No visit to Los Angeles is complete without a trip to Hollywood Boulevard. There, along the Walk of Fame, you’ll find a bevy of performers, look-alikes, and costumed characters—all ready, willing, and able to pose for pictures (as long as you’re well aware that they work for tips, that is). For most tourists, these costumed heroes are just nameless novelties—but four of these heroes get their moment in the spotlight in director Matthew Ogens’s documentary, Confessions of a Superhero.
Confessions of a Superhero takes a look inside the lives of some of Hollywood Boulevard’s characters—four aspiring actors who take to the streets in costume to make ends meet while they wait for their big break. The storytelling is a bit disorganized, often jumping from one character to the next with no real rhyme or reason. And, in the course of its 90 minutes, not much happens. The film just seems to plod ahead with no real destination (and no real point) in mind. But while it’s sometimes pretty slow, it’s also incredibly stylish—beautifully filmed, with all kinds of unexpected footage. And the four struggling stars—each with his or her own dreams, delusions, and eccentricities—make fascinating subjects.
Christopher Dennis (a.k.a. Superman) is more than a little eccentric. His colleagues will tell you that this Christopher Reeve lookalike is pretty strange—even obsessed. But, despite his bizarre collection of Superman memorabilia (and his strange fascination with Crystal Gayle), he’s mild-mannered, respectful, and perfectly professional. Though you’ll never really know if he’s for real (or if he’s more than just a little bit crazy), he’s a charming character who seems to be every superhero’s friend and mentor.
Maxwell Allen (a.k.a. Batman), on the other hand, is a bit of a wild card—and the movie’s dark horse. He speaks freely about his dark past—offering up some surprising (but rather questionable) revelations. Despite his anger issues, though, he’s just a guy (who looks a little too much like George Clooney) who’s trying to make it in Hollywood—any way he can.
North Carolina native Joe McQueen (a.k.a. The Hulk) spent four years living on the street while trying to make it big. And although he sees his current job as little more than panhandling, at least it pays the bills. His costume may be a bit goofy (not to mention dangerous in those hot Hollywood summers), but his “aw, shucks” personality will quickly win you over.
And, finally, Jennifer Gehrt (a.k.a. Wonder Woman) left her home in small-town Tennessee to find happiness as an actress. Seemingly the most stable of the four, she fully understands the challenges she faces. But, like her fellow heroes, she’s determined and hard-working—and, despite the challenges, she’s just thankful to be doing what she loves.
Still, although Confessions of a Superhero is the story of four grown men and women who make a (generally meager) living dressing up as superheroes, the film isn’t quite as quirky as you might expect. The characters themselves may be pretty quirky, but their stories (and the things they’ll do in hopes of getting discovered) often make the film feel rather grim and depressing. But, well, no one ever said that stardom would be easy—and, despite its deliberate pacing and disjointed storytelling, Confessions of a Superhero nevertheless paints a fascinating (and honest) portrait of four of Hollywood’s dedicated working-class (super)heroes.
Want to see it for yourself? You can watch Confessions of a Superhero below, courtesy of SnagFilms.com. (Rated R for language)