Superhero Shorts: Bullock the Bruiser
It’s been a while but I’m back with another edition of Superhero Shorts, where I take a look at a superhero or comic book short film or fan film and briefly talk with someone involved with the film. This time around I’m taking a look at an original superhero short film called Bullock the Bruiser that clocks in at about 40 minutes, which is pretty long for a typical short film though it’s just shy of my criteria for a feature length film at 45 minutes. And I was able to ask a few questions of the producer, writer, and director of the film Marcelo Mayen. And while I’m not able to share the short in full, you can watch the trailer for the short just below. And if you would like to follow the short, you can find it on Facebook, Instagram, and IMDB.
As with many of these lower budget short films, most of the complaints come down to the lack of budget. Some of the acting isn’t quite on par, and some of the fight scenes are a little rough around the edges. But for the most part, I enjoyed this short. Bullock the Bruiser is an interesting character with an edge of humor throughout that helps take an edge off some of the violence. Bullock is more or less a typical vigilante along the lines of the Punisher, only without the elite weapons and combat training to go along with it. There’s also a little bit of a plot twist thrown in that helps flesh out the entire short and makes it a bit more than just your standard violent vigilante superhero. And on top of everything else, the visual style is excellent, with some vibrant colors to help sell the comic book inspiration. Hopefully you can check it out at a festival in the near future, or possibly online down the road but enough from me, let’s hear from the writer/director/producer Marcelo Mayen.
Bubbawheat: Can you tell me about how Bullock the Bruiser ended up being a 40 minute movie? It’s very short to be considered a full length movie, but it’s also quite a bit longer than most short films.
Marcelo Mayen: I knew that this wasn’t going to be a full length feature film, and I was also aware about the notion that short films need to be economical and direct. With ‘Bullock’, I wanted to be ambitious and generous towards time, and when I was writing it, It didn’t feel right to rush it because of what’s more “acceptable” in film festivals or whatnot. I just ended the story when it felt right, and felt like it was the perfect amount of time to keep audiences surprised and intrigued by this universe while also leaving them wanting a little more of our hero, “Bullock the Bruiser.”
BW: One of my favorite bits of humor in the film were the several remarks on Bullock’s flip phone in the era of the smartphone, and when he gets questioned for yelling out his own name. What direction did you want to take with the humor throughout Bullock the Bruiser?
MM: I wanted the humor to be a ironic, irreverent, and surprising. I wanted people to know that you can laugh at Bullock because he’s really a ridiculous person, but he’s also someone you can empathize with. When he yells out his own name – I think the reason Bullock would do that is because he’s so committed to this petty superhero identity and feels like he’s supposed to have a catch phrase, and I think the fact that he isn’t quick enough to think of anything else to say other than his own name fits perfectly with his somewhat narcissistic, arrogant, and self-righteous traits.
BW: Is Bullock the Bruiser something that you would like to continue to explore as a character, either in further films or in other formats?
MM: I would love to make a full 2-hour movie about Bullock the Bruiser with a lot more comedy and brutal violence. About a year before we shot this film, I shot a 10-minute “Bullock” film which was about how Bullock fights crime specifically because he thinks he’ll attract women (er, “superhero groupies”) and basically needs to learn what it really means to be hero (some of the footage from the original film is used in flashbacks in this film) However, since “Bullock” is a project that I have spent 2 years on, I honestly don’t see myself making another “Bullock” film unless there’s a damn good reason to do so.
BW: In this era where there are so many superhero properties out there and fan films, what made you decide to create your own hero?
MM: I have always been a fan of the superhero genre, going back to when I used to watch ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ as a kid, and I think superhero films are so exciting and inspiring because we want to be them, and I honestly never thought I’d make one of my own. But I wanted to explore the idea of a hero I don’t think I’ve seen before – someone who fights crime for selfish reasons instead of justice, saving the world, or because he’s a fan of comic-books. Someone who doesn’t really always get the girl and can take out a 40 Henchman at once and barely leave a scratch on him. The idea of creating a hero who fights crime because he wants recognition and wants people to love him felt hilarious and different to me, and when I get extremely excited and passionate about a premise, that’s how I know it’s what I’m supposed to be writing.
BW: I will agree with that, there are several vigilante style superhero films out there, but nothing quite like how you describe Bullock the Bruiser. And finally, what is your favorite superhero movie?
MM: I would say “The Dark Knight”, but I just recently saw “Logan” – so it’s a really hard choice between the two of them.
I’m right there with Marcelo, Logan was a pretty great film and the Dark Knight is always a popular answer. Again, I’d like to thank Marcelo for talking with me and sharing Bullock the Bruiser with me. And hopefully you will be able to see the short in its entirety in the near future. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.