Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Super Shelly

Sometime in early 1992, the opportunity finally presented itself for me to commission a custom match from Double Trouble Productions. It was finally time to translate my thoughts into live action. The first time is the most exciting, because you really have no idea what to expect. There was also the extra debate- wrestling or Supergirl. The choice was pretty easy actually. I had seen several wrestling tapes, but only one heroine- the aforementioned Ms. Magnificent from an earlier post on this blog.
This was in the pre-internet days, when I thought I was pretty much alone in these fantasies. There were other superheroine tapes out there at the time, but not many and I certainly had never heard of them.
I wanted to go for the ultimate kryptonite scene, so Supergirl was the obvious choice.

Thinking back, it’s really incredible how the Internet has affected this whole genre. Today we have access to a wealth of information and lots of product. Back then, there was far less access.
By that time I had probably bought about a dozen wrestling tapes. Mostly from Golden Girls, and then DT. There was a store not too far away from where I lived in Manhattan that carried female wrestling material among other, and one could watch videos there in a booth for about $15, roughly a third or a quarter of the purchase price. Every now and then I would go there and check out a tape. One of those tapes was called Detective Shelly and featured this tall busty blond. It was only later that I discovered that she was, in fact, the same Shelly who had defeated Rene Vicary so deliciously in an earlier GG tape discussed on this blog. She seemed like the perfect candidate to play the part.
I had no clue who to pick as her adversary, so DT suggested Sandy White who turned out to be a very good choice.
The plot was simple and to the point. Super Shelly is invincible, cocky and arrogant. She confronts Sandy and defeats her, only to be exposed to Kryptonite. Weakened by the kryptonite, Super Shelly was no match for Sandy and winds up taking a beating. She passed out, recovers, tries to take out Sandy, fails, gets her ass kicked some more and winds up topless & knocked out with a ball of Kryptonite laying on her chest.

It’s not difficult to imagine how excited I was about this and how I could not wait to see it. The end result was not entirely what I had expected, but turned out to be killer nevertheless.
I learned a lot from that experience and plan on sharing some of those lessons with you.
From my experience, never judge a custom match (or any match for that matter) based on your expectations. My first response to seeing Super Shelly is that I would have done this differently, that they missed the point on this scene and some other nitpicking. Some of the nitpicking is justified. After all, often it’s the little details that make or break a scene. Where she put her hands, how she stood, the look on her face, the position of her arms and legs etc… Not being experienced at all at the time, I just naturally assumed that if I see a scene progressing in my mind, everyone else would see it the same way. This is never the case and unless you can script every last minute detail and have the budget for a long shoot, what’s in your mind won’t always be exactly what’s on the tape.
For example, the first scene where Super Shelly is exposed to Kryptonite, she falls down immediately. In my mind I saw a slower, more drawn out process with lots of gestures and expressions conveying little meanings. I wanted her to weaken slowly. Be surprised and confused. Struggle to first get away and then just to stay on her feet.
I didn’t write all that stuff down, so it was done differently. (On a happier note
15 years later with the dvd technology and all, I can run that scene in slow motion and have it appear closer to what I had in mind.)
So getting back to my point, the first few times I watched the tape, I had this idea in my head how it was supposed to be and it wasn’t always like that. Disappointing perhaps.
After a while, however, I slowly forgot about my pre conceived notions and learned to appreciate the tape for what it was. My Supergirl fantasy on video for the first time. Not perfect, not mind blowing, but MY fantasy in a way that no one has done it before. Therefore, over time, I have come to appreciate this tape a lot more. This issue has come up time and again when I first see a video that I was looking forward to. The picture in my mind doesn’t always match, but given time, many of these matches grow on me and become classics in their own right.
Both Shelly and Sandy did wonderful jobs on this tape and it remains one of my favorites to this day. Click here to see a detailed photostory of Super Shelly over at Diana The Valkyrie's site. Please note that the link to my old heroine site has not been active since the late 20th century (how cool is it to be able to say that?)

An interesting thing happened several years after I commissioned this tape. Legendary comic book artist George Perez had seen the tape and claimed that it had inspired him to make his own superheroine series with DT. The result was the phenomenally successful Sisterhood of Superheroines series released over several years. Perez decided he was going to use the character of Super Shelly in one of his videos. As always, he made drawings for his videos. In this case he drew a Super Shelly comic book cover and put my name on it too! I was so incredibly flattered and remain so to this day. Being acknowledged by George Perez, the man who drew Wonder Woman and Supergirl for DC (among many other characters) is simply incredible. It’s kind of like if Jimmy Page or Bruce Springsteen would credit me for something. Mr. Perez was kind enough to send me a picture of the comic cover and I am posting it here for you all to see. Yes, I’m proud of that. I think it’s cool. Thanks George, not just for this, but for everything.


Anonymous said...

You really are nitpicking. I owned that one and can still recall the Burbank Bomber moaning in pain and humilaition, her magnificent juggs flattened by the upstart Sandy's. One of DT's few standouts.

Jonnie R said...

Sure I'm nitpicking because I'm striving for perfection. Nevertheless, despite my nitpicking, it's still a KILLER video!

pw said...

Interesting to hear your reflections on your first custom experience. I've wondered for years if I'd ever have the chance to script a vid. If so, good to have these points in mind. As for the Super Shelly vid, I remember it well when I first saw it, and although I can imagine why you'd call it imperfect, it is a true classic of the genre.