The Devil at your Heels
This film is about Montreal-born stunt driver Ken Carter, who made a living by risking his life. He was born as Kenneth Gordon Polsjek in a poverty stricken neighborhood. He dropped out of school at the age of fourteen with only a fourth grade education. Carter was ambitious and decided from an early age that he wasn’t going to spend his life in a 9 to 5 job. So from the age of sixteen he began working with different daredevil teams.
In this feature-length documentary you will experience the intense five-year preparation period that preceded Carter’s first attempt to jump a car across a mile-wide stretch of the St. Lawrence River in 1976. During this time, Carter raised a million dollars, erected an impressive 10-storey takeoff ramp and built an extremely detailed rocket-powered car.
Ken Carter jumped cars for a living for twenty years. The crowd loved to see him risk his life to entertain them. They came three times a week to watch this man get into a car, drive up a ramp and then jump over dozens of cars to finally land and crash the vehicle he was in. Carter wasn’t afraid of pain and this was obvious. He knew that his stunts would mean him getting hurt in some way, but he still kept on doing them. Even though he was in pain or even if he had just been dragged out of a beat up car, he still wanted the crowd to stay so he could extend a personal invitation for them to come back again to watch him. He performed three times a week.
At age 37, Ken was aware that he couldn’t keep jumping forever, but before retiring for good, he wanted to amaze the world. That was his dream and he went for it. He put all his money into building an extraordinary jet car with 7,500 Lbs. of thrust. World record auto jumps are measured in feet from 125 ft. up to 180 ft. But Carter wanted to jump a mile.
After choosing the spot, he sat down and evaluated all his available options including all the things that could go wrong if the trees got in the way of his landing.
Ken was aware that even though the rocket-powered Lincoln Continental looked good and had all that thrust, it lacked the power to jump for a mile. So he used his design as a gimmick to raise money. He managed to convince the press and made headlines as the ‘Greatest Daredevil Stunt of all Times.” Not bad for a boy from a poor neighborhood. Watch this film now.