It’s no secret that today’s popular culture is saturated with superheroes, with everyone from Captain America to Catwoman getting their turn in the spotlight. With the vast amount of superhero movies, television shows and video games out there, it takes a special combination of drama, humor and ingenuity in order to make any superhero production stand out. Luckily, Bruce Nachsin’s short film Dark Specter, starring Bruce Nachsin, Evan Alexander Judson and Judy Nazametz, possesses all three of these qualities.
Dark Specter begins like many other superhero films: Dark Specter, the villain, played by Bruce Nachsin, is in the process of breaking into a building when he is interrupted by The Spark, the hero, played by Evan Alexander Judson. An epic confrontation ensues, in which each party describes the upcoming demise of the other. I was thrilled with the sophistication of special effects in this scene. For a short film, they really went above and beyond to make it visually appealing and engrossing.
Before The Dark Specter and The Spark can begin to fight, however, things take an unexpected turn. They are interrupted by a middle-aged woman shouting for her son Bertrand, who turns out to be The Dark Specter himself. This is where this short film shines the brightest, in my opinion. The dialogue is spot on as well as humorous, with each character playing well off of each other. More than that, though, it shows a human side to the typical superhero villain that most viewers don’t get to see. In this film, Bertrand, even after becoming The Dark Specter, still maintains a caring relationship with his mother, and his mother just wants her son to be happy. It creates an interesting dynamic that I enjoyed watching unfold.
Furthermore, I enjoyed the humor involved in the mother misinterpreting the relationship between The Dark Specter and The Spark. Although some people would scoff at using homosexual subtext in order to garner laughs, I interpreted it differently. In my opinion, it showcased the thin line between love and hate, as well as the fact that both can result in a similar amount of obsession for both parties. I also thought it was curious that while The Dark Specter protested the misinterpretation, The Spark did not. He went along with it, even to the point of bonding with The Dark Specter’s mother. If there is another installment in this short film series, I hope this development is explored further.
Altogether, this short film was delightful and entertaining with just the right amount of twists and turns to keep the viewer wondering what will happen next. For anyone who is a fan of the superhero genre, I highly recommend it. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!