United Film Fest 2013: ‘Sadermania’ Review


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Release Date: TBD
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Score: 6.5/10

Think of your all-time favorite celebrity be it an athlete, an actor or even a diplomat. Now can you imagine what it would be like to have a close, personal friendship with that person? It’s hard to imagine if you’ve never been around celebrity. Why would someone like that want to have someone like me for a friend? People would probably ask the same question. Director Adam Gacka looks at one such friendship that developed over the course of several years between a die-hard fan and an iconic athlete and action hero.

As a young boy Chris Sader was a die-hard wrestling fan. In particular he was a huge of fan of the Immortal Hulk Hogan. As a boy he had snuck out to see Hogan wrestle. He became physically shaken after Hogan lost the championship. He was just a huge fan of the wrestler and what he stood for and in particular his mantra of eating your vitamins and saying your prayers. Over the next few years he would have the opportunity to meet Hogan and he had made an impression on his idol. Sader would have more meetings with the Hulkster on the road but every time you think things are going to get awkward they don’t. Sader is a likable guy and Hogan recognized that this kid isn’t some stalker but a very pure and sincere person. This documentary follows not only Sader’s wrestling career on the independent circuit, his character based on Hogan, but how these two men grew closer and tighter and have created the one of the unlikeliest bromances known to man.

Despite recent events in his life this documentary humanizes Hogan, Terry Bollea in real life, who truly appreciated his fans and believed in his message. It was a different time so who knows if these two would have been friends if it were in another era. Of particular note is how these two truly supported each other in the most trying and hardest times of their lives. It’s a genuine and tender friendship that you see developing between Sader and Hogan. It’s this friendship that pulled them both back from the abyss.

While sentimental by nature the documentary doesn’t get excessively cheesy. There are some amusing animations to show events in Chris’ life. The best one being of Hogan tooling around town in Chris’ personal car. Jimmy “Mouth of the South” Hart and Hacksaw Jim Duggan make an appearance. We meet his family and see him in action as a wrestler who has become a fan favorite. In addition we get to see a story arc played out in the ring from beginning to end. It’s a heartfelt piece about following your dreams and the bonds we make in our lives even if it is with a larger than life celebrity.

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