Jazz (Toby Manley) and Wolf (Mark McKirdy) are local fan boys in Scotland who run a comic store called Dead End Comics. They’re in a severe financial crisis because their landlord is going to terminate their lease unless they come up with ₤5,000 in a week. But when Wolf and Jazz attend a nearby comic festival, fate mysteriously steps in. An extremely rare comic (“Electric Man” Number 1 from 1937!) gets placed in one of their bins and it’s valued at over ₤100,000. Wolf and Jazz think their troubles are over until all sorts of interested parties show up looking for the comic. There’s the nefarious Uncle Jimmy (a menacing Derek Dick) who just may have killed his brother for the comic, his niece Lauren McCall (sultry Jennifer Ewing) who is the rightful owner of the comic, and American Edison Bolt (a hysterical Mark McDonnell), a rich comic book collector who will stop at nothing to get his hands on the elusive first issue. Wolf and Jazz are suddenly plunged into a real world of danger and intrigue, much like the heroes in their beloved comic books. Even worse, Jazz (who is a loser with women) finds himself falling for the beautiful Lauren and he isn’t sure if he can resist her sensual charms. Does she really like Jazz or is she using her feminine wiles to recover the comic without ever having to give Jazz any financial compensation?
“Electric Man” is an indie movie filmed entirely in Scotland by David Baras (writer/director), Scott Mackay (writer) and Ellen-Raissa Jackson (producer) and it’s a clever look into the lives of two comic fan boys. Having two lovable losers who only read about adventure being plunged into a real life one is a delightful cinematic twist and I found myself gleefully going along for the ride.
Baras and Mackay have a lot of fun using the elusive “Electric Man” comic as a McGuffin in order to throw Wolf and Jazz into a James Bond like adventure. There are some very nice double crosses and triple crosses as the duo try to out duel the villains and right their sinking ship. The film starts to run out of steam about three quarters of the way through, but Baras and MacKay bounce back at the end with a smashing climax that is both funny and satisfying.
The cast is stellar. Manley and McKirdy are both charming as the two fan boys and have charisma enough to spare. Ewing gives an energetic performance as the sensuous Lauren McCall (get it?) while Mark McDonnell is impressive as the greedy comic geek. Special mention also has to go to Emily Lockwood who’s wickedly good as Wolf’s ex-girlfriend Victoria who wants to get back together with him.
“Electric Man” is essential viewing for all movie nerds and comic fans (that’s me!). It’s an intelligent and quick witted tale about two losers who try to turn their lives around. While a bit too long, it has charm and smarts to spare and is a most enjoyable indie movie experience.