Superman Dead! In the early 90s sales on Superman titles were low and DC Comics was looking to shake things up. Killing him seemed the way to go. In his absence, four men took up the mantle. A sassy clone, a cyborg, a man in steel armor, and some dude in goggles. And only one got a movie.
Army weapons technician, John “Henry” Irons (Shaq, yeah Shaq) wants to develop non lethal weapons. But his first demo is sabotaged by a rival Lieutenant (Judd Nelson), and his non lethal weapon ends up killing a Senator, or some type of politician, and crippling his partner/sidekick Susan “Sparky” Sparks (Annabeth Gish). Irons is found innocent in court and quits the Army out of disgust. The military only wants his weapons for destructive purposes. Here’s a hint: if nonlethal weaponry is your goal, don’t make a gun with different settings! Lieutenant Judd Nelson sees the profit in it and starts making weapons for the highest bidders. Irons goes back to his old neighborhood and sees these weapons he helped design. His only recourse, wear a suit of steel armor and take them down.
This movie. God. I’m well aware DC has a terrible box office track record.This movie is just plain lazy. The casting of Shaquille O’Neal is stunt casting at it’s best. Wait, no, worst. Richard Roundtree shows up as the owner of the junkyard that serves as Steel’s base of operations. Of course there’s a terrible callback to his legendary private eye character. And it is the most cringe worthy thing in the movie. Judd Nelson is cashing a paycheck. Annabeth Gish is the only cast member who gives a good performance. Too bad her character is a rip off of Barbara Gordon/Oracle.
I believe that this was made to capitalize on Steel being the next African American superhero. Nobody was rushing to make one about Cyborg, or Firestorm. And the less said about Black Vulcan the better. But how do you make a movie about a character whose origin is so closely tied to Superman? Steel does not take place in Metropolis. It takes place in the “real world”. The producers wanted Irons to look like a modern day knight. The Superman shield and red cape were eliminated by the costume designer. What was the end result?
I tend to let pairings happen organically. I may be inspired by a beer or by a movie. This one started out as a joke. But the more you tell a joke, it gets less and less funny. When I started telling people, I knew it was getting to a point where I needed to put up or shut up. And instead of talking about the horrible things I would do, I did it.
Steel Reserve 211 is a “High-gravity” beer. Gravity in terms of beer is the relative density of the wort (non-fermented beer) to water. Usually beers with a higher gravity have more adjuncts aka filler (rice, corn, etc.) than their counterparts. This results in beer with a higher ABV. Steel Reserve has several different beers with 211 being their flagship. The brand is owned by Miller. Malt liquors, as they’re affectionately called have this overly sweet metallic taste. And 211 is no different. I fully admit to taking the coward’s way out. I bought two 16oz cans of 211 at a local gas station. But at 8.1 percent I wasn’t worried about beer to movie ratio. I did run out about 45 minutes into this piece of shit but the high gravity lifted me almost to the end titles.
Steel is available on VHS, Manufacted on Demand DVD (a DVD-R) and available to rent on Amazon and Youtube. The only positive thing to come out of this experience is the discovery of a Ramones jingle for Steel Reserve. I leave you with that.