Thursday, November 24, 2011
MEMPHIS HEAT: THE TRUE STORY OF MEMPHIS WRASSLIN' (2011)
There was a magical day I recall from when I was maybe 7 or 8 years old when, thanks to my dad, I first saw a Professional Wrestling match on TV. Already being a huge fan of comic book superheroes and monster movies this seemed like the most amazing sport in the world to my young mind. Some of these wrestlers seemed like true monsters to me back then. Guys like George "The Animal" Steele, "King Kong" Mosca, Andre The Giant and Killer Khan sure didn't look like any actual human beings I ever encountered in real life. Growing up in the New York City area in the 70's and 80's I was really only able to see the WWF programs and didn't get to watch stuff from other areas until we got cable later on. I did know about Memphis and the other promotions from all the magazines that were around back then but never got to see much of them. It was a different world before the internet made almost every obscure little thing accessible. As the 80's went on wrestling became more of a cartoon and it lost whatever credibility it had for me from those early days but sometimes it's fun to look back and remember how awesome it all seemed at the time. It's funny how the 80's were also the decade that horror films became excessively cartoonish. I guess it was something in the air.
This documentary is a really well done look at a local promotion that was more popular in that area than anything else at the time and I think even if someone doesn't know much about wrestling they would enjoy it for some of the insane stories that are told. Going from the 40's up until modern times it hits on such disparate things as the carnival days, race relations back in the old days, insane wrestling fans, greedy promoters, midget-wrestling, Andy Kaufman and tons of other wacky stuff all told by the people who went through it. If you are, or ever were, a wrestling fan this is something you will want to check out.
You can buy it here: http://www.memphisheatthemovie.com/