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Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist (1997)

Bob Flanagan , Sheree Rose , Kirby Dick  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Bob Flanagan, Sheree Rose, Kathe Burkhart, Kirby Dick, Rita Valencia
  • Directors: Kirby Dick
  • Producers: Sheree Rose, Kirby Dick, Dody Dorn
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: September 23, 2003
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AKY42
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,316 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Subtitled "The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, supermasochist," this film by director Kirby Dick, starring Bob Flanagan and Sheree Rose wona a special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, also a pricze at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
(15)
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "His CS Woulda Killed him If it Weren't For S&M!" December 15, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
That's not only a theme of this movie, it's part of the lyrics that self-proclaimed (and with good reason)"super-masochist" Bob Flanagan cheerfully sings at a lecture/performance-he did a pretty witty re-working of the "Supercalafraga..."etc song from Mary Poppins. Did I mention he's wearing a little costume including a cape when he performs it?
Yep, Bob Flanagan had a pretty good sense of humor. That was one of the pleasant surprises of this movie. When I first heard about this movie, all I heard about was the hammer scene. I also had skimmed the RE-search book, and looking at some of the really extreme mutilations to areas of his body I would rather not name, I actually figured he was slightly disturbed. I'm pretty liberal and am of the opinion that what 2 consenting adults do, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else against their will, is their own business. I thought, because of his CF combined with this serious torture that he either was suicidal or hated himself. I also wondered about his relationship with his dominant/lover/partner of 15 years, Sheree Rose, hoping that it was loving and she wasn't just using him.
I was glad that this movie proved my pre-conceived notions wrong. This is a very intelligent, sane, witty, talented, likeable, and above all, VERY brave guy who happened to enjoy being beaten and tortured sexually. The movie explains-without preaching- that he actually gained strength from his activities. (according to statistics, most CF sufferers die in their 20's. He lived till his early 40's (actually a record)and says his sex life kept him going. He figured for one thing, he had nothing to lose. For another thing, CF is a very painful disease, and he chose to use S&M as a way to take control of his pain and disease.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brave And Severely Disturbing June 19, 2004
Format:DVD
It takes a certain kind of brave and twisted person to turn his life and body into an S & M performance piece. Bob Flanagan is both sick and brilliant. Flanagan survived cystic fibrosis until the age of forty-two - a very long time. He attributes this to constantly inflicting pain on himself relentlessly over the years. His dominatrix partner Sheree, helps him with is goals. The various scenes are sometimes spliced with dark humor and other times simply shown in their bleak gruesomeness. There is nothing that Bob and Sheree have not done to him to inflict pain in the most disgusting ways possible. It's an entirely different world and it takes a strong stomach to watch. Bob specializes in abusing his penis in ways unimaginable, including a scene with a hammer, a nail and a board - there is blood. The most amazing part of this documentary is when Bob and Sheree take this `performance art' to various museums in New York and Los Angeles. Bob allows himself to be raised by his feet, pierced, shackled and naked, high above the museum goers heads. It is disturbing. If you have an interest in the S & M/bondage world, you might find this interesting, but the scenes are so graphic and sometimes overwhelming in their intensity, it can be hard to stomach. This is a perplexing film.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest and Inspiring November 24, 2006
Format:DVD
This is far from a simple story.

I have a very small, miniscule glimpse of what it's like to live in pain on a daily basis. After watching this mans story I realize I have nothing to complain about and so much yet to experience and learn.

I will never want to participate in S&M sexual behavior. I'm just not programmed that way. I didn't, however shudder away from the sights on the screen while Sheree, Bob's lover and partner of 15 years, poked needles through the skin of his scrotum and while Bob hung by his ankles and choked on his disease. He had Cystic Fibrosis. The most difficult part of the documentary was watching him die. It is in your face death, and death of the worst kind. He drowned in his own phlegm and fluids.

But he lived so incredibly hard and his way, with what seemed like no apologies or regrets. This documentary shows a humor of the sickest and smartest kind.

I remember being a young girl, maybe 9 and watching a "Hallmark Movie of the Week". It was called Alex: The Life of a Child. I later found out it was actually based on a book written by her father, Frank Deford. I was so moved by this story and didn't understand at that age why someone as old as me had to die from having a cold. I didn't understand Cystic Fibrosis or what it actually did to the body, but I never forgot the movie or the disease and eventually read the book. When I read about SICK, the documentary, I had to get it. I'm morbid in my own way I suppose. I'm curious about things that a lot of people wouldn't dare read or watch or even talk about, so this was right up my alley. Had I known I was going to become so entranced by Bob I think I would have chosen not to watch. Only because you see this sick but Alive man die...
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FUNNY, SHOCKING, PROFANE, PROFOUND, BEAUTIFUL September 24, 2003
Format:DVD
SICK (Lions Gate) is a caustic, brilliant, funny, compassionate look at the life and death of comedian Bob Flanagan, who embraced S/M to manage the pain of cystic fibrosis. You will be shocked and amazed and moved to tears of laughter and sadness all at once. This edgy, arty, documentary record of a performance artist with something deeply meaningful to say about the ironic paradoxes of pain and pleasure, and the unexpected gift of life and certain death is not for everyone. So open your mind, see it, and be a better human.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A SURPRISING LOVE STORY
I bought this movie years ago after seeing this guy in the NIN video. It's easy to place judgement on what you see here because of the cover. Read more
Published on April 30, 2011 by Getting The Good Stuff
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique...
There's some disturbing images in this film depending on where you're coming from, but an interesting and poignant film, nonetheless.
Published on April 4, 2010 by flandog
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly touching.
Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist (Kirby [director's name censored for Amazon consumption], 1997)

One of my least favorite movies of all time... Read more
Published on March 25, 2008 by Robert Beveridge
4.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the Most Apt Title For a Movie Ever
Man, this movie makes for some truly harsh watching, yet Flanagan is a stunningly fascinating man. It's just hard to believe this is the same man shown in the clip of "The Steve... Read more
Published on January 23, 2006 by Danna F. Copeland
3.0 out of 5 stars Look between Bob's leg! He's sporting 'wood'!
If you are having trouble 'getting wood', just nail some on like Bob does.
Published on October 2, 2005 by Mondo Vendo
3.0 out of 5 stars I didn't want to like it but...
I couldn't help feeling for Bob, watching him die made me cry.

The movie has some VERY graphic scenes, but his humor and stories make it worth it.
Published on November 25, 2004 by LoLo
5.0 out of 5 stars Irony of Expression
First of all, this is a beautiful film in the way that Zwigoff's biopic Crumb is beautiful and sublime. Read more
Published on April 12, 2004 by Frank Henson
5.0 out of 5 stars it was a good date movie
I saw Sick during its theatrical release with the man who is now my permanent boyfriend , we shared an immediate appreciation for the bizzare nature of the movie and I realized... Read more
Published on December 8, 2001 by Kurt Nelson
5.0 out of 5 stars sick and sicker
Upon watching the movie sick, I came to an all out conclusion of all other movies I had seen in the past. Read more
Published on December 3, 2001 by Susan Bizecki
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