7.7/10
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69 user 101 critic

Murderball (2005)

Trailer
3:31 | Trailer
Quadriplegics, who play full-contact rugby in wheelchairs, overcome unimaginable obstacles to compete in the Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece.

Writer:

Dana Adam Shapiro (based on an article by)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 17 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Soares Joe Soares ... Self
Robert Soares Robert Soares ... Self
Patti Soares Patti Soares ... Self
Mark Zupan ... Self
Christopher Igoe Christopher Igoe ... Self
Jessica Wampler Jessica Wampler ... Self
Jeff Nickell Jeff Nickell ... Self
Frank Cava Frank Cava ... Self
Keith Cavill ... Self
Joann Cavill Joann Cavill ... Self
Robert Cavill Robert Cavill ... Self
Scott Hogsett ... Self
Bob Lujano Bob Lujano ... Self
Andy Cohn ... Self
John Bishop John Bishop ... Self
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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The voice of Birmingham's NBC 13 anchor Mike Royer can be heard during a local news piece. See more »

Quotes

Reporter: Tell us about Wheelchair Rugby.
Mark Zupan: We had been calling it Murderball, but you can't market Murderball to corporate sponsors.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Murderball (2005) 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
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User Reviews

 
Best Documentary of the 2005 Sundance Film Festival
4 February 2005 | by conman789See all my reviews

"Murderball" was the best documentary I viewed at the recent 2005 Sundance Film Festival. It won the audience award, which is what really counts as opposed to the bogus grand jury prize award (which went to "Why We Fight" - a leftist film).

"Murderball" does an amazing job of juxtaposing scenes of the quadriplegic rugby players documenting their familial environments and dealing with their personal demons, with the fast-paced, adrenaline-packed scenes of rugby. You'd have to be a robot to not be touched by the heartfelt and poignant stories - such as that of the intense Jeff Zupan (who was rendered a quad because at the age of 16 he passed out in his buddys flatbed drunk, and then his buddy went out dwi and crashed, flinging Zupan's body 60 ft. into a nearby stream, where he hung onto a tree branch for 13 hours before help arrived on the scene). The scenes of the abrasive Joe Soares are also great - documenting his family dynamic and his relationship with his bright, effeminate son.

Also included are a series of animation sequences that amazingly capture the character's dreams of flight (with all their limbs).

However, my personal favorite scenes are the rugby sequences, in particular the heated rivalry documented between Team USA and Team Canada. Joe Soares, a former quad-rugby legend for USA, was shunned at a tryout in '96, didn't make the team, and in a brazen act of defiance went to coach Team Canada against the Americans at the quad-Olympics, knowing all their plays. This compelling scenario sets the stage for one of the best documentaries you'll ever see - a triumph of the heart, and human spirit - truly inspirational.

****/****


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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

Gross USA:

$1,531,154

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,751,895
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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