There’s a moment about two-thirds of the way through Heel Kick! when the film’s supporting cast can’t help but crack up at what they just witnessed. (Specifically, two stoner idiots performing their midterm “exam” at a wrestling school.)
We’re right on board with it. This wholly enjoyable mockumentary, made locally for peanuts, is strong enough to survive the brief invasion of reality into its poignantly insane universe.
Writer-director (with Ian MacDougall) Danny Mac leads as Reggie, a 30-year-old buffoon who still lives with his mom and nurses a grudge against his accountant brother, Jared (Matthew Graham). (“He’s not, like, invincible,” Reggie petulantly insists.)
Reggie’s friend Maurice (Chris Wilcox) might be even sadder, but at least they have each other, plus the demented fixation they share for backyard wrestling. Reggie is the undefeated 17-time world champion in their two man league. “We’re amateur professionals,” explains Maurice.
It doesn’t take long for a documentary film crew from “Sports Stream HD”, led by director Roy (the marvellously impatient Cooper Bibaud), to figure out that Reggie and Maurice will never progress beyond rolling around on some wet mattresses in mom’s backyard, built on a training regimen that’s unusually heavy on PS4, weed, and bullshit.
Eventually, an exasperated Jared calls Reggie’s bluff and puts up the cash to send them both to wrestling school, which actually goes better than anyone expected—for Maurice, at any rate, leading to a post exam party at drug dealer Roy’s (Kevin Hui) waterfront condo that naturally gets way out of hand and sends the film’s already twitchy cringe-o-meter well into the red.
This isn’t anything we haven’t seen before—besides the game participation of ECCW performers like Scotty Mac—but it’s all done remarkably well, with no time wasted between zingers.
Mac in particular never squanders the chance to double-down on Reggie’s pretzel justifications for his wasted lifestyle, igniting a sort of low rumble of hilarity that Heel Kick! manages to sustain for the rest of its running time, between otherwise lunatic non-sequiturs (Reggie’s book tattoo, for instance) and a deeper understanding of its characters—like the double-edged wrestling moves Reggie compulsively puts on his flustered mom.
These guys are natural comics, if not natural grapplers. Cue it up between Fubar and a 35th anniversary screening of Bob and Doug McKenzie’s Strange Brew, and make sure you stick around for the credits. Otherwise you’ll never find out what a “metapause” is.
HEEL KICK! is available now on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and several other VOD platforms.