27 March 2009

Commander Kellie and The Superkids: The Intruder

Commander Kellie & The Superkids: The Intruder
United States - 1992
Director – Stephen Yake
Heirborne Video, 1992, VHS
Run time - 30 minutes

Commander Kellie and the Superkids is a bit like an episode of the Twilight Zone not just because of the crude special effects that illustrate obviously impractical science-fiction, but also because it warps and simplifies reality, in this case into an impressively stark good and evil world painted with ham handed strokes by optimistic Christian ideologues.

Case in point: The Superkids are creeping through some guys house from one closet to another while he sleeps. In the second closet, on the other side of the room, the kids come across a shimmering portal called a “Super Translator” that they all happily march into, the last of them pushing a big floor polisher. So as far as I know at this point, they’re just stealing big-ticket janitorial appliances. The sleeping guy awakens and unperturbed by the closet vortex, follows them in. Right behind him is a guy in a black “NME” uniform who is apparently tracking the kids on behalf of his sinister leader (who looks like his grampa, a friendly toy’s-for-tots biker who plays Santa Claus at the mall during Christmas)
Just to clarify, NME is the top “secret” acronym which stands for “Notoriously Malicious Entertainment” an evil media corporation whose malice is so “notorious” that they keep it “secret” by publicly airing violent TV shows featuring their foot soldiers holding guns to children’s heads while other children wail on Casio keyboards.

The superkids themselves are a mix of middle American white children, with the exception of one minority Alex, unless you consider robots a marginalized population, and after watching this you might. Since it would be to obviously racist to make the black kid the rapper, the producers went for a Steve Urkel clone instead, and unwittingly reinforced the juvenile reactionary racism of cultural "slumming" by making Rapper a confused white-boy.

When they arrive back at what I guess is their base, the kids report to, yes, Commander Kellie, a smokin’ hot southern belle who promptly leads them in song and dance. If ever there was a reason to simplistically rail against evil, the Superkid Acedemy theme is it. In the background poor Techno, cursed at birth with only three small wheels and a boxy unarticulated body, is left to his own devices and spins forlornly just slightly onscreen. No ramp has been installed on the stairs down to the dancefloor, and so only three small steps (so small they are, but like cliffs of injustice!) prevent Techno from rotating along with the kids (who also, cruel fate of organics, get to enjoy the warm supple embrace of Commander Kellie herself.)

The sleeping guy, ostensibly the “Intruder” of the title, pops up after the dance and turns out to be Carman who relates his story of woe when (based on the level of calamity related, I assumed that it must have been) Satan himself took a personal interest in destroying his life. Shocked out of their catatonic awe from meeting such a mercurial celeb and hearing the tale of his fate, the kids break out an inspiring song to lift Carman’s (downtrodden by the devil) spirits. Some clue as to why the antichrist may have made a point of persecuting him is revealed as Carman leans back in his seat, eyes narrowed and nods hungrily at the gyrating children. Oh yummy.

After their song, Carman performs one of his own derivative tunes about faith etc. while guitar-excluding close up shots of him rocking out give the appearance of furious, skin-tearing masturbation while the kids (along with the sudden unexplained bolstering of their number, though still almost exclusively white) clap along. Techno meanwhile is positioned behind all the skin bags, almost out of sight where, cursed with cold hinged metal claws, he can only sadly clank them together in a repetitive pinching motion, depressingly out of time with Carman’s, uh… performance.

After such an inspiring climax, the surplus children are zapped back into ozone, and all that remains is for someone to be saved. The Notoriously Malicious dope who followed Carman through the Super Translator pops up with a blaster while Commander Kellie is alone in the engine room. Shielding herself from the blast of his weapon with a glimmering blue “faith shield” she uses “The Manual” and a bitter tough-love sermon to convince NME tool to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as his savior.

As the kids and Kellie bid farewell to a visibly sweaty and spent Carman, Techno stands motionless amid the chirping preteen crowd considering why such a benevolent god would forsake a lonely robot, and if it’s physically possible to tie a noose with barely articulated iron pincers.

Bonus Program! (AKA shameless advertisement):
Following the 30 minute feature is an extended plug for Carman’s christian evangelism video series Time 2 Club Video in which various faith experts make factual arguments for god, christian musicians rock out and general video prosthelytization occurs. Decked out in a retina assaulting uranium sweater, Carman encourages us to subscribe to his monthly video club which will be “not just fun, nah”, it will be “a straight up blast”. Based on what I’ve just seen him do in front of those kids, I now know exactly what he means by that.

Visit Kellie’s parents ministry online, and apparently all throughout the world as their traveling Christ Circus seems to be perpetually preaching unsophisticated and polarized morality towards the brown people they deign to include in their video propaganda.

1990 - 1992


Phill Tuma said...

Read twice, peed my pants twice.

Anonymous said...

One of the my first YouTube uploads was the "Godstuff" episode which focused on Kellie and the Superkids:

Copeland. What an asshole!

By the way, I'm jealous as hell of that VHS box.

Daniel Soler said...

After the terminator films I've had trouble feeling sorry for robots, but you brought that misty mecha-love back. Thanks man.