March 1, 2006
Big Men, Bigger Dreams: Australian Wrestlers (2004)
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling

Starring: Greg Heasley, Con Iakovidis, Adrian Tiatto
Written by: David Goldie
Directed by: Dimitri Ellerington

As a wrestling market, Australia is not much different than most any place on Earth: the WWE is the main draw when it comes to town (which is rarely), fans flock to the movie theatres to catch the monthly pay-per-views, and underneath that glossy upper echelon of sports-entertainment are local wrestlers grinding it out for a dream of something bigger or for the reason that there's nothing they'd rather do.

Big Men, Bigger Dreams: Australian Wrestlers documents the daily struggles and triumphs of three Aussie grapplers: Mr. Damage, The Ox, and Bully The Brawler, as well as those of their families and fans. David Michod of Inside Film Magazine writes "Big Men, Bigger Dreams: Australian Wrestlers gets behind the tough fašade to reveal a world full of charm and humour. We meet the supportive partners, anxious parents and crazed fans. We discover the wrestler's secret training techniques and learn about the finer points of choosing the right costume. In the words of Mr. Damage: 'It's just like a violent Hamlet!'"

Dimitri Ellerington was intent on making this film after attending a wrestling match for the first time in the late 1990s, and presents a story that isn't so much unique as it is comfortably recognizable -- wrestlers are a special breed, and it's no different Down Under.

Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and can be emailed at hillhouse_slam@hotmail.ca -- SLAM! Wrestling.


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