The Cyclone, The Freakshow, The Mermaid Parade: all Coney Island icons. But for Chris “Wonder” Schoeck, the legend of the Coney Island Strongman has always been the purest source of child-like fascination. Working as a personal trainer but searching for a place in a world in which he has yet to find his niche, Chris sets his sights on joining a mix of living legends and young aspirants who seek to ride the latest cultural wave straight to the boardwalk.
Director Dave Carroll’s moving documentary follows the sweet, unassuming Schoeck as he attempts to parlay his extraordinary strength into a stage career, despite his debilitating shyness and aversion to performance. Training with the elite group of men who, using their bodily strength alone, bend, drag, twist and shred metal, Chris quickly realizes the size of the physical and mental challenge before him. In pursuit of his lifelong dream, Chris embarks on a surprisingly emotional journey, proving that growing up does not mean giving up.
Length: 93 minutes
Director: Dave Carroll
Screenwriter: Dave Carroll, Ryan Scafuro
Producer: Ryan Scafuro
Editor: John Hoyt
Associate Producer: Dave Carroll, John Hoyt
Director of Photography: Ryan Scafuro
Composer: Fernando Martinez
Cast: Chris Schoeck, Chris Rider
Cinematographer: Ryan Scafuro
DAVE CARROLL is a former commercial and film actor who studied cinematography at New York’s School of Visual Arts. He is the founder of Suspect Films, a production company based in New York City. Bending Steel is his first departure from fiction and his directorial feature debut.