Thursday, 29 January 2009

Vampiro: Angel, Devil, Hero

Dir: Lee Demarbre (Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter)
Documentary on the wrestler Vampiro (Ian Hodgkinson)

Reason to see: A documentary about a guy from Thunder Bay that goes on to be a huge wrestler in Mexico? You couldn't stop me from seeing it.

One of the analogies made in Vampiro: Angel, Devil, Hero is that if wrestling is fake, then music is also fake. Plans are made ahead of time, and the audience is aware that it is a performance. I kept running this idea through my mind trying to decide if I agreed. What I initially got stuck on was that in music you know what is going to happen, in wrestling you don't. Then it hit me - is that true? Do you or don't you know who will win? I think you do, and the answer come courtesy to the two French Canadian guys who sat behind me one day many moons ago at Maple Leaf Gardens when I watched wrestling live for the very first time. Every single match these two rowdy guys cheered for 'the other team' and every single time 'the other team' lost. Of course you know who will win in wrestling. The mystery is how it will unfold.

That mystery carries the tempo of the film, as you watch you don't know how this story will unfold and what secrets will surface. How does Vampiro go from being a hockey player from Thunder Bay to a wrestler in Mexico sporting a devil-like look? You wouldn't believe me if I told you all the twists and turns along the way. The film creatively recounts the tales with interviews from friends and family cut along with the stories from Vampiro himself and just as some of the best stories in life are, the two versions aren't always the same. We also get to come along for the ride during wrestling matches in Europe as well as see the workins of a hopeful debut promotion in Mexico, all set to kick butt music and featuring freaking awesome matches. Behind the scenes, the realities of the wrestling world and personal lives are told with an honesty that ranges from humorous to shocking, reminding us all that there is a history behind the different faces we show to the world and also how extreme opposites can co-exist. An fascinating journey.

Vampiro: Angel, Devil, Hero is playing this Friday January 30 and Saturday January 31, 2009 at 9:30 PM at The Royal, 608 College St, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

See more about the film at the Official Website

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'll watch it again
I recommend it

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© Shannon Ridler, 2009

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