The London 2012 Paralympic Games begin tomorrow and if you thought there was drama when the humans played the Olympic Games – wait till you see what the super-humans bring in the Paralympics!
If you have not yet seen the Paralympic sport of Wheelchair Rugby, which is known by the ominous [and very fitting] name of Murderball, then set your DVR to record a match and gird your loins, because these athletes are stone cold killers in competition.
I was first introduced to Murderball in 2005, via the documentary film of the same name, released by the fantastic ThinkFilm company. I was spellbound from start to finish – there’s more drama and suspense than any scripted film you’ll see.
It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Film at the 78th Academy Awards, but was beat out by the adorable and dramatic tuxedo’ed crew of March Of The Penguins.
From the Murderball Wikipedia Page:
Murderball is a 2005 American documentary film about quadraplegic athletes who play wheelchair rugby. It centers on the rivalry between the Canadian and U.S. teams leading up to the 2004 Paralympic Games. It was directed by Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro, and produced by Jeffrey V. Mandel and Shapiro. It was nominated for Best Documentary Feature for the 78th Academy Awards. Murderball was the first MTV film released through ThinkFilm as well as Participant Media.
Murderball garnered almost universally positive reviews; it currently holds a 98% ‘fresh’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus “An entertaining and gripping documentary that shows being confined to a wheelchair doesn’t mean the fun has to end.” This film is also #1 on the Rotten Tomatoes countdown of the top sports movies. Murderball also received positive reviews from Hollywood.com and Roger Ebert, who said “This is one of those rare docs, like Hoop Dreams, where life provides a better ending than the filmmakers could have hoped for.”
So, go buy Murderball and then prepare to watch the Paralympic action – just like in the film, super-rivals Team Canada and USA will be going for Gold [and each other!] – you’ll be spellbound too.
The film soundtrack, which is aptly pretty heavy, is available from iTunes.