Lost Faith (1983)

Lost Faith is written by Joel D. Wynkoop, directed by Joel D. Wynkoop, produced by Joel D. Wynkoop, edited by Joel D. Wynkoop, and stars Joel D. Wynkoop.

It also stars Melissa, a woman with no last name.

But we didn’t come here to watch Melissa. We came here for Joel D. Wynkoop, the one true President of the United States.

There’s mayhem in a modeling agency which is definitely not in a rundown Florida strip mall. Steve (Joel D. Wynkoop) is upset and his meaty fingers are curled into white-hot fists of fury. His wife has been kidnapped and the cops are doing nothing. They stuff their mouths, wear sunglasses indoors, trample over the crime scene, and mishandle the evidence. Then they leave early to get beers. It’s clear Steve must take matters into his own calloused hands.

Meanwhile, a blonde in cut-offs runs through a muddy swamp. A ding-dong wearing fatigues attacks her and drags her back to the island compound she escaped from. The Master lords over the woman and the other lady captives. He’s got salt-and-pepper hair, a salt-and-pepper moustache, and a salt-and-pepper chest. He looks like a man shopping for drills at Home Depot, aka a dad. In case you’re wondering, he knows karate. He punches a bag, shows off his side kicks, and brandishes his nunchucks. You can tell in his younger years he was a formidable opponent. But now, saddled with a few kids and a mortgage, his punches—and his tummy—have gotten a bit softer.

After a car chase across the Sunshine State’s impossibly flat landscape, Steve gets mistaken for a guy named Thrasher. I imagine this happens often in Florida. Steve beats down some thugs, including a guy wearing glasses without lenses and another who has a two-dollar haircut. In fact, Steve quips mid-punch, “Who’s your barber?” The third thug wears a shirt with a giant red heart and a list of kids’ names. She sputters maniacally and menaces Steve with an incredibly loud and over-the-top tirade of insults. She definitely steals the scene which is an achievement because Wynkoop is usually the one doing the stealing.

One of the best scenes of Lost Faith—and believe me, there are many—is when two of The Master’s henchman have a very long and involved conversation about jock itch and athlete’s foot. Yes, that’s right; there’s an actual scene where jock itch is discussed at length. One guy plans on donating his earnings to jock itch research. I wish I could tell him a cure already exists—just change your underwear, you nitwit.

Lost Faith is an explosive, shot-on-video, dad-action epic that shows us everything Joel D. Wynkoop has to offer, namely his dedication to hard work and his roundhouse kicks. This film may be low budget, but it’s high octane. You appreciate every ounce of ambition that went into this production, from the script to the stunt work. Every single actor ratchets it up to 11; there’s yelling, sputtering, over-the-top outrage, and flubbed lines delivered with passion. There’s numskull Three Stooges comedy, lessons about God, and a cast that’s diverse not only in race but also in shape and size. The incredible final showdown feels like the championship match in The Karate Kid, only with dads. Wynkoop has always given 110%, whether he’s playing a crazed escaped killer in the Truth or Dare series or playing a crazed escaped killer in Creep. Even when he shows up in slogs like the Alien Agenda series, Wynkoop always shines. You are always guaranteed a good time if he’s involved, and he continuously pumps out work, knowing that he’ll never break even financially or even be fully appreciated. But still, he continues doggedly. He is the leader we need. Joel D. Wynkoop for president!

From the Archives