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Mop, Bucket and Cape

Directed by Jake Sleet

Starring Ashley Woods, Edward Boon, Luke Hornsby-Smith, Victoria Ekanoye

Short film review by Amaliah S. Marmon-Halm

With its Marvel-esque opening and Scott Pilgrim-style moments, ‘Mop, Bucket and Cape’, written and directed by Jake Sleet, gives the superhero genre a very down to earth, British twist. Meet Ted, played by Ashley Woods – he’s not your usual sort of hero in the sense that he’s the hero that cleans up after heroes. The caretaker, basically. Despite his humble role, he does have the ability to regenerate so he cannot die, from anything!

Feeling rather exploited, oppressed and under the forceful thumb of the people that are supposed to save the UK from all evil, Ted works at the HQ of the Super Trinity. Even when he’s given the opportunity to be a hero in his own right and to escape his lowly life as ‘Super Caretaker’, he chooses to remain for the sake of his family. Whilst these supposed 'heroes' are too busy bullying Ted, a super-villain seizes the opportunity to rise up and threaten all of humanity. This means that it is up to Ted to rise from his maltreatment and become the superhero he always wanted to be.

Visually, this short film is a real treat. The comic book style animations and motions, the narrations, with Ted’s monotonous, Shaun of The Dead mannerisms, are to be honest quite funny and adds a great sense of awareness to Ted’s character. If you are a fan of Edgar Wright, but ever wanted to know how an imaginary, slightly immature younger brother of his would direct a film, then this would be a good example. The three “heroes” that make Ted’s life a misery, Mr Amahzen (Edward Boon), BrynCredible (Luke Hornsby-Smith) and Ms Magnificent (Victoria Ekanoye), are true pieces of work! They sort of personify what you might think a “superhero” would actually behave like behind closed doors. They can’t be as perfect as they seem. Each hero, and their egos and constant pranks, do a very good job in making you loathe them and sympathise with poor Ted.

'Mop, Bucket and Cape' also has a collection of 8 small origin-story comic books to go along with this short, which can be found on the film’s website, and apparently, a feature script is currently in development, so if you do enjoy this, there should be more to come soon. We’ll have to keep an eye out.

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