Under The Hood (2009)

Rating: ****
Review Date: 3/3/06
Cast: Ted Friend, Stephen McHattie, Carla Gugino, cameo by Jeffrey Dean Morgan

This stunning faux documentary is another companion piece to "Watchmen" (2009), along with "Tales Of The Black Freighter." It's a television news magazine program from the mid 1980's hosted by Larry Culpeper (superb Ted Friend), that's doing a retrospective of an 1975 interview with Hollis Mason, the original Nite Owl. Mason had written a tell-all autobiography about his days as a vigilante called "Under The Hood," which delves into the rich history of the Minutemen and the rise of costumed heroes in the 30's and 40's. It features interviews with Silk Spectre and her manager, as well as some of the other minor characters in the graphic novel. The video is a fantastic opportunity for Stephen McHattie to bring Hollis Mason to life and to shape the socio-politial landscape of "Watchmen" through the years. The production values are fantastic, and the filmmakers do a spectacular job of recreating film and video effects from the 70's and 80's. They even include some authentically cheesy television ads. Ted Friend does a remarkable job as a hard-nosed TV journalist and Carla Gugino is riveting as the middle-aged Sally Jupiter. This is the kind of thing that comic book geeks can really sink their teeth into and I found it utterly delightful. Again, that it exists at all is a true testament to Zak Snyder's vision and dedication to the film.