By Gregory Crofton
“Tread” perfectly entertained me — think Dateline with a fantastic story, no commercials and a decent-sized budget.
The filmmakers had enough money to build a replica of Marvin Heemeyer’s customized bulldozer. They used it to recreate Errol Morris-esque scenes of this welder’s untimely end, one planned, in his mind, by God.
Was Heemeyer, a muffler shop owner who liked to snowmobile, truly wronged by the good ole-boy network of Granby, Colorado? We’re they out to get him for buying property that they wanted?
It’s difficult to say definitively, but writer-director Paul Solet does his best to tell all sides of this “wronged-man” story. I tended to believe the TV news reporter, who says Heemeyer was pretty much the biggest jerk among jerks.
It all plays out as a great American drama, possibly the greatest of all time, one that ironically ended up enriching city — maybe because of an increase in tourism? The antagonists in the doc, the Thompson brothers who run an excavation company, make this claim. They look like they’re right out of central casting.
Regardless, Heemeyer’s treaded march over select targets in Granby is breathtaking to behold. This story deserves the attention it gets. The death of former President Ronald Reagan in 2004 on the day after Heemeyer’s apocalyptic act, effectively killing off attention from the national media.
Now millions around the world will crane their necks to have a look at what Marvin Heemeyer did because “Tread” is streaming on Netflix.
Below listen to cassette tapes left behind by Heemeyer. Solet relies on portions of these audio recordings in the documentary.