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  • Thursday, December 08, 2005


    Murderball: Crips on Adrenalin

    I recently saw Murderball on DVD and liked it. If you're offended by the use of "crips" as a label for the quadriplegics in the film who play "Quad Rugby," I beg to differ. Other quads might take umbrage but I'd lay good odds those profiled in the film would find it funny or else they'd let you know in no uncertain terms. And if you call them handicapped to their face, I suggest being out of their arm's reach because they would likely beat you up.

    This sort of film often gets tagged with words like "inspirational" or "uplifting" because many "able-bodied" people are used to thinking of these folks as victims. Murderball portrays them as fierce athletic competitors, more akin to extreme sports players than helpless victims of fate.

    Mark Zupan (centrally pictured in the poster graphic) is pretty fierce. The DVD features a get-together between him with a couple other quads from the film and the MTV Jackass crew. If you're not familiar with Jackass, suffice to say that John Waters calls it the most homoerotic show on TV. It's just a bunch of guys inflicting pain on each other for the audience's amusement. Watching Zupan trading blows with Steve-O in a competitive black-eye giving contest provides a surreal reality check. Zupan gave better than he got and won easily in my opinion.

    That's the point. By the end of the film, you don't see these guys as limited or defined by their injuries. You see individuals grabbing life and shaking it hard. They are the kind of guys you want to sit down and have a beer with and shoot the breeze. Watch out for the practical jokes though.

    Just see it. You won't be disappointed.

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