistic with an allusion of what could happen. The book is just about having fun in the goldenage of comics. It is being published by Hound Comics and you can actually order it online now. [ed: at the Blinky Productions website.]
BW: At this point do you think you would still like to get a job working for a major film studio, or would you rather be able to make low budget (but higher than your current budgets) independent movies?
CN: I’d rather produce my own films, but I’ll go where the money is. Daddy’s gotta eat.
BW: Which do you enjoy making more, the fan films, or original stories?
CN: Both. They’re all full of diverse challenges. I can’t choose.
BW: Where does the budget for your movies come from? Is it all your money and fan donations?
CN: Both. Most is out of pocket but every now and then I ask my fan base to contribute and some times, it works. I’m doing that right now on Indiegogo with my new short- Perfect. Check it out.
BW: Can you tell us about what you’re working on next?
CN: Perfect and a new short- Dig a Hole and Die. It’s not a comedy.
BW: And as always, I have to ask what’s your favorite superhero movie?
CN: Hrmm, probably the Dark Knight though I’m pretty sure Avengers is going to blow my mind.
Thanks again for your time, the Avengers didn’t quite blow my mind but it was pretty amazing. But first I have to share my thoughts on Thor tomorrow and the Avengers review will come on Tuesday. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.