By Frank Barry
Wreckhouse is a Midsummer’s Night Dream meets Deliverance when mainland carpetbaggers fall into the clutches of a tribe of traditional Newfoundland cannibals. Set in the ruins of a post-industrial wasteland, with nary a fish wharf in sight, this dark comedy examines the unreality of living in a society that smilingly markets a culture suffering political, cultural and economic genocide. A rollicking tale of made doctors, blind shamans, hungry cowboys, starved mannequins, illiterate philosophers and flesh eating folkies, it is a bold look at the madness that consumes us.
After three years running a clinic up on the Great Frozen Peninsula Dr. Thomas O’Steinway is driven made by the isolation and the hospitality of the natives. After a sojourn in a mental hospital, he jumps aboard his car desiring to flee the Island. On the way, he gets a flat tire and spends days roaming the hinterland looking for help. He chances upon the site of an abandoned mine inhabited by Sydney the caretaker. Unwashed and unpaid, Sydney lives on a discarded piece of pipe. Soon the Doctor is drugged and kidnapped and forced to participate in the strange rituals of the Wreckhousers, a cannibal tribe whose other members include Old Crow, the blind shaman, and Larky, a con artist with a taste for deconstruction. Other victims are Mr. Toenail, a hungry libidinous cowpoke and his partner, the beautiful but sinister, Miss Shapely as well as Annie, a schoolteacher traveling the world on her bicycle to raise ‘awareness.’
It all comes to a head at the folk ‘festival’ where the bizarre meets the outlandish culminating in a soup supper unlike any other.
But! Is the Doctor dreaming or is he being dreamed?