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Skatopia: 88 Acres of Anarchy (2010)

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Skatopia is an Appalachian farm where hardcore skating, punk rock and hillbilly culture collide in one anarchistic, unique community. Mad-Max style demolition derbies and spontaneous car ... See full summary »
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Brewce Martin ...
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Skatopia is an Appalachian farm where hardcore skating, punk rock and hillbilly culture collide in one anarchistic, unique community. Mad-Max style demolition derbies and spontaneous car burning accompany all-night skate sessions. Pain is a badge of honor. Tony Hawk calls Skatopia a "rite of passage" for hardcore skaters. Skatopia's owner, Brewce Martin, dreamed of a place where he could live and breathe skating... a place where people forget their "outside" lives by plunging into high-energy craziness. A continual work-in-progress, this rural farm is a mecca for skaters who want to live outside society's rules. "Dictator Brewce" presides over the mayhem like a modern-day Jim Jones. But despite Skatopia's infamy, he scrambles non-stop to keep the farm solvent. Now 40, he's bent on creating a monument to freedom that will outlast him. As filming begins in 2006, Brewce hatches a slew of plans to get out of debt and build crazy new skate terrain. His infectious optimism persists even as ... Written by Russ Spencer

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9 February 2010 (USA)  »

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$600,000 (estimated)
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Fascinating
4 December 2013 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

In 1995 Brewce Martin and a group of friends bought a plot of land in rural Ohio and turned it into a Mecca for skateboarders, punk rockers and other assorted outcasts. Part hippie commune, part post-apocalyptic theme park, Skatopia is a fascinating and strange place and the perfect subject for this fly-on-the-wall style documentary.

The film takes place over six months or so in 2006 as Brewce and his band of misfits prepare for their annual Bowl Bash party. Financial troubles, fracturing personal relationships and a possible prison sentence for assault form the backdrop for a broader story about how people live on the fringes of society. By casting off the rules and limitations most of us live with these men and women (mostly men) also cast off the comforts and securities most of us couldn't live without. The film does a reasonably good job of presenting this lifestyle without bias, neither glorifying nor condemning Brewce for his choices.

The film does tend to meander a little although given the subject matter this may be appropriate. Also some may find the climactic party scenes of alcohol fuelled anarchy set to punk rock overstay their welcome. However if you're willing to go along for the ride this is a fun and fascinating look at a remarkable place and way of life.


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