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The Backyard
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Backyard More at IMDbPro »

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

sick/twisted/remarkable/compelling

10/10
Author: Jason Myers (twodaysonopen) from Chicago, Illinois
28 October 2003

This is essentially kids beating the living hell out of each other for the fun of it. I expected to sit down and watch a straight forward documentary , but this film is far from it. I think there is a new wave of young filmmakers who are really daring, and this film certainly ranks up there. People in the audience were actually laughing throughout the film, and there was a huge applause at the end (am thinking this could be The Rocky Horror of Docs and screen at midnight theaters for years to come!!!) The filmmakers show a real passion for their subjects, which allows them to get close enough to them in a really subtle way. This is a world I didn't know existed and it is truly remarkable how sometimes films can present something in such a way that it takes your breath away. The scenes in Arizona are shocking, yet the scenes in England are stunning. It is also quite funny and shockingly compelling at other times. Two very high thumbs up, but not recommended for kids.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Wow!

9/10
Author: garlicbreath57 from Austin, Texas
9 April 2002

This is a really, really violent film, and I loved every minute of it. I have never been a wrestling fan but I must confess that I loved watching these guys fight in their backyards. The staple scene is shocking and the scene where the guy buys mouse-traps is hilarious. There are so many scenes that are really, really funny. I think The Lizard is awesome! and I wish him the best of luck in the future. I think this is one of the best documentaries I've ever seen

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A new type of Horror Film.

10/10
Author: Gil Garcetti (armyoflighthouse) from Orlando, Florida
15 December 2003

I'd read that the director of this loves horror films and was attracted to making the film because of the violence. What stood out in my mind after watching the film was the slow motion shots of participants carrying barbed wire. It is done very much in a style that doesn't belong in a documentary but more in an action or horror film. I actually have to applaud the director for this because it really adds a sense of excitement to what we're seeing. As a pro wrestler myself I thought I'd hate the film, but to be honest with you although I hate the subjects (no doubt in my mind that they should get professional training and sometimes professional help) I found the film fascinating and if anything too-short. It was often funny and while I could watch everything my girlfriend kept turning away. Well worth the money!

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Frightening, Funny and Fantastic!

10/10
Author: bigscarymonster2001
1 September 2003

Sometimes films speak to you softly. This one triumphantly and violently screams at you. But it is much more than a pure blood orgy. This is a profound examination of teenage life in America and the effect tv has on kids. Not only was I surprised about what I saw but I was surprised that the film doesn't blame professional wrestling for the violence. I wouldn't be surprised also if this film gets nominated for an Oscar - although I think possibly the fact that the film is about wrestling may prevent that.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

One of the years best...

9/10
Author: kalojado from Cincinnati Ohio
12 February 2003

I was lucky enough to see this movie last summer/fall, when Paul Hough himself sent me a copy to review, and I can tell you that I was not disappointed. I have seen many tapes on backyard wrestling, the kind that they sell on late night infomercials, and this is not the same old crap that they are selling you. This is a film. This film tells the stories of young hopeful "wannabe's" and what they will do to try and become the next wrestling superstars of tomorrow. With little money and lots of imagination, these kids put on their shows, sometimes in front of 1 or 2 people and act as if they are working the main event at WrestleMania in front of 50,000 screaming fans. The things they do may not be healthy, and make you squirm, but they want to prove that they have what it takes to make it in the big leagues.

I dont want to give too much away, but do keep your eye on the man named "The Lizard". His story is one of my favorites. I would like to know what he is up to these days and if he is still going after his dream. Paul Hough is a class act and has always been kind to me and deserves all the best after making such a great film. If you liked "Beyond the Mat" I think you will find this more than satisfactory. If you didn't see "BTM" give this a shot, I think you will like it. ~Brad Lee

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Excellent Documentary

10/10
Author: mark from phoenix
16 November 2002

I attending to the silver lake film festival and this was far by the best movie i saw during the whole 10 days of movies. Over 200 films played and only this one caught my mind. Its new, its bloody, and its violent. This mark my top best 10 documentaries

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Crazy taken to a new level

1/10
Author: Gargoyle26 from Largo, FL USA
6 March 2012

We all did some crazy stuff when we were young but this ensemble definitely went beyond that as the film states as it being extreme. They sure aren't thinking of the physical damage to their bodies inside and out that will most certainly cause them issues as they get older unless it kills them first. The adults in this except for Rob Van Dam were pathetic to say the least in my opinion. The only sane thing was the coming from Rob Van Dam himself and in the first "Deleted Scene" where he talked about how he first got started. Be constructive not destructive is the best policy something I remember being told when I was their age.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

a terrible wrestling highlight reel, and an even worse documentary

3/10
Author: MakoSucks from United States. California
21 January 2006

I rented this movie, after hearing Chris Gore saying something to the effect of "five stars!" on that Attack of the Show show. Well when I turned around the DVD and it showed the 3 stages of hell, well I had to buy it. Just to see the spectacle of a mother yelling at her son to drop her other son into a flaming pit.

I wasn't expecting ECW or CZW for an hour and eighteen minutes, but I was expecting at least a summarized version of what seemed to be the main highlight of this movie. Well sadly there wasn't anything like that. The 3 stages of death part happens right from the beginning, and its pretty much downhill from there. Nothing really happens in this documentary. It was pretty raw, bare and unbiased. Not a bad thing, but there is a narrator in this one. You'd expect him to have opinions on the subject of this documentary, but he doesn't. Which would of been nice to have, a message or reason for this doc.There was no real reason to have a narrator, there should of been just text explaining some of the less obvious scenes.

It doesn't really explain the lives of these wrestlers either. It shows a few moments of some dramatic scenes, which sound interesting, but the reality isn't as great as it sounds. For instance mom watching her son wrestle with light bulbs and tacks, for the first time, at a public park. instead of seeing her reaction to the wrestling, They show her reacting to the camera, instead of say a interview later on, or just actually witnessing her reactions.

Legitamit document wise, this one ain't. The source material was flimsy to begin with. Nothing truly profound or interesting really happens. No conclusion to a few of the more interesting stories, No real point or final thought to backyard wrestling, edited together badly, and its and its basically a cheap, failed rip off of Beyond the Mat.

Wrestling wise, this is pretty boring. the better bumps are at the beginning, and slowly become less amazing and shocking. If you have seen Japanese wrestling, Indie wrestling, or even Backyard Wrestling Dvds, than this wont shock and awe you. If you want wrestling don't make the same mistake I did and see this one. Go get some CZW ECW or XPW Dvds instead.

The only thing I got out of this documentary was how stupid people can be. Not for supporting self mutilation or doing dangerous stunts, but their reasoning for committing these acts. The backyarders seem stupid for wrestling. Most of them are jobless, and probably have a few issues in their head, and wrestling is a type of therapy for them. Than the supporters seem even more idiotic. Mothers basically take the whole "if ya cant beat em join em" reasoning to cope with the fact that their sons are basically killing themselves. School authority figures support their students in their dangerous stunts because its an alternative to joining gangs and to a lesser extend doing drugs, which is kinda funny since that segment took place in a rural town, where like people live 20 miles from one another. People are stupid. Thats what I extracted from this documentary.

If you want to see the reasoning and thoughts to someone brutalizing themselves in wrestling and basically what the back of this DVD promises, get UNSCARRED: the Life of Nick Mondo. Its more amazing, and interesting than the Backyard, and a lot more entertaining. Oh and its actually good.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Not for the squeamish...

9/10
Author: t adlai (tad@valleyfilmfest.com) from The fabulous San Fernando Valley, CA (L.A.)
27 March 2002

...but if you can stomach the 75 minutes, you'll be glad you did!! (I saw this at SXSW and some guy in the audience actually fainted!) The Lizard rocks!! "The Backyard" will leave you inspired -- dreams really do come true if you put your heart & soul into making them happen -- but you may need a downer from the adrenaline rush!

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Beyond The Mat 2

10/10
Author: entraptheyes from London, England
19 January 2004

For fans of Beyond The Mat this violent sequel will be welcomed with great applause. It delivers on every aspect upgrading the violence quotient to an extreme level that isn't however suitable for children. This is crazy stuff but the story of The Lizard is heart-warming and uplifting. I was gripped to the screen throughout and only wish it was longer.

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