(AP) — Richard Davis was a bankrupt pizzeria owner when he got the idea for a bulletproof vest in 1969 Michigan.
Body armor was nothing new, of course, but Davis had an inkling that he could make something lighter that could be worn, undetected, under clothes. Kevlar, he’d discover, was the answer. And to prove that his invention actually worked, Davis, a former Marine and born showman, went to some extraordinary lengths: He shot himself over 190 times.
Somehow, that’s not even the wildest part of his story, which is chronicled in the lively documentary “2nd Chance,” which premiered this weekend at the Sundance Film Festival.
Utilizing new interviews with Davis, friends, enemies and ex-wives, the film charts the formation of his company Second Chance, its triumphs (saving hundreds of lives) and tragedies, including the death of a police officer after the company started using Zylon in its vest.