Defending “Defendor”

Slam EvilEvery now and then, a movie comes along that just speaks to you. Sometimes it’s a serious drama that addresses a personal issue you didn’t even know you had, and sometimes it’s a genre piece that treats its subject in a way you’d been hoping someone would.

Last year at TIFF, that movie was “Defendor”, Peter Stebbings’ oddball meditation on superhero mythology and the cultural impact of heroism. If Alliance had got behind it and released it on the heels of its festival success — or even popped it out in December after it made Canada’s Top Ten — it might have had a shot to distinguish itself from “Kick-Ass“, another subversion of costumed-hero iconography that’s been stoking the fanboys since Comic-Con and is set to open in April.

But the moment passed, and now it’s being dumped onto a single screen at the AMC Yonge & Dundas, where it’ll be likely ignored. Don’t you make that mistake.

Anyway, my interviews with Stebbings and star Woody Harrelson are online at the NOW site. Check them out, and go see their movie if you can. It may not kick ass, exactly, but it’s awfully good.

4 thoughts on “Defending “Defendor””

  1. I’m curious how similar this film is to SPECIAL, which I caught at Toronto After Dark a few years back and would appear to mine similar territory.

  2. “Defendor” is one of my top favourites from last year, and I, too, am disappointed that it’s getting dumped out at this point. Looks like Stebbings is going to have to go the route Josh Peace of “You Might As Well Live” described to me the other day: It’s fantastic when you win that second week at the AMC, but the longer-term hopes lie in DVD sales/rentals and cable.

    Too bad. We’re loosely organizing a band of people to go down to the theatre next week for “Defendor”. Hamiltonians I know are particularly stoked.

  3. @ Sean — Yeah, it’s really quite frustrating — and not at all fair. When a studio sets the DVD date before the movie opens, it’s an admission they’re just not trying.

    “Defendor” streets April 13th, the same week “Kick-Ass” opens. But see it on the big screen if you’re able, folks.

Comments are closed.