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HandWiki. The Amazing Bulk. Encyclopedia. Available online: https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/36557 (accessed on 19 June 2024).
HandWiki. The Amazing Bulk. Encyclopedia. Available at: https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/36557. Accessed June 19, 2024.
HandWiki. "The Amazing Bulk" Encyclopedia, https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/36557 (accessed June 19, 2024).
HandWiki. (2022, November 25). The Amazing Bulk. In Encyclopedia. https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/36557
HandWiki. "The Amazing Bulk." Encyclopedia. Web. 25 November, 2022.
The Amazing Bulk
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The Amazing Bulk is a 2012 American direct-to-video superhero film directed by Lewis Schoenbrun. Considered to be a mockbuster of the Marvel Studios film The Incredible Hulk, as well as other media featuring the Hulk character, the film's settings and visuals are almost entirely all reused stock imagery, graphics, and video purchased from various websites.

direct-to-video module superhero

1. Plot

Government research scientist Henry "Hank" Howard has been commissioned by General Darwin to develop a serum that will increase the user's strength and longevity. Howard wishes to marry Darwin's daughter Hannah, but Darwin blackmails him, saying he cannot marry her until he gets results from the serum test. That night, he goes on a date with Hannah to a carnival. They then take the subway, wherein a mugger approaches them at gunpoint and steals Howard's wallet and the ring he plans to propose to Hannah with. Not wanting to lose the ring, Howard attempts to fight the mugger and loses. After the mugger flees the scene, Hannah expresses her concern for Howard's sudden bravery, asking what could be so important that he would risk his life over. In order to hide the intended proposal, Howard lies, saying the mugger took a flash drive containing secret files about the serum.

In an effort to prove that his serum is effective, Howard injects himself with it, turning him into a giant purple humanoid, the Bulk. Later that night, while witnessing the same mugger assault and murder a young woman, Howard transforms into the Bulk and kills the man; he runs off as police arrive to the scene, and they notice purple blood on the ground. Detectives Ray Garton and Lisa Tuttle find Howard's wallet and return it to him the next day. When Garton finds a purple stain on his hand, he becomes convinced that Howard is responsible for the mugger's death. They watch as Howard returns to the scene of the crime, and when they confront him, he transforms into the Bulk.

The Bulk goes on a rampage throughout the city as the detectives pursue him. The Bulk sends cars flying through the air, one of which lands on Tuttle, crushing her. Garton, enraged by his partner's death, shoots at the Bulk, who grabs and destroys a news helicopter. The Bulk morphs back into Howard and is arrested by Garton. In prison, Garton threatens Howard for killing Tuttle, until Darwin arrives with a serum to keep the Bulk under control. Darwin tells Howard that supervillain Dr. Werner von Kantlove, along with his wife Lolita, have been destroying famous monuments and landmarks.

Darwin explains that the only way Kantlove can be stopped is with the help of the Bulk, and convinces Howard to comply when he says he will allow him Hannah's hand in marriage. Howard is deployed several miles from Kantlove's castle, and after sprinting through several locations, he arrives at the castle. Turning into the Bulk, he kills Kantlove's guards, and the military destroys the castle. Darwin then betrays the Bulk, ordering for a jet to bomb him. After a lengthy chase, a nuclear bomb is dropped on the Bulk.

Howard arrives at Darwin's home, having inexplicably survived the bombing. He reunites with Hannah, but when Darwin sees that he has survived, they break into a struggle and fall off a balcony, which kills them both. Later, Hannah visits Howard's grave and leaves a rose there. After she leaves, a drunken Garton arrives at the grave. He begins to urinate on it, and the Bulk's fists suddenly strike his head.

2. Cast

  • Jordan Lawson as Henry Howard
  • Shevaun Kastl as Hannah Darwin
  • Terence Lording as General Darwin
  • Randal Malone as Dr. Werner von Kantlove
  • Juliette Angeli as Lolita Kantlove
  • Jed Rowen as Detective Ray Garton
  • Deirdre V. Lyons as Detective Lisa Tuttle

3. Production

Director Lewis Schoenbrun was researching stock computer-generated imagery for the production of a low-budget horror mockbuster of Spider-Man, starring a female protagonist.[1] When discussing with a producer the idea of making a comic book film featuring large amounts of green screen, he instead decided to create a parody of the character the Hulk.[2] Schoenbrun stated that he never initially intended to make a bad film, but retroactively considered the film a parody. Many of the characters have blatant parallels with Marvel Comics characters associated with the Hulk mythos; Henry Howard with Bruce Banner, General Darwin with General Ross, and the Bulk with the Hulk.

Scriptwriting for the film was completed over a span of four months, while finding all the CGI elements, along with creating storyboards, occurred over the course of six months. All of the film's settings and transitions, as well as much of its imagery, are stock graphics and backgrounds taken from numerous websites, including eBay, Digital Juice, Inc., and TurboSquid.[1][2]

The film was financed by director Schoenbrun himself. Shooting the film, which cost $6,000, took place over a period of five days.[1] The entire film was shot on a green screen stage in California. Audio mixing cost $3,000, colour correction cost $1,000, and another $4,000 went towards CGI, software, and the film's composer, among other elements.[1] The film's score, composed by Mark Daniel Dunnett, also features classical music from composers like Beethoven, Strauss, and Tchaikovsky.[3]

As a fan of director Stanley Kubrick, Schoenbrun included numerous references to Kubrick's works throughout the film, including a scene of satellites in space reminiscent of 2001: A Space Odyssey; furthermore, the names of the characters Dr. Werner von Kantlove and his assistant Lolita allude to the Kubrick films Dr. Strangelove and Lolita.[2]

4. Release and Reception

The film was originally released on DVD on April 17, 2012 by Tomcat Films.[4] The film went out of print, but was subsequently rediscovered, repackaged, and released on DVD and digital platforms worldwide by independent label Wild Eye Releasing on May 19, 2015.

The film has received universally negative reviews, targeted at its acting, editing, continuity, visual effects, and settings. A staff writer for the website Horror Society found it to be absurd and incomprehensible, saying that "the way the film was shot makes it utterly impossible to follow it the way a film should be followed".[5] Film critic Rob Rector criticized the apparent laziness of the filmmakers, stating that it seems they "stumbled across a bunch of free clipart on the internet and decided to weave it together as a backdrop for the film".[6]

Felix Vasquez Jr. of Cinema Crazed berated the film's effects and designs, remarking that the filmmakers may well have "whipped together a movie out of Windows 95 clip art, Microsoft Paint, an old HD camera someone owned, and a lot of green screens in under a week at the director's loft somewhere in California".[7] James DePaolo of the website WickedChannel called it "The Room of superhero movies" and wrote that it "is quite possibly one of the best worst films ever made".[8] Andrea Beach of Common Sense Media gave the film one out of five stars, summarizing it thus: "Lowbrow, violent superhero spoof is just plain bad."[9]

In response to the criticisms, director Schoenbrun has stated that the film is supposed to belong in the same vein as films like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and that most critics "just don't get the concept of live action people in a comic book world".[2] He also responded to a video criticizing the movie made by YouTuber I Hate Everything, telling the creator "I welcome all comments good & bad!" and that his reviews "give independent films exposure which they so desperately need." I Hate Everything responded, thanking Schoenbrun for being a good sport.[10]

References

  1. "How To Bulk Up Without a Budget: An Interview with Lewis Schoenbrun". Ninja Dixon. October 26, 2012. http://ninjadixon.blogspot.com/2012/10/how-to-bulk-up-without-budget-interview.html. 
  2. McCauley, Dan (August 16, 2012). "Interview with Director Lewis Schoenbrun". Misflix. http://misflix.com/2012/08/interview-with-director-lewis-schoenbrun-2/. 
  3. "The Amazing Bulk (2010)". Film Affinity. http://www.filmaffinity.com/en/film141566.html. 
  4. "The Amazing Bulk DVD". https://www.amazon.com/The-Amazing-Bulk-Jordan-Lawson/dp/B006U1S99M. 
  5. Blacktooth (January 12, 2016). "Trashploitation - The Amazing Bulk (Review)". Horror Society. http://www.horrorsociety.com/2016/01/12/trashploitation-the-amazing-bulk-review/. 
  6. Rector, Rob. "Paracinema #6: The Amazing Bulk". 1NFLUXMagazine. http://1nfluxmagazine.com/paracinema-6-the-amazing-bulk/. 
  7. Vasquez, Felix (September 12, 2013). "The Amazing Bulk (2010)". Cinema Crazed. http://cinema-crazed.com/blog/2013/09/12/the-amazing-bulk-2010/. 
  8. DePaolo, James (May 19, 2015). "Movie Review- The Amazing Bulk". WickedChannel. http://wickedchannel.com/2015/05/movie-review-the-amazing-bulk/. 
  9. "The Amazing Bulk - Movie Review" (in en). July 16, 2017. https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/the-amazing-bulk. 
  10. Beltman, Alex (September 13, 2016). How To Take Criticism. I Hate Everything on YouTube. Retrieved July 15, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjAPPH0uKlI
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