Bigger Stronger Faster* (2008)

PG-13  |   |  Documentary, Sport  |  19 January 2008 (USA)
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An examination of America's win-at-all-cost culture from the perspective of bodybuilding and performance enhancing drugs, as it focuses on a pair of siblings chasing their dream.



(as Christopher Bell) , , 1 more credit »
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2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Chris Bell ...
Himself - Host
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Himself (archive footage)
Lyle Alzado ...
Himself (archive footage)
Joshua Amsden ...
Ben Aukes ...
Kelly Beecher ...
Mark Bell ...
Mike Bell ...
Rosemary Bell ...
Sheldon Bell ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Sen. Joseph Biden)
Mike Blanton ...
Himself (archive footage)
Jim Bunning ...
Himself (archive footage)


In America, we define ourselves in the superlative: we are the biggest, strongest, fastest country in the world. Is it any wonder that so many of our heroes are on performance enhancing drugs? Director Christopher Bell explores America's win-at-all-cost culture by examining how his two brothers became members of the steroid-subculture in an effort to realize their American dream. Written by BSF Film

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The side effects of being American. See more »


Documentary | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material involving drugs, language, some sexual content and violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

19 January 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bigger Stronger Faster*: *The Side Effects of Being American  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$31,576 (USA) (30 May 2008)


$307,811 (USA) (15 August 2008)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Months after the film was released, Chris Bell's older brother, Mike Bell ("Mad Dog") died at a rehabilitation facility at age 37. According to the Wrestler Observer Newsletter, his death was the result of an inhalation-induced heart attack which was, "brought on by an accidental inhalation of difluoroethane, a chemical used in Dust-Off, a household maintenance product." See more »


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User Reviews

A nice surprise.
12 January 2011 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This doc outlines the current situation regarding the use of steroids as performance enhancers, bodybuilding drugs and in conventional medicine. The film does a pretty good job of outlining the facts and the pseudo-science behind some claims as well as letting us hear peoples views on steroids, where they are actually being used and to what effect.

Where this film becomes unique and interesting is in the story of our narrator and filmmaker Mike Bell. Mike is one of 3 brothers who all grew up watching pro wrestling and 80's action movies. Into their teens they became football players, then wrestlers and eventually competitive power lifters. Today, his 2 brothers use steroids to enhance their performance whereas Mike is totally anti steroids.

The agenda of the film is clearly setup as a predictable anti steroids expo but as the debate opens up the film progresses into something different and much more interesting. At times evidence is in defence of steroids and though I wouldn't go as far as to say it is a pro steroids film, it's certainly open-ended. The film itself is presented and produced really quite well. We even touch on some wider issues of genetic modification in livestock, which somehow comes out in defence of steroids as they are quite simply not to blame for these monstrous beef hulks.

Without conclusion, the film gives us a well-rounded outline of the debate as well as introducing us to some tragic and not so tragic characters along the way.

This film succeeds in entertaining and provoking debate and is really well paced. The mix of factual investigation and personal stories and interviews strikes a balance rare in documentary and quite satisfying to watch. Worth a look.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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