Vancouver mockumentary 'Heel Kick' opens at Rio Theatre

A new Vancouver "mockumentary" is taking a look at the world of backyard wrestling.

Heel Kick opens at the Rio Theatre April 8 and tells the story of two friends who think if they train hard enough they can make it as professional wrestlers. They only have to overcome their total lack of talent for the sport.

"I had a cousin who enrolled in a professional wrestling school," said Heel Kick co-director and star Danny Mac, speaking about what inspired him to make the film. "We all thought he'd do really well but he dropped out after a week or two."

"I thought if he couldn't do it, imagine some of the delusional wrestling fans who watch it on TV and think they're cut out for this. That was the genesis of the idea."

Mac and co-star Chris Wilcox trained at a Burnaby gym for six months to perform the stunts in the film. They were trained by actual professional wrestlers associated with Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling.

While preparing for the film, Mac tried to keep under wraps the fact that he was training for a movie, and not an actual wrestling career.

"If you're surrounded by people who want to do this for a living and they're die hard professional wrestlers, you can't say 'you're just here to make a comedy about wrestling,' " said Mac.

While speaking with host Stephen Quinn during On the Coast, Mac said the film is a homage to the sport and all the jokes come from a place of love. 

"So far fans have said the movie is extremely respectful of professional wrestling and that's what we strived for."

Working with professional wrestlers in preparation for the film, Mac noticed similarities between his occupation as a professional actor and that of a pro wrestler.

"They want to look the very best, they want their promos to sound good, there's drama back stage before shows. I thought these guys are a lot like my actor friends."

Shooting for the film took place throughout Vancouver including the Commodore Ballroom during an actual wrestling show.

With files from On the Coast