I have seen heaven and it is the “Wrestlestock” episode of the second season of The 5th Quarter from OBB Pictures on Verizon Media’s go90.
This nine-minute episode about a three-day Wrestling Festival in the Summer of ’68 ticks off all of my comedy and wrestling boxes, as if The 5th Quarter folks had submerged me into the machine from Altered States and recorded my thoughts verbatim. Produced in fine mockumentary form, this episode features John Morrison, Joey Ryan, Damien Sandow, Rocky Romero, Ryan Nemeth, JTG, Adam Shapiro, Jon Gabrus and oh my god shut up and take my money.
I highly advise you to watch the whole thing before you read the rest of the article, because thar’ be dragons and SPOILERS.
Gabrus and Shapiro
From jump street you know you are in good hands with these filmmakers. Adam Shapiro and Jon Gabrus have been well-respected on the comedy scene for a long time, and their improv chops are top-notch. When making a mockumentary, the ability to riff extra jokes and keeping a natural feel to the characters is of the utmost importance. I knew this was going to be good even before we get to the wrestling bits. It’s like a horror comedy; you came for the blood and you know it’s going to be there, but if the jokes land, it goes from being a pleasant diversion into an instant classic.
I’m also an immediate sucker for that “washed-out, scratchy Kodachrome” look in color correction. The Hammond B3 Doors-lite soundtrack is also an inspired choice.