DIRECTED BY: Don Swaynos

FEATURING: Kerri Lindo, Shannon McCormick, John Merriman, Byron Brown, Danu Uribe

Still from Pictures of Superheroes (2012)

PLOT: After being fired from her maid service job and being dumped by her boyfriend on the same day, Marie (Kerri Lindo) picks up a job cleaning up after an overworked businessman (Shannon McCormick) and his messy roommate (John Merriman) who’s never really grown up.

COMMENTS: I’m not entirely certain that ‘weird’ is quite the right word to apply to Pictures of Superheroes.  “Off-center” certainly applies, if you identify with the mindset of the main character Marie, who is the sanest person to be found here. If the movie can said to be about anything, it’s a wry look at the extremes of “growing up” versus “arrested development,” and the poor people in the middle who end up having to clean up the messes of those at those extremes.

Marie is the middleman in this scenario, finding herself locked in a job that she really doesn’t like that much, but that she happens to be very good at—and it’s better than the alternative. So, it’s a double punch when she loses her job due to the service being a front for prostitution (which she never gets recruited into because she’s much better as a maid, she’s told), and is dumped by her passive-aggressive boyfriend (due to his interest in a co-worker) in the same day.

She gets hired by Eric (Shannon McCormick), a high-strung businessman who’s so busy, he scrounges from the vacuum cleaner since he doesn’t have time to cook, and who doesn’t even notice that he has a roommate, Joe (John Merriman), a friend from college whose main interest is eating candy and drawing amateurish pictures of superheroes. Marie ends up, against her own wishes, becoming involved with both of them, to the point of posing as Eric’s wife for his clients and parents, and indulging in talkfests with Joe that he counts as dates.

The look and feel of Superheroes is in the area referred to as *shudder* ‘mumblecore’, but the movie is much better than that heinous term would imply. The performances are good, especially Kerri Lindo playing straight man to the crazy that surrounds her, and look-alike John Merriman playing a role that would go to Galifinakis in a higher-budgeted project. The movie was made in Austin, TX, which may account for the off-center humor that fits the film like a glove.

Pictures of Superheroes played in several film festivals and is now available on VOD from several platforms (iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play, among others), with a DVD release coming soon. This is the first feature film directed by Don Swaynos, who has an impressive resume as an editor on projects like “Shipping Wars” on A&E and the recent indie features Saturday Morning Massacre, Pit Stop and Cinema Six.

Pictures of Superheroes Official Site

Don Swaynos’ Personal Site

Pictures of Superheroes on Facebook

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