Chuck Steel in Raging Balls of Steel Justice

Chuck Steel is a maverick, a renegade, lone wolf, loose cannon cop on the edge who doesn't play by the rules! He's got a kick-ass car, a leather jacket and a chin like half a loaf of bread. He's also made of like clay or something.

Michael Mort's stop-motion short "Raging Balls of Steel Justice" didn't really fit in to FrightFest as such. It's not a horror (although there is a monster in it towards the end), it's more like Wallace & Gromit if instead of a nice cottage in the North of England they lived in Nakatomi Plaza in the mid-80's. 

The city's most prominent businessman has been kidnapped by a score of escaped convicts and they've tied him up in a warehouse. Regular negotiations have failed, and now the desperate crims want their money and their helicopter, or they're gonna kick their hostage in the balls so many times they pop out of him nose (Medical Fact - The amount of kicks needed to achieve that is 250). 

Chief Schitt (Jack Schitt) calls in the best cop on the force, Chuck Steel, to get in there and sort this out. Along with his new unwanted robotic partner, the A55, Chuck storms the warehouse and gets his action on.

The whole thing is really very funny. The dialogue, all written and performed by Mort himself, is just the right side of parody without having to stumble into Scary Movie territory. "Chuck, when are you gonna realise it's not 1985 anymore! It's 1986!" was a personal favourite of mine. The animation is utterly brilliant, to the point where I started to wonder if they'd used actors with giant heads on, ala Angry Kid, rather than tiny models. All the movement is fluid, even in the scenes with a dozen or more characters. 

Mort uses camera moves that were probably so complicated and drawn out to pull off I'm surprised he didn't just kick the whole set into the garden and get a job at Build-A-Bear. The movie premiered at FrightFest on Saturday and isn't out commercially yet, but there's a shorter clip of Chuck Steel in action on the Immortal Pictures websites HERE

Keep your eye out for Raging Balls of Steel Justice when it inevitably shows up on iTunes or Netflix or somewhere, because it's absolutely worth checking out. 

4 out of 5

Words by Gazz Wood

Gazz Wood is a writer from The Northern Film School at Leeds Met University. As well as writing for Wireless he can also be heard on the monthly podcast Possibly of Interest with TV Producer Howard Cohen and special guests from the world of British TV and Cinema, plus his own weekly show Gazz Wood Has A Podcast. He can also be followed on Twitter @GazzPH90