This isn't as much a review as a look at a reality. We all get old, or at least the lucky ones do. Even our heroes age, lose that step, find that they are human. Legends who get old have the hardest time dealing with that fact, and those that live off of legends are some of the worst humans on Earth. This is the world in which the documentary short Superfly is set. it looks at the life of a former superstar, Jimmy Superfly Snuka, in his late 60s and still working sows in from of small crowds at fairs and in tiny high school gyms.
If you thought The Wrestler was not believable, watch this. THIS is reality for so many 1970s and 80s pro wrestlers.
There are a few ways to look at this. It is the story of a man trapped. He's always going to be trapped in the 1980s, always the man who leapt off the top of the cage onto Don Muraco. He's always going to be the inventor of the Superfly Splash. He could have been Hulk Hogan, could have carried the WWF into Prime Time, but drugs, issues with women, and the strong possibility that he killed his girlfriend, all added up against him, and perhaps created the fall.
Here, we open on a fairgrounds where there's wrestling, and Snuka makes his way tot he ring. He has a terrible match. He can't move with any fluidity anymore. We then encounter Snuka in his life on the road away from the ring, and then the boys in the back (well, outside some trailers, it seems) and we meet Jimmy Snuka.
This is one of those films that understands how to frame a face. Close-ups on Snuka as he goes over a match layout, smoking a cigarette, cutting a promo to the camera, saying how he's going to thrive off the crowd. It's hard to tell if he's working us, if this is him continuing the act he's been a part of for 40 years, live the gimmick. The way it's shot, we're supposed to be questioning that. He's framed in a way that is intimate, that speaks of hard reality, but Snuka is treating us like we've bought a ticket, taken our seat in the front row. This isn't Beyond the Mat, but it's also not The Wrestler, it's some sort of brackish slough connecting the two. This is a powerful document, not only of Snuka, but of what it means to live two lives simultaneously, and to perhaps forget which one you're in from time to time.
Klaus at Gunpoint
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