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The Backyard (2002)

  Starring: Rob Van Dam
Links: The Backyard on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD
Genre: Documentary

This movie gets: 6.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"More proof that Americans are crazy (as if you needed it)" - a review by pearly

Just because you don't have an interest in a topic, does not mean that you will not appreciate a documentary about it. And I, Nicole Perazzo, hereby solemnly swear that I do not like wrestling, and, more specifically, I do not like backyard wrestling (in fact, the things that are amplified in backyard wrestling as opposed to the Vince-McMahon-led-superstar-soapie-wrestling are the very things that make me dislike the more televised wrestling in the first place).

That said, The Backyard is an interesting documentary. Awful, cringeworthy, and mad, too. For wrestling fans, there is an interview with Rob Van Dam to get excited about; as well as the actual wrestling itself. For non-wrestling fans, there's the story of a bunch of absolutely mad fanatics who would do pretty much anything to get into the big bad world of professional wrestling. Be warned though, this is definitely not for the faint-hearted (the girl sitting next to me got up and left when one guy set another guy on fire).

The best comparison I can draw is that The Backyard is like a real-life version of Fight Club (1999). When you boil it all down, it's a bunch of guys (one girl) across the USA (one group in England) who get together to beat each other up.

The groups vary in intensity, from "ADD Dave" and his cohorts, who spend most of their time trying to run fast enough so that their capes billow in the wind, to the two brothers who are competing in a series of matches they term "The Three Stages of Hell" (one stage involves throwing your opponent (your brother) into a pit covered with a burning barbed wire entwined board (made by your mum)). The "weapons" used by various people include (but are not limited to) thumbtacks, plate glass, mousetraps, and barbed wire. I am sure that at least some of the guys featured in the doco are clinically insane, but as yet undiagnosed.

One of the things that bothered me the most about this documentary was that the one person who should have been yelling from the rafters about the dangers of backyard wrestling was less than definite about his thoughts. Whether due to the way his interview was edited or whether Rob Van Dam was just not that interested in getting his point across, he only half-heartedly stated towards the end of the film that he did not endorse this type of thing. Whether or not professional wrestling is a good thing for younger people to watch is a whole separate issue, but backyard and profesional wrestling are worlds apart, even though they share the "wrestling" title, and I think that Rob should have done more to separate what he does from what the guys of the backyard do. The gleam in some of the audience's eyes as they left the cinema was more than a little spooky.

pearly gives this movie 6 out of 10.
Review created on Tue 20 Aug 2002

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Reader comments

  1. I just saw The Backyard a week ago in Los Angeles and I've gotta tell you it's an insane, insane movie. An exciting and stunning movie. I too noticed that some women in the audience left the theater!!! What is that??? I don't think this is only a guy's movie, or a wrestling fan's wet dream...but why do women walk out of it? Overall I had a great time watching it. It's also like jackass with some really insane stuff going on. Quite amazing.

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from Film Maggot on Sun 21 Sep 2003 06:54 #

  2. Idiots doing stupid. things. This is wwwwaaayyyyy better than Jackass AND fightclub! Awesome movie.

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from John James on Thu 09 Oct 2003 17:58 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 10.00 (2 ratings)

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