Sunday, 16 September 2007

Wrestling Queen - Film Review

This review is once again proof that if you look for something hard enough you’ll find it, which is why I always keep an eye on E-Bay for classic wrestling from the sixties and seventies, and this is how I managed to find a copy of the 1973 wrestling documentary “Wrestling Queen”.
The wrestling queen in question is the late Vivian Vachon, younger sister of Mad Dog and Butcher Vachon, who, at the time of filming, was venturing across the Canadian border to wrestler in America for the first time.

Release at a time when kayfabe was alive and well, and the door was often closed to outsiders, this documentary gives us a very interesting look at the wrestling business of the early 1970’s. However, the title is somewhat misleading, as Miss Vachon is only featured in very small segments, as the majority of this film shows in-ring action from the likes of Killer Kowalski, Andre the Giant, Bill Watts, Blackjack Mulligan and more. Some of the stars also give their views of the wrestling business backstage, although for obvious reasons they don’t give away any of the tricks of the trade.

Possibly the most entertaining parts of the film are segments featuring the fans, some of them showing that they can be just as passionate as their 21st century counterparts. Some of them would even put ECW fans to shame.

However, although, by 1970’s standards, the film is well produced and well directed, I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed by it all. Professional wrestling will always be, for many, a male dominated industry, and it would have been nice to see extended segments with Miss Vachon talking about life on the ride, or giving some insights into what it’s like being a woman in the wrestling business in the 1970’s. But all we got from here were highlights from one of her matches, and scenes of her putting her make-up on.

But perhaps the problem is that this was released at a time when the wrestling business was a closed shop. If it was made today, it would certainly be more insightful.

Normally, I would give out information about where you can buy your copy of this film. You’d probably have a great deal of trouble trying to find this on video, and you definitely wouldn’t find it on DVD. So, if you keep an eye out on sites like E-Bay, as well as car boot sales and second hand shops, you might get lucky.