FILM THREAT REVIEW: STEEL SPIRIT the movie gets reviewed online at Film Threat.
REVIEW: Ex-bounty hunter Dallas McQuaid (Steven Pershing) has a problem. He’s been working as a car salesman since he quit the trade seven ago, and he’s just been unceremoniously fired. While in a bar attempting to drown his sorrows, he finds out persons unknown have put a $5 million bounty on his head. Before he can even finish his beer, all manner of lowlifes are after him to get the money while... law enforcement agencies from the local police to the FBI want to bring him in.
That’s “Steel Spirit” in a nutshell. Writer, director, producer, and lead actor Pershing has pulled together his childhood friends, a Hi-8 millimeter video camera, and a shoestring budget to put together what is essentially an homage to the action films of the 1980s, and a reasonably enjoyable one at that.
McQuaid, during his storied career, put away 46 of America’s most wanted. He did all this while searching for the man who killed his family 20 years ago (and all while sporting a snazzy duster and cowboy hat). Once he metes out revenge for that deed, he hangs it up for the next seven years. It isn’t until the aforementioned bounty is issued that he has to dust off his guns and get to the bottom of things.
The cast is pretty competent which, when you consider they’re all unpaid and non-professional, is pretty impressive. Pershing obviously also has a great love for the genre, and throws several action/adventure elements into the pot to make “Steel Spirit” come together. There’s a great broomstick (yes, broomstick) fight that evokes both “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Highlander,” while his shooting angles during the chase scenes make me suspect be was a big “A-Team” fan. There’s a shout-out to “Fantasia,” some evil ninjas, and McQuaid’s tricked-out Plymouth Duster would give the Batmobile a run for its money. Well, the 1960s Batmobile anyway.
Not all of it really works, or makes sense for that matter. McQuaid and his best friend Jack (Brian Papakie) are apparently ex-Marines, and an oddly hokey interlude utilizing the Corps at Arlington National Cemetery (what better place to hide from the Feds than two miles from the J. Edgar Hoover building?) combined with a truly bizarre climactic dream sequence left me a mite puzzled. Perhaps Pershing initially intended this as a USMC recruiting video.
Still, it’s refreshing to see a low-budget attempt to make an action picture instead of yet another angst-ridden faux deconstructionist diatribe. “Steel Spirit” is a fairly entertaining effort, and one that doesn’t suffer overmuch for its lack of high-end talent or effects, provided you can get past some of the cheesier moments and the intermittent feeling that everyone involved is playing grown-up Cowboys and Indians. Or why a bald guy with a goatee and a price on his head doesn’t shave and buy a wig.
When Steven J. Pershing set out to make this movie he promised his cast and crew two things a copy of the finished film and a premiere. A fantastic night for everybody to share the accomplishment. Many families sacrificed loved ones free time in the making of this movie and the man behind the movie is forever thankful.
Local filmmaker ready for a shot at Sundance
November 15, 2001
By VINCENT JACKSON Staff Writer, (609) 272-7202...
Spectators who watched writer/director Steven Pershing filming a movie in southern New Jersey during 1998 and 1999 need not wonder any longer about what happened to it.
The Egg Harbor Township filmmaker's 90-minute feature, "Steel Spirit," will be shown to its cast and crew and the media at a private screening 7 p.m. Friday at the Showboat Casino-Hotel. The screening is private because Pershing will be submitting his movie to the Sundance, Slamdance and Slamdunk film festivals, which are all held between Jan. 10 and 20 in Park City, Utah. Sundance's submission rules state that a film cannot be considered for acceptance there if it had been previously shown to the public, Pershing said.
"The public showing will be as soon as possible. It could be three months from now, early next year," said Pershing, 30, who added he will be moving next year to Hollywood. "What has always been a dream is slowly becoming a reality."
"Steel Spirit" was shot with a Hi-8 millimeter video camera. Pershing said his film is the first action adventure of its kind with all scenes shot on one $1,100 camera. The story concerns a character named Dallas McQuaid, who struggles to stay alive after a $5 million bounty is placed on his head.
December 9th, 1999
By Linda Little - Staff Writer
It's Web site home page at www.steelspirit.com calls it "The first Hi-8 Action Adventure of its kind." and urges viewers to "Get ready for a new adventure." Pictured on the site is a rugged looking, Indiana Jones type character complete with Kevlar BulletProof Jacket and Black Brimmed hat....