Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “Documentary”

A Conversation With Vampiro

Ian Hodgkinson — better known as Vampiro, the lucha libre legend and former star in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) — has a new documentary called Nail in the Coffin: The Fall & Rise of Vampiro. Having grown up watching Vampiro in WCW, I jumped at the chance to interview Ian to learn more about his thoughts on the documentary, his career in wrestling, and more.

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You Cannot Kill David Arquette

You Cannot Kill David Arquette is a new must-see documentary that I highly recommend. “Branded as the most hated man in wrestling after winning a highly controversial WCW World Heavyweight Championship in 2000, actor David Arquette attempts a rocky return to the sport that stalled his promising Hollywood career. Dangerously determined to redeem his reputation and reclaim his self-respect, Arquette will stop at nothing to earn his place in professional wrestling.” This is the premise of You Cannot Kill David Arquette, and it’s exquisitely executed.

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Nail in the Coffin: The Fall & Rise of Vampiro

I grew up watching pro wrestling in the 1990s, which means I lived through the “Monday Night War” between Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling (WCW). There were plenty of colorful characters in both promotions, and, for a couple of years, Vampiro was one of them. Similar to the face-painted warriors who preceded him, Vampiro had a mystique about him that seemed to resonate with fans. He never became a top guy, perhaps because he was in WCW during its waning years and was never invited to join the WWF (now WWE). However, he was a lucha libre legend in Mexico. Now that he’s semi-retired, Vampiro — real name Ian Hodgkinson — is releasing a documentary through digital VOD services on September 8. Entitled Nail in the Coffin: The Fall & Rise of Vampiro, it’s a wonderful, yet tragic, film that documents the internal struggles and external injuries of a wrestler trying to break away from the business that broke him.

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Inside The Mind Of Michael Des Barres

I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Michael Des Barres three times. He’s also the first celebrity I interacted with through my blog, way back in 2012. Since then, I’ve seen him perform live in New York City and continue to enjoy his countless artistic endeavors, which are always inspired. Michael has a new documentary, and it’s a rip-roaring success! Make sure to watch it, and check out the following interview I conducted with him, where we cover a wide range of topics.

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The Resurrection of Jake The Snake

The Resurrection of Jake The Snake is one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen, and it’s easily my favorite. I’ve watched it several times and it still makes me cry. That’s how powerful it is — I know what’s coming, yet the tears always flow. This riveting cinematic experience chronicles professional wrestling legend and founder of DDP Yoga Diamond Dallas Page helping his mentor, friend, and fellow wrestling luminary, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, topple addiction over the course of 18 months. It’s a perilous journey with disheartening lows and unimaginable highs. What I love most about The Resurrection of Jake The Snake is how it perfectly captures the triumph of the human spirit. Not only does DDP inspire Jake to turn his life around, he also gets Scott Hall — another one of pro wrestling’s ticking time bombs — to move in with them at the Accountability Crib so he can also transform his life for the better. Keep in mind that these are the two pro wrestlers that people thought were going to wind up dead at any given moment. Both of these men are friends who helped Dallas get his big break, and he never forgot what they did for him. Rather than have their lives cut short by self-destructive behavior, DDP stuck out a hand and helped Jake and Scott rise above the maelstrom of sadness and pain their lives had become so they could achieve their full potential and find true happiness.

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Michael Des Barres Documentary Debuts Worldwide

Michael Des Barres has carved a path through show business and life like no other. He has played rock stars and been a rock star. He’s been a fictional DJ, and a real DJ with millions of listeners on Sirius XM. A singer with record deals over the course of five decades and an actor in over a hundred TV and movie appearances, chances are you know him and don’t know it. Michael Des Barres: Who Do You Want Me To Be? allows Michael, the son of a junkie aristocrat and a schizophrenic showgirl, to tell viewers his story from its very high highs to its very low lows (and some very high lows too). A host of eyewitnesses including Gabriel Byrne, Steve Jones (The Sex Pistols), Don Johnson, John Taylor (Duran Duran), Allison Anders, Ed Begley Jr., Pamela Des Barres, and Steven Van Zandt all join in to corroborate Michael’s wild tale. This documentary is an excellent encapsulation of a life well lived, and I highly recommend that everyone see it.

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Movie Review: Scream Queen! My Nightmare On Elm Street

Scream Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street is the best documentary I’ve seen this year and in a very long time. This film sets the record straight about the controversial sequel to A Nightmare on Elm Street, which both launched and ended Mark Patton’s acting career. This film is about him attempting to make peace with his past and embrace his legacy as cinema’s first male scream queen. Scream Queen! also finds Mark confronting the Freddy’s Revenge cast and crew for the first time, including co-stars Robert Rusler, Kim Myers and Clu Gulager, as well as Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund.

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Review: In Search of Darkness

I’m a big horror movie fan, and I love the 1980s. So, I was very excited when I heard about In Search of Darkness – a horror documentary solely focused on the 1980s. Many consider the 1980s to be the golden age of horror movies. After all, it was the decade that brought us Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Halloween sequels featuring Michael Myers, Hellraiser, Creepshow, Gremlins, The Lost Boys, and so much more. It’s also the decade when VCRs and VHS tapes became immensely popular, resulting in a wave of direct-to-video horror films for fans to enjoy. Clocking in at over four hours, In Search of Darkness covers all aspects of 1980s’ horror, and it features interviews with nearly 50 contributors. Some of these contributors include icons such as John Carpenter, Heather Lagenkamp, Doug Bradley, Kane Hodder, and Mick Garris, among others. Directed by David A. Weiner and filmed and finalized within 12 months, this documentary is a monumental achievement, especially considering this is the first film directed by Weiner.

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Movie Review: 350 Days

There have been numerous documentaries about professional wrestling over the years, including ones produced by WWE about its superstars, legends, factions, and historic moments. In addition to these highly enjoyable, polished pieces, there are gritty, reality-based pro wrestling documentaries that are more focused on providing the viewer with an intimate behind-the-scenes look at the legends they grew up watching on TV. The Resurrection of Jake the Snake, an excellent character study and inspirational story about how the power of believing in yourself can transcend addiction, was firmly created in this style. 350 Days, coming out April 2, is the newest addition to this style of storytelling, and it’s an intriguing, enlightening, educational, and, most importantly, satisfying, documentary that everyone should see.

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Movie Review: Hired Gun

Yesterday I watched a fantastic film: Hired Gun. This feature-length documentary has been screened to both critic and audience acclaim at SXSW Festival, Glastonbury Festival, MIFF, Calgary International, and Noise Pop. There was also a special one-night screening of the movie in theaters across the country on June 29. It introduces music fans to some of the world’s unsung heroes of the music industry through exclusive interviews and performances. These artists have played with a variety of music legends, including KISS, Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie, Billy Joel, P!NK, Ozzy Osbourne, Michael Jackson, Metallica, Bon Jovi, and many more.

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