The Backyard
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As professional wrestling exploded into new heights of popularity in the 1990s thanks to stars such as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, The Rock, and Mick Foley, a new breed of amateur wrestling began to grow in its shadow -- "backyard wrestling," in which young fans would recreate the outsized personas and bloody, bone-crushing stunts of the big time wrestlers while adding a few bizarre low-budget touches of their own. The Backyard is a documentary which presents an objective portrait of the bizarre world of backyard wrestling, focusing on the folks in the ring (mostly… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Tawdriness aside, The Backyard is remarkable for the intensity of the interviewees, who show a new kind of all-American gumption in the way they filter the mannerisms of low-rung celebrities through their own geeked-out, violent imaginations."
‑ Noel Murray, AV Club
"Yes, it's hard to watch, but, like a train wreck, it's also hard not to."
‑ Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post
"It's unflinchingly honest (and unlike hysterical media reports on the phenomenon, balanced)"
‑ Luke Y. Thompson, New Times
"Eventually you realize the whole movie has been about young showoffs who think it's uproarious to gross out neighborhood grownups."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"An x-treme documentary, as riveting as a road accident and a lot more bloody."
‑ Charles Martin, Film Threat
"Those who've wondered whether TV's WWF show wrestling might have a detrimental effect on impressionable youth will gloat over The Backyard."
‑ Dennis Harvey, Variety
"What is going on here? Most would say a lot of incredibly dangerous and stupid activity, and most of the people in this documentary not surprisingly seem none too bright."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"Get reeeeeady to wince."
‑ , E! Online
"Fascinating -- everything Beyond the Mat wasn't."
‑ Jon Popick, Planet Sick-Boy
"Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! I think my brain is bleeding from watching The Backyard."
‑ Joshua Tanzer, Offoffoff
"Warped entertainment? Yes. Sophisticated? No. And that goes for the movie as well as for the participants."
‑ Janice Page, Boston Globe
"Though engaging from beginning to end, be warned that this is also harrowing, utterly depressing stuff."
‑ Chuck Wilson, L.A. Weekly
"Chances are you'll probably watch most of this documentary with both hands over your eyes, but if your curious about just what kind of insanity the kids in the heartland are getting up to these days, you won't want to miss it."
‑ Ken Fox, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"The Backyard is a very hard doc to watch, but it's as gruesomely riveting as a train wreck."
‑ Charles Martin, Boxoffice Magazine
More reviews for The Backyard on Rotten Tomatoes