Shitty Movie Sundays: Wrecker (2022)

Outsider filmmakers with a dream are the best kinds of filmmakers. These are the folks who get it into their heads to make a movie regardless of massive obstacles. All the things that make filmmaking difficult are mere challenges to overcome, annoyances to bypass. What requires a small army to get done in Hollywood, they do themselves. Of course, the final product betrays the humble nature of these movies, even when they are 127 minutes of bombastic insanity.

Bryan Brooks had a very limited career in film before 2022’s Wrecker, appearing in a handful of shorts and doing some work as a grip. If the internet is to be believed, Brooks had an epiphany while he was pinned beneath an 800-pound crab pot on a boat in the Bering Sea. After his shipmates lifted the cage and his lungs took in precious lifegiving air, Brooks took stock of his life and decided that filmmaking was his life’s calling. What followed was a decade of painstaking study of the craft of film before he unleashed his talents on the moviegoing public. It’s almost a superhero origin story. I don’t care if any of it is true. A little mythmaking in the b-movie movie industry never hurt anyone.

Brooks wrote, produced, edited, directed, starred, and did a whole bunch of other stuff in Wrecker. He plays John Knox, an angry vigilante who pursues criminals that slipped through the system, introducing them to a very large sledgehammer.

Knox ends up opposing the Trinitarian, a somewhat mythical Mexican cartel whose leader, Gothard (Charlie Woods), has plans for world domination. The cartel has developed a drug that turns users into mind-controlled zombies that Gothard plans to unleash on an unsuspecting public, thereby becoming ruler of the world. It’s up to Knox, and the bumbling detective who has been feeding him intel, David Knight (Carlos Madrid Mora), to stop the evil plan. Over the course of two hours, which is long for a b-movie, Knox kicks all sorts of ass, and takes a fair share of lumps, too.

My personal favorite fight scene in the movie is when Knox takes on a pair of pole dancers. And when I mean he fights pole dancers, I don’t mean that is just their profession, and they fight him in an alley or something. I mean these two ladies, Sugar and Spice (Laura Martin and Diana Diaz), fight Knox while hanging off their poles. That’s extraordinary. In fact, there are so many poles in this movie that the company Wrecker 2022 DVD boxthat provided them was thanked in the credits. The only thing more amazing than the presence of so many poles and so many women hanging off of them is that there is nary a nipple in the entire movie.

Brooks also acted as fight choreographer in Wrecker, and there are fights galore. Nary a scene goes by that doesn’t feature Knox mixing it up with someone. Whenever the plot needed to move forward, it wasn’t done with something pansy like exposition. Hell, no! It was done with some ass-kicking. Knox certainly has the physique for it. He’s a massive lump of man, and there aren’t enough biker gangs, drug dealers, or drug zombies from San Francisco to Stockton to stop him.

Wrecker is an ambitious movie. It’s objectively bad. There’s no getting around that. But, this is a type of movie here at Missile Test that we love. Brooks had a vision, and he followed it. It took the better part of ten years to make his dream a reality, but he did it. Bryan Brooks made his very own movie — one of the most difficult artistic endeavors there is. Does it matter that the story is just a cobbled together series of fight scenes? Does it matter that the sets are equivalent to what high school students slap together for the annual musical? Does it matter that the acting is b-movie quality? Does it matter that the fight scenes are more about quantity than quality? Does it matter that this movie came perilously close to earning the alt title, Douchebag: The Movie? No, none of this matters.

What matters is this movie’s watchability, and it has that in spades. This labor of love, this subpar action flick that hammers the viewer with action, this movie that comes close to flying apart in numerous spots, is shitty gold. Films like this are the reason the Watchability Index exists. It won’t be winning any awards, and the fuddy-duddy crowd won’t even be aware of its existence. This is a fun movie. That running time makes it a little tedious, but still, it’s very, very fun. Wrecker displaces Devil’s Express at #58. Check it out.

Of final note, former child actor Ryan Lambert, one of the stars of the beloved Monster Squad, appears in this movie as a rapist priest who meets Knox’s sledgehammer. He went at the role with gusto, too.

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