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Pushed to his breaking point, a master welder in a small town at the foot of the Rocky Mountains quietly fortifies a bulldozer with 30 tons of concrete and steel and seeks to destroy those he believes have wronged him.

Director:

Paul Solet

Writer:

Paul Solet
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Marvin Heemeyer Marvin Heemeyer ... Self (archive footage)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert Fleet ... Marvin Heemeyer reenactor)
Teresa Riley Teresa Riley ... Self - Librarian
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Storyline

On June 4th, 2004, a sixty-three-ton bulldozer, fortified with steel and concrete, systematically destroyed numerous businesses and homes in the small mountain town of Granby, Colorado. The rampage lasted over two hours and resulted in more than eight million dollars in damage. State and local police were incapable of even slowing the machine. Though it was armed with three high-powered firearms, no one but the driver was killed. His name was Marvin Heemeyer. TREAD explores the polarizing perspectives on this man, his motives, and what drove him to the breaking point. Written by SXSW

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Genres:

Documentary

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 February 2020 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tread See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,585, 23 February 2020

Gross USA:

$36,527

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$36,527
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Color:

Color
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User Reviews

 
revenge by bulldozer
27 February 2020 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. If not so tragic, this story might fit best in Ripley's Believe it or Not. What better description is there for a small town welder who builds an armored bulldozer, weaponizes it, and then takes it on a rampage of revenge, destroying the buildings, homes, and businesses of those he believe 'wronged' him? This actually happened in Granby, Colorado in 2004, and that welder's name was Marv Heemeyer.

Filmmaker Paul Solet begins the film with a recording of a 911 call and news clips of the actual events of June 4, 2004. Solet then proceeds to lay out the backstory of Heemeyer, and how things escalated to the point where destruction and suicide seemed like the only logical step to him. Solet cleverly utilizes Heemeyer's own self-recording (via audio cassette) as a framing structure for the film. Heemeyer's voice tells us what his plan was, and why he had reached this level of desperation.

Interviews are key, and we hear from law enforcement officers who were on the scene that day, Heemeyer's ex-girlfriend Trisha MacDonald, his best friend, a younger man from his snowmobile club, brothers from a family that had supposedly targeted Marv, and a newspaper reporter, Patrick Brower, who also wrote a book on Heemeyer's rampage. Actual news clips and reenactments are used to show us what those being interviewed tell. In this case, it's an effective approach.

It's particularly interesting to hear that Marv was mostly a likable guy who just bumped up against local town and county politics a couple of times. Marv was not part of the 'good old boys club' and admits to needing to "teach a lesson" to those he perceived has gone out of the way to make life difficult for him. His bulldozer was a way for him to dole out the justice that was otherwise going unserved.

This is a story of revenge told in a somewhat sympathetic manner towards Marv Heemeyer, a man who considered himself "an American Patriot." The audio tape is clearly a confession of what he planned (and later carried out), and it was clear he knew this was a suicide mission. Listening to his rants, we assume some form of mental illness was involved, and his best friend describes him as a man who 'spent too much time alone."

The video clips of the carnage, and of the many law enforcement officials on the scene - all of whom were helpless to stop the bulldozer - are captivating and difficult to watch. Fortunately, after the fact, we know that no one died that day other than the man who was responsible. Marv, a man of "righteous anger", had his day of serving justice and rare 'Bulldozer Rampage' headline knocked off the front page one day later by a much bigger story.


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