Howdy all you Supercultists out there on the interwebz! I’m Bad Movie Professor Cameron Coker (BS in “Bully Justice” with a minor in “Phoning It In”) and I’ll be posting my hype-tacular speeches every week along with some long lost speeches from past Supercult Shows!
Supercult kicks off the semester and the year with Star Kid!
Withdrawn seventh-grader Spencer Griffith spends his days avoiding his class bully, Turbo, pining for a girl who doesn’t know he exists, and shouldering abuse from his older sister. It seems like his life is going nowhere, until a meteor falls into a local junkyard and Spencer is introduced to the ‘Phase 1 Assualt Cyborsuit’, a sentient exo-suit from another world. While wearing the super powered suit Spencer has little to fear from bullies, but when an alien enemy threatens his home and his new friend, Spencer must become a hero both inside and out! It’s time to kick some alien butt with Star Kid!
Released in January of 1998, the sci-fi family film ‘Star Kid’ stars Joseph Mazzello (that nerdy kid from Jurassic Park) as Spencer, Richard Gilliland as Spencer’s Father, veteran stunt performer Alex Daniels as the Cyborsuit, and Joey Simmrin as the bully Turbo, who three years prior had played Murphy in the film Little Giants, and another three years prior had a bit part in past supercult classic “Suburban Commando” as ‘kid’. Even the most cursory glance at the cast list shows that this is the bottom of the barrel in terms of star power. Even the lead, Joseph Mazzello, who would eventually graduate from being the dorky nerd in family films to being the handsome nerd in grittier pieces such as The Social Network, G.I. Joe Retaliation, and the TV Mini-series The Pacific can only do so much. After the movie’s cinematic debut, Mazzello was asked in a magazine interview how he liked the role, with the interviewer assuming playing a kid in an exo-suit must have been exciting. Joseph replied it wasn’t very much fun, since a stuntman did all of the exterior shots of the Cyborsuit and all he got to do for the reaction shots was sit on a stool in front of a screen.
Director Manny Coto seems to have never wanted to be a director at all! After directing a few equally bad films such as the over-the-top comedy/horror “Dr. Giggles” (27% on Rotten Tomatoes), the Disney Channel phone-in “Zenon: The Zequel” (no critic reviews and 46% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes), and the painfully bland crime thriller “Cover Up” (no critic reviews and 19% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes), Coto seems to have happily retired from the Director’s seat to take up the writer/producer role. He is now known for writing and producing successful TV series like Star Trek: Enterprise, Dexter, and 24.
Star Kid has a 5.3 on IMDB and a 33% on Rotten Tomatoes. It grossed a domestic total of just over $7 million making it a complete and utter box office bomb from its budget of about $12 million. Requisite derision aside though, Star Kid knows exactly what it is: a relatively low-budget adventure for the comic book reading pre-teen in all of us. For all you that loved the ending of “The NeverEnding Story” movie where the bullies get chased into a dumpster by the giant flying dog thing, here is an entire movie based on that ‘nerd-vengence’ premise. Even Roger Ebert acknowledged it with a 3 out of 4 star review saying, “Star Kid…has a sweet heart and a lot of sly wit, and the symbiosis between boy and cyborg is handled cleverly. For kids of a certain age, it pushes the right buttons.”
It pushes our buttons too fellow supercultists! Goofy stunts, rubber alien suits, unending slapstick, vigilante justice, and a healthy dose of nineties nostalgia…yeah Star Kid, you push those buttons! Push ‘em good and hard!
Things just haven’t been the same at school since Spencer became a galactic warrior…
The Supercult showis proud to present Star Kid!