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Saturday, April 18, 2020

Review: Powerbomb

Director: Zachary Shildwachter and B. J. Colangelo
Screenplay: Wes Allen, Zachary Shildwachter, and B. J. Colangelo
Year: 2020

Wrestling and horror seem to have a tight relationship that constantly crosses between both circles. Wrestlers such as The Undertaker, Kane, and Bray Wyatt have made of horror the topic of choice to develop their characters, as well as other as Kane himself, CM Punk, Gene Snitsky, and Nathan Jones have stepped out of the squared circle to get in the world of horror cinema starring movies (“See No Evil”, “The Girl on the Third Floor”, “100 Acres of Hell”, and “Boar” respectively. 

“Powerbomb” follows Matt Cross, an independent wrestler whose talent has helped him build a healthy fanbase and seems about to break into the major leagues. However, Matt is contemplating leaving it all behind to spend more time with his family. One of his fans is not happy with this possibility and decides to take matters into his own hands to make his idol reconsider.

“Powerbomb “ is starred by Matt Capiccioni in his debut as an actor, who wrestling fans can recognize from his work under the names of Matt Cross and Son of Havoc on independent circles such as Ring of Honor and Lucha Underground, among others. In secondary roles, we have a group of wrestlers like Britt Baker from AEW and Rickey Shane Page, who has participated in independent circuits like CZW. It would be expected that with a cast rich in wrestlers but lacking actors, the acting would be its weakest point, but this is not the case, and although in some cases inexperience shows, working with topics from their day to day helps them give more authenticity to their characters. 

The character that stands out the most is that of Paul, the fan that kidnaps Matt and who is interpreted by also screenwriter Wes Allen. Paul has a few monologues throughout the movie in which Allen does a great job in his interpretation of the character and how these segments develop. However, this great work in the acting is not paired with the work in the screenplay, with a plot that suffers from pacing issues and that never gets to be a horror movie but rather a thriller and drama mix.

The most prominent flaw of the movie and that I could not overlook even considering its tight budget were the sound effects. In the initial scenes, the viewer is exposed to Matt Cross and his impressive talent in the ring, but the sound effects that accompany these scenes are more suitable for a wrestling video game instead of a real match. Together with some shots that are way too close and some detail in the way that it is edited this is where its limitations show up, fueled by the lack of experience and budget. 

“Powerbomb” is a movie made by wrestling and horror fans for wrestling and horror fans, which can seem like a small niche but is larger than what people might think. “Powerbomb” showcases the difficulties that wrestlers go through on the independent circuit but with a darker tone. The plot is interesting but slow and the acting is way batter than expected, which is good news for those wanting to see these wrestlers show other talents. One of the promotional posters shows luchadors with machetes but don’t let this fool you, this movie is more of a thriller that never gets into the horror realm and not even close to having machete-wielding psychopath wrestlers.

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