Wrecker film review: an endless ride to nowhere
If you've ever watched Steven Spielberg's classic television movie Duel - his debut film - and thought, "Hey, this movie would be a lot better with a couple hot chicks in it," then Wrecker could be perfect for you.
But you'd still end up disappointed.
Before I dive in, allow me to state something up front: I'm a fan of highway horrors. Anything from The Hitchhiker to Joy Ride and Duel is usually right up my ally.
They're ironically also kind of films in which there is actually very little mobility: you're going to be stuck indefinitely in a car and on a highway or deserted stretch of road while horrible shit happens.
If you saw the trailer above, it's easy to see that, just like Duel, a massive truck piloted by an unseen driver terrorises a small car on an isolated patch of highway for pretty much no apparent reason other than the fact that the car overtook the truck.
The only really significant change director Michael Bafaro makes is to replace Spielberg's wimpy businessman Dennis Weaver with two generic blonde hotties (Anna Hutchison and Andrea Whitburn).
They're driving somewhere to reach something on time - but that doesn't matter at all. All that matters is that they end up on the road and piss off some trucker, sorry, 'Wrecker', and get stuck in a world of unnecessary trouble.
And like Duel, you don't really get a glimpse of the trucker - who's defined only by the upside-down crucifix and pentagram hanging from his rear-view mirror.
Homage or total rip-off?
The film doesn't remotely manage to channel the kind of psychological terror - the loneliness and fear - that Duel provided its viewers. And when Bafaro isn't quoting Steven Spielberg's storyboard, he's staging remarkably unexciting chase sequences in which a diesel-spewing tow truck pursues the hot-red Mustang GT.
The chase scenes themselves is where Wrecker fails most drastically. And considering the bulk of the film is a chase scene, that's extremely problematic.
There are obviously huge budget constraints - made obvious by the fact that the truck and the car are barely seen together in a frame. It's one of the dullest games of cat and mouse ever witnessed.
There's nothing wrong with the acting or the way that the film's fairly limited scenes are shot. It just doesn't matter. None of it matters.
The story is almost non-existent, there's very little violence, shock value, suspense, or retribution.
I recommend you give this a miss. You've already been there and done that.