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"The Backyard"

Directed by Paul Hough.
Release Year:  2002 
Review Date:  11/03


You will probably have to look for this one on video, because it’s a small documentary by a guy named Paul Hough.  What’s important here is that the film takes a look at the phenomenon of backyard wrestling, which wasn’t too big when I was a kid, but nowadays...whoa!!

Over the course of 80 minutes, we get to watch footage of kids fucking up other kids with barbed wire, light bulbs, thumbtacks, and razor blades.  Naturally, there are the requisite wooden tables that must be shattered in order to show off, but we get a lot of footage here involving tables wrapped in barbed wire that are set on fire, and THEN used to break some guy’s fall.  Not for me, but for a host of middle- and lower-income kids around the country, this is the shiznit!  Characters like The Lizard, Scar, Chaos and Heartless are profiled in the film; The Lizard has real aspirations of going pro, and so we get to follow his short-lived attempt to make it to the big time:  the World Wrestling Federation, where some lowlifes become stars!

Hey, if you like watching real people bleed real blood, this one’s for you.  If you like to watch kids attempt a suplex in their backyard...with very hazardous results, this one’s for you.  If you like to make fun of stereotyped hicks as they shoot home video of their kids on fire, check this thing out.

Or, if you are like me, just sit back and laugh at the fact that at one point, Scar (with so many scars on his body that he almost can’t be looked at without throwing up) arranges a bout with a guy who calls himself The Retarded Butcher, who wears a shirt that says

“I put the ‘S’ in...retarded!”

and then the two go to a local park and start destroying each other with light bulb poles, garbage cans, and pieces of glass...and, when Scar puts thumbtacks out on one of the tables, Butcher’s mom comes by and starts groaning in the background

“Not the thumbtacks...oh God, NOT THE THUMBTACKS!!”

right before Scar throws Butcher on the table and Butcher gets about a dozen thumbtacks stuck into his forearm.

Nasty, but damn, since I know nobody got killed, I had a fun time watching.

Rating:  $9.50 Show


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09