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The Smashing Machine - The Life and Times of Extreme Fighter Mark Kerr (2003)

Mark Kerr , Mark Coleman , John Hyams  |  R |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Mark Kerr, Mark Coleman, Dawn Staples, Bas Rutten, Eddie Goldman
  • Directors: John Hyams
  • Producers: John Hyams, Frederico Lapenda, Gavin O'Connor, Greg O'Connor, Jerry McFadden
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: October 28, 2003
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000C52JT
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,748 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Smashing Machine - The Life and Times of Extreme Fighter Mark Kerr" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Exclusive new film "Fight Day" featuring Renzo Gracie
  • Five deleted scenes

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

A supercharged bloodfest for mixed martial arts fight fans, but of more dubious merit as a documentary, The Smashing Machine is a blurry, noncommittal portrait of would-be American warrior Mark Kerr, a soft-spoken drug addict who performs astonishing acts of violence for big money. A former wrestler turned extreme fighter, Kerr proves a contradictory subject--a boyish, quietly restless man who resorts to no-hold-barred savagery in the ring--in this shameless, often nauseating HBO project. Over several months, director John Hyams (NYPD Blue) captures Kerr's seemingly unstoppable parade of victory in the U.S. and Japan. He also reflects the decay in Kerr's private life and highlights a dramatic turn in his fortunes after Kerr loses an important MMA match to a Russian brawler. Along the way, we meet Kerr's trainer, Mark Coleman, whose own destiny takes on ironic, unexpected importance in the end. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

A sport so dangerous it was once banned in the U.S., no-holds-barred fighting is undeniably the purest form of human competition. Simple in concept and savage in execution, it is the definitive test of survival: one ring, two fighters, and no rules. In th

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding representation of a Shakespearean tragedy September 10, 2004
Format:DVD
Outstanding story of the rise, fall and attempted resurrection of Mark Kerr's career as a professional fighter. Mark's willingness to allow a film crew to follow him in his ups and downs, as well as his honesty of emotions makes for a gripping tale. Other famous fighters are weaved into the story, including Mark Coleman, Ricco Rodriguez and Bas Rutten.

You see the enormous highs of victory, as well as the training to get there. There's the downsides as well, as you see Mark slide into drug addiction and relationship hell. Heavy stuff.

It's easy to generalize about these fighters. He's too nice to fight. He's a psycho. He's a drug addict. He just needs to dump his girlfriend. But in the end you're left with a contradictory individual. It's a struggle, but you find yourself rooting for him in the end.

The bonus tracks added quite a bit. 30 minutes of Renzo Gracie's life was a great surprise, and the director's voice over makes the entire video worth watching twice.

Very well done!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dark and poignant documentary March 27, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This DVD offers an unblinking look into the life and times of Mark Kerr between the years of 1999 and 2001. Kerr was once regarded by many as the most dominant ultimate fighter in the world. Those who remember watching his early matches will recall the physically imposing Kerr, an ex-Olympic wrestler, easily handle all comers and earning his nickname "The Smashing Machine". This film documents the rollercoaster ride that was Kerr's professional fighting career. It portrays the story of an intelligent, well-spoken, and emotionally vulnerable athlete who gave himself to one of the most demanding and brutal sports in the world.
Kerr, lured by the promise of large paydays and fueled by the euphoria of his early victories, is forced to do battle with physical injuries and his inner fears. The chaos of these matches weigh heavily on the minds and bodies of these athletes, and some like Kerr deal with the physical and psychological trauma by turning to drugs. Kerr's addiction is shown in raw form, and the camera does not shy away as he desperately solicits drugs from friends and event staff, and injects pain killers into his veins.
Fans who remember Kerr's shocking loss to Fujita in Japan, will finally understand the forces behind Kerr's undoing. Especially intriguing is seeing the relationship between Kerr and the wily vetern fighter Bas Rutten, who helps train Kerr and is then forced to watch the unraveling of his pupil.
It is a story that can be difficult and gut-wrenching to watch. The documentary has few cheerful moments, and a dark mood hangs overhead even when Kerr wins his matches. It seems to suggest that pain and blood are always right around the corner in the lives of these fighters. Outside the ring, Kerr's gentle nature and thoughtful commentary make him an endearing figure. However this story does not have a happy ending, and may leave fans with mixed feelings over what they just saw.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the editorial. October 17, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
I couldn't disagree further with the editorial review on this documentary. Having sought it out after reading excellent reviews and recommendations I was immensely impressed with the detail and access that the Smashing Machine provides. Mark Kerr to his credit shows an immense amount of his private world to us in what would appear to be an attempt to get help. And the makers to their credit steer away from making a judgement based piece in order to allow the viewer to assimilate the information on show. This is exemplified by the scene at the doctors surgery in which Kerr is less that impressive in trying to explain his motivations of fighting to a middle aged female patient. This is a fine document of a sport transferring from it's infancy to the modern world and I recommend it for MMA and non-MMA fans alike.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
This documentary was shot at the exact time Mark Kerr was going through a horrible period in his life. It is done somewhat low-budget so don't expect James Earl Jones doing narration but it's an epic story. Unlike others, this film isn't done in the documentary style of flashback and archived clips. The things that happen all happen as they're filming the movie.

Mark Kerr was an amazing fighter and like most of the amazing fighters in the world kinda fell into the sport. He was a wrestler and after college needed something to do for money. Putting his talents to use solved that problem.

I suggest that anyone who watches this movie watch some real Mixed Martial Arts fights beforehand. Give yourself that taste of what MMA is like and then you'll understand how much of a struggle it can be to train and compete.

P.S. It's been a while since I've seen the movie but in the bonus features, watching Bas knock out Rodrigo (i think), is probably one of the most classic shots ever.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome profile of MMA October 14, 2003
Format:DVD
This is a great movie folks. It gives you an appreciation for No Holds Barred fighting. Many people consider it barbaric, but this shows a different side. Many of the fighters are good friends behind the scenes. Also, these guys are not supermen. They have the physical and emotional problems every person faces. They are sometimes addicted to drugs, they have physical pain constantly, but they still go out and give it their all when they can. Profiled here is Mark Kerr, who rose to become a UFC Champion and Pride FC superstar. The documentary is honest, forthwright, and heart wrenching. You see a good man brought low and constanly try to pick himself up again. It just does not always work, no matter how much you want to stand. This is an awesome watch if you are a MMA fan. If you are not, and are one of the sports many critics, watch this to get a better understanding of why these guys fight their hearts out.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars cool.
The Smashing Machine - The Life and Times of Extreme Fighter Mark Kerr is a very in-depth video. Instant collector item.
Published 9 months ago by Darin Warden
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Doc
I'm a big fan of MMA. I remember watching these older guys back in the late 90's. Mark Colman is in it a lot. Mark Kerr struggled with pain killers and depression. Read more
Published 10 months ago by jared hicks
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
Very well done, and a very good look into the life of Mark Kerr. This DVD does, however, take a very obvious and very biased stance against MMA. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Ian Foard
4.0 out of 5 stars Humanizing Hercules
The Smashing Machine shatters stereotypes of brutes and bloodbaths in the ring of ultimate fighters. Kerr is no immortal, but nor is he angry, loud-mouthed, or brutish. Read more
Published 20 months ago by thedoc-robot
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding but not for the squeamish
The documentary of two MMA fighters: Mark Kerr and Mark Coleman. While the story focuses on Kerr's life and mishaps, clearly the underlying story of Mark Coleman is equally as... Read more
Published on October 13, 2011 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars very good, but could have been better
It's impressive, but the director lets his subject off the hook over and over again. In fact, the director doesn't seem to do much more that simply point the camera at what is... Read more
Published on April 24, 2011 by Matthew Dyer
5.0 out of 5 stars PRIDE FC's Heyday
This is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at Mark Kerr and the sport of MMA during it's earlier years circa 99-00. Read more
Published on August 13, 2010 by BigStory
5.0 out of 5 stars the Smashing Machine
i've seen this before i bought it. well worth the money. this is a real good doc.
Published on July 10, 2008 by Juan A. Silva
4.0 out of 5 stars potent
The Smashing Machine - The Life and Times of Extreme Fighter Mark Kerr
Well first of all me and all my friends are fans and collectors of anything to do with MMA. Read more
Published on March 6, 2008 by A. Mello
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Well Done
This documentary gives the sport of no holds barred fighting a human face. Mark Kerr is one of thousands of `ultimate fighters' that put their lives on the line for pride, money... Read more
Published on July 14, 2006 by D. Brown
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