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Murderball (2005)

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Quadriplegics, who play full-contact rugby in wheelchairs, overcome unimaginable obstacles to compete in the Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 17 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Joe Bishop Joe Bishop ... Himself
Keith Cavill ... Himself
Andy Cohn ... Himself
Scott Hogsett ... Himself
Christopher Igoe Christopher Igoe ... Himself
Bob Lujano Bob Lujano ... Himself
Kevin Orr Kevin Orr ... Himself
Joe Soares Joe Soares ... Himself
Dave Willsie Dave Willsie ... Himself
Mark Zupan ... Himself
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Storyline

Quad rugby as played by the US team, between 2002 games in Sweden and the 2004 Paralympics in Athens. Young men, most with spinal injuries, play this rough and tumble sport in special chairs, seated gladiators. We get to know several and their families. They talk frankly about their injuries, feelings in public, sex lives, competitiveness, and love of the game. There's also an angry former team member gone north to coach the Canadian team, tough on everyone, including his viola-playing son. We meet a recently injured man, in rehab, at times close to despair, finding possible joy in quad rugby. After Athens, the team meets young men injured in war: the future stars of Team USA. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Dream. Believe. Achieve.

Genres:

Documentary | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

ThinkFilm [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 August 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gyilkos labda - A kerekesszék harcosai See more »

Filming Locations:

Alexandria, Virginia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,750,211 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$57,286, 10 July 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,523,883, 2 October 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Keith Cavill was discovered at a rehabilitation center. See more »

Quotes

Andy Cohn: When people in the community see you in a chair they kinda treat you like you're made of glass or that you're fragile; things like that. But, in wheelchair rugby, it's kinda like high speed bumper cars.
See more »

Connections

References Mad Max (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Thieves
Written by Al Jourgensen, Paul Barker, Kevin 'ohGr' Ogilvie (as Kevin Olgilvie) and Chris Connelly (as Christopher Connelly)
Performed by Ministry
Published by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI) o/b/o itself and Spurburn Music (BMI)
Courtesy of Sire Records
By Arrangement with Warner Strategic Marketing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Nutshell Review: Murderball
15 July 2006 | by DICK STEELSee all my reviews

Murderball is a sport otherwise known as Wheelchair / Quad Rugby. Played by quadriplegics, it is a 4 on 4 rugby game on wheels, which requires plenty of strength, speed, and that armoured wheelchair which almost doubles as a kind of bumper car as the sportsmen battle it out for supremacy on a regular basketball court.

This documentary showcases the game from both the points of view of Team USA and Team Canada, highlighting the intense rivalry between them, with Team Canada inheriting a disgruntled ex-Team USA star player Joe Soares, who's now their head coach. Naturally when you have someone who knows your team strategy and know it inside out, is a cause for concern, as Team USA seeks to continue its winning streak, with new star player Mark Zupan in its fold.

But it's not just about the game, or just the preparation for the Paralympic Games in Athens 2004. In its compact 85 minutes, we get introduced to the key players like Zupan, and go behind the scenes to see what makes them tick, as well as their backstories on how they have become confined to a wheelchair. Not everyone is born without limbs, and for most, it's usually an accident, or a disease. Family ties are given equally adequate screen time, as support for these folks, as do any other sporting professional, is as important, especially after facing a huge loss while representing the country.

It's a bit hilarious as they account for the stares and innocent requests of help extended to by strangers, and you've got to salute these guys' strength, independence and confidence that comes with the sport. Besides the game, they do go around the country to inspire others who have recently suffered the same predicament of being in a wheelchair, to advise that it's not a lost cause.

And while they reminisce about how they had to adjust to their condition, I suppose the common question they all had was, does their woody still work. And surprisingly, it's this curiosity amongst chicks that actually assist them in snagging them, ha! But light hearted moments aside, it's almost always never easy in picking life back up again, as everyone harbours the dream that one day, they will walk again.

For those who have followed the team's exploits in the previous Athens Olympic Games, will already know the outcome of the game. Done in MTV styled quick cuts with adrenaline pumping music, the games shown in the documentary don't bore. But as the cliché goes, it's never about the destination, but about the journey. Best wishes to all the athletes competing in Beijing 2008!


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