In my office, I am the Chairman of the Employee-of-the-Month Electoral Commission. The position is a huge responsibility and the award is a huge recognition, so when I give and receive the award each month, my stature is exponentially strengthened every time. It’s a classic authoritarian state – and I like it that way.
“Danny Mac and Ian MacDougall’s stoner mockumentary offers a fond study of the ‘stuck-in-your-youth’ complex…”
Needless to say, my coworkers are jealous. One guy sometimes wrings his hands and gives me the side eye, but everyone agrees he’s a creep. One day the creep had the company dog sit on my Employee-of-August award with it’s butt positioned directly on my face. Let me tell you something brother, I was not pleased. I worked extremely hard to win that award and I doubted that my boss would give me a holiday bonus if the dog’s butt had gotten all over it. So when I watched Heel Kick! I could totally relate.
Being the 17-time World Champion of your own backyard, you forget what it feels like to lose, to get hurt, to feel frustrated, to accept defeat. You become allergic to change and challenge, and you twist your life around to avoid it. You walk the long way around Little Tommy’s house because he cheated that one time and said he won even though he didn’t, fuck that guy. He sucks anyways and his mom makes gross snacks.
“Mac plays such a convincing idiot that you think it might be a genuine documentary.”
Danny Mac and Ian MacDougall’s stoner mockumentary offers a fond study of the “stuck in your youth” complex, epitomized by a montage of beer-chugging and joint-rolling as the backyard warriors profess their dedication to the sport. Reggie, played by director Danny Mac, is the typical loser. He lives with his mom and dresses like a child. His ultimate dream is “iuno Mania, and then talk shows”. Mac plays such a convincing idiot that you think it might be a genuine documentary.
The story stops short on a pretty much every subplot – the romance, the documentary film crew, the homoerotic mishap – but who cares? We get to see our hero overcome adversity and find triumph in an ending that converges with reality: a pro-am wrestling match for a real, drunk audience. Danny Mac and co-star Chris Wilcox trained with a professional company for six months, so although the film is very much a caricature of a documentary, the film and reality ran parallel. The final pro-am wrestling match served as a true test of their unscripted talent (no stuntmen!).
“Being the 17-time World Champion of your own backyard, you forget what it feels like to lose, to get hurt, to feel frustrated, to accept defeat.”
So what’s the moral of the story? Spirit shines through. Your dreams might not manifest the way you had envisioned them, but your light will be noticed one way or another. Recently I found out that my holiday bonus was not for my five consecutive Employee-of-the-Month awards, but for the pride that I display for my company and the joy that I bring to the job. Now that I understand success is not defined by awards, maybe next month I’ll let the creep be Employee-of-the-Month. Then I’ll make the dog sit on his face!
Heel Kick! comes to iTunes and VOD January 19th, 2018.
Heel Kick! (2018) Directed by Danny Mac & Ian MacDougall. Written by Danny Mac. Starring Danny Mac, Chris Wilcox, Cooper Bibaud, Matthew Graham, Pam Kearns and Naiah Cummins.
8 out of 10 Oscars