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July 25, 2013

Movie Review: Skull World (Blu-ray, 2013)

There's really nothing better than a documentary that truly goes a different route than the norm. Many filmmakers, whilst doing a documentary on a subject are just content on you something you already have some knowledge on. That’s boring though…gimme something unique.  Once in a while you get hit upside the head with a giant cardboard hammer of a movie that enlightens you to a society that you never knew existed, much like the Braveheart-esque battle antics of "Box Wars". This isn't the "medieval tap your sword on a guy and he's dead" douchebaggery in a park, these are balls-out battles, that can get pretty physical. Welcome to Justin McConnell's Skull World, if you dare!

Skull Man (AKA Greg Sommer) is a celebrity of sorts in the Toronto area, putting on Box War battles, while donning elaborate cardboard costumes, and his signature Skull Man mask .Box Wars is pretty much an underground sport that originated in Australia. Sommer is on a mission to make box wars bigger than life in any way possible, bringing in friends, putting time in the weight room curling his dogs...whatever it takes, because this guy is "metal" and lives his life to the fullest.

Thanks to a pretty cool mom, the thirty-something Sommer's Skull Man / Box Wars empire is neatly situated in his mother’s basement. Here he creates some shockingly elaborate and quite cool costumes that he then uses for the shows. At one point in the documentary Sommer puts together a Box War battle for a bachelor party. No titties, just dudes in cardboard. Director McConnell even infuses himself in the mix with excellent voiceover guiding us into Skull Man's world, and even participating himself.

Skull World is absolutely one of a kind; it's also very humorous watching everything unfold. Possibly the biggest shocker for me - it has some real heart. Sommer is a firecracker, but he seems a like a very good person and not just the growling persona he created in Skull Man. At one point, Sommer becomes emotional after talking to his dad about the shows and how well things are going. It's very real, not sappy or manipulative stuff either which can be very annoying in documentaries.

This Warrior Edition of Skull World on Blu-ray is loaded with extras - you get two audio commentaries, one with McConnell and Greg Sommer and the other with the man himself, Skull Man. There are also a ton of deleted scenes to add some extra enjoyment to what really is already a solid disc.

Skull World is without a doubt the best documentary that I’ve seen this year. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry…hell you might even start up your own Box Wars battle in your own backyard. Highly Recommended.

Purchase Skull World here --- Skull World 

If you'd like to hear more on our take of Skull World please listen to Cinema Head Cheese: The Podcast #105 !

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