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The Smashing Machine (2002)

 -  Documentary | Sport  -  May 2002 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,349 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 7 critic

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Mark Coleman ...
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Dawn Staples ...
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...
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Eddie Goldman ...
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Ken Shamrock ...
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Igor Vovchanchyn ...
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Genres:

Documentary | Sport

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Rated R for violence, some language and drug content | See all certifications »
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May 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Smashing Machine: The Life and Times of Extreme Fighter Mark Kerr  »

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Trivia

The original title of this movie was "The Specimen". That was Mark Kerr's original nickname and it was the title with which the movie was presented at the 2002 Tribeca Film Festival. It was change to "The Smashing Machine" once it was picked-up by HBO. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A facinating look into the life of a gladiator....
12 January 2003 | by (Asheville NC) – See all my reviews



As a big fan of Pro Wrestling, Mixed Martial Arts and No holds Barred fighting I must say that out of all of the truly great behind the scenes documentaries this may very well be the single most well paced and perfectly executed one of them all. Centering around the road to the Pride fighting championship tournament in 2000 it leaves few stones unturned in its portrayal and career demise of a very promising fighter in Mark Kerr. The soft spoken and polite Kerr was quite a magnificent grappler in his day, but once the reality set in that as an amateur he would make little money to sustain his life he turned to MMA after his good friend Mark Coleman (who is also prominently featured in the film, though to a lesser extent) recommended it. The Trials and tribulations he endured that led to him ultimately quitting MMA is well documented, drawing you into a world of addiction, withdrawal and diluted desire. Its sad to see what Kerr gave up for his future wife, but perhaps it was never meant to be as his heart never truly seemed to be into it anyway. Along the way you meet several different MMA stars he would share his fame with, such as his trainer the damn near unstoppable MMA LEGEND Bas Rutten. On the flip side you see the redemption of Mark "the Hammer" Coleman as he fights to rebound from the humiliating UFC loss to Maurice Smith he endured 2 years earlier. Seeing these men in such a different light is a sparkling reminder of just how human they really are (such as Coleman obvious love for his children), and subsequently how prone to human error they are as well. Watching Kerr hit rock bottom due to his Pain Killer addiction is a sad sight, but after all the pro wrestling and combat sports health issues and deaths it has to be seen. Perhaps someone will finally wake up and clean up an industry that has long needed cleaning... perhaps not. No harm in hoping though. In closing I have to say this film is must see viewing for MMA/Wrestling fans and a perfect example of how to document an individual without compromising their dignity. Highly recommended.


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