April 24, 2012
John Mallory Asher
Aaron Paul as Rick
Justin Allen as Deputy Riley
Mike Erwin as Jared
Kelly Kruger as Jessica
Roger Perry as Sheriff Macabee
Cameron Richardson as Kate
WreckageDon’t you hate it when the lines between soap operas, made-for-TV movies on the Lifetime Channel, SyFy original movies and indie horror cease to exist? Me too; there are times when horror movies are made simply to get a movie out there, rather than for the love of expression and the genre. That sounds a bit “holier than thou” I know, but there needs to be a bit of joy and passion if a film is to have an impact – a few lines of reasonable dialogue wouldn’t hurt either.
Once upon a time two young boys were watching TV while their drug addict white trash mother waited impatiently for her (very) stereotypical drug dealer boyfriend to arrive with some white powder to make her life bearable. When the boyfriend gets violent with the kids over the remote control, one of the youngsters finds a loaded gun and kills both the dealer and the mother. Cut to present time, and Jared.
Jared (Mike Erwin) is back from his tour in the Middle East and spends his time working on his hot rod and romancing the lovely Kate (Cameron Richardson). He and Kate are going to be married, and they set out on a drag race down a country road to celebrate, accompanied by friends Rick (Aaron Paul) and Jessica (Kelly Kruger). Unfortunately Jared loses the race when his rod busts a belt, and he insults his opponent enough to get himself and his friends stranded in the middle of nowhere. Luckily there is a junkyard nearby, and one of those beat up vehicles is sure to have the belt he needs to get the crew back on the road. When Kate is accidentally shot while Rick is messing around with his gun, Jared runs back to town to bring the keystone cops around to chase down an escaped murder. Yeah, forgot to tell you that part – it’s all over the radio that a murderer is on the loose, and we think it’s that kid who killed Mama White Trash and her beau.
As convoluted as it sounds, the story in Wreckage is not half bad. It’s the dialogue and actions that make no sense. First off the cops are completely moronic and do stupid things like turn over their guns to the ex soldier randomly, and completely accept that he’s going to head out and start killing anyone he can see. You know, that doesn’t even cover it – there are some very stupid happenings in this film that are quite a distraction.
The production quality is very soap opera/movie of the week, having that “quality” that I’ve tried to write about many times unsuccessfully – that kind of over-lit direct to video non-lush quality, making every scene look a bit like an episode of “Who’s the Boss?” staring Judith Light and Tony Danza. I don’t know what the cause of this “quality” is, but every SyFy original movie has it, and Wreckagehas it. When I produce my first film, I guarantee I will discover what is behind this particular phenomenon and ensure that I don’t do that.
In terms of acting performances, it’s difficult to tell because the dialogue is so bad. My first instinct was that the acting was horrible, but upon closer inspection that may not be the case. An actor can deliver the most compelling performance of the decade and it’s still going to look bad if what is coming out of their mouths is ridiculous. The male leads are actually pretty good, considering, and the gunshot wound afflicted Kate is played by Cameron Richardson – who I decided I was in love with after watching her in the TV mini-series “Harper’s Island”. She’s really great in this film, but I image she could bring me to tears reading the phone book.
Wreckage alternates between being so completely ridiculous that it’s unwatchable to having moments where the story actually grabs hold. That hold is short-lived though, and that’s the roller coaster ride of this film. At the end of the day the film just comes off as joyless.
As the plusses and minuses are tallied out, the nays have it 2:1.