SPEEDO

5 Stars
Year Released: 2003
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 80 minutes
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Lovers of the strange, of the over-the-top, of the wrecked train – your new cult hero is here and his name is Speedo.
This addictive documentary follows Ed “Speedo” Jager as he competes in the country’s biggest demolition car derbies. The competition is always fierce, but there’s always one crazy motherfucker to look out for and that’s Speedo. Speedo takes the game of demolition just a little more seriously than other drivers do, destroying everyone in his path, and winning most of the derbies, leaving a mass of pissed off drivers sitting in their smoking wrecks all around him.
But it’s not all about the derby. This is a love story as well. Filmmaker Jesse Moss is admitted into Speedo’s family life, which is always on the verge of collapse. It’s here that we learn of the bitter estrangement between he and his wife. For something like ten years, Speedo has been sleeping on the couch because he and his wife just don’t get along anymore. He rides the couch instead of bailing to find a place of his own because he loves his kids so much. He has two young sons, and in a scene where he’s sitting on the couch, his place of nightly rest, he reveals that he puts up with this loveless relationship because he thinks its important for kids to have both a mother and father around at all times. It’s his sacrifice for them and this is when you realize that this guy is more than just a beer-chugging, car-bashing doofus. He loves and cares for his kids, but he also loves someone else, and this is where the love story really comes into play. During his sentence with his wife, Speedo has found someone who actually loves him for the way he is. We watch them court for a couple years until Speedo can finally move in with her, the love of his life.
And then, of course, there’re plenty of demo derbies, too. Speedo is kinda like the new Dancing Outlaw, just less tragic, and with a bit more going on in that dome of his.
After the screening I attended, the director was present for a Q&A, and he revealed that he had no certain plans for the future of this film; he just wants it to be seen. I’m all for that, too. This is an instant cult classic for people who like to get together, drink beers and watch strange films.



Posted on August 23, 2004 in Reviews by
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