Sunday, 7 June 2009

Wrestling Then & Now: The Movie - DVD Review

Some of you reading this may know the name of Evan Ginzburg. He’s the editor of Wrestling Then & Now, a fanzine that has been going for nearly twenty years. He’s an author, his biography, Apartment 4B, Like In Brooklyn received a number of great reviews (including from yours truly). He was also an associate producer on one of the most critically acclaimed films ever, Mikey Rourke’s The Wrestler. Now he’s back with his own documentary.
Wrestling Then & Now: The Movie, originally filmed in 2002, sees Ginzburg team up with underground film director Dwayne Walker, and sees Ginzburg talk about and investigate the love of his life - professional wrestling. With Walker in tow Ginzburg talks to both veterans and up-and-comers about various aspects of the business, from the likes of indy stars “Lowlife” Louis Ramos and the Mambo King, to grizzled veterans such as “Dr. Death” Don Arnold, Walter “Killer” Kowalski and Nikolai Volkoff, as well as a pre-TNA Homicide.

While this isn’t exactly the best made film ever to be released, but it certainly is interesting. Ginzburg comes across as highly knowledgeable about his chosen subject, and those he interviews come across very well. But it’s the rough-and-ready aspects of the film that may not appeal to some people, that and the fact that the film is just under an hour long. If would have been nice if we could have heard more stories, especially from Volkoff, the best interviewee in this piece.

Wrestling Then & Now: The Movie is really one of those love it or hate it affairs. Some will love it for the chance to see some legends talking about the business, but others will hate it for the reasons I’ve just mentioned. Me, I feel like I’m caught in the middle. Maybe now this film has seen the light of day, Ginzburg and Walker will consider a lengthier follow-up. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait another seven years though.

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