Your new movie Ox
Baker - One of the Boys - in a few words, what is it about?
The film consists primarily of an interview I conducted with legendary pro
Baker about a year before his death with a few
additional scenes of Ox having fun at a wrestling show around 2010 and
finally a poetic tribute to Ox. I read the same poetic tribute at
Ox's funeral and a hard gust of wind blew by just as I finished reading
inspired you to make a movie about Ox Baker in the first place, and how
did you first meet the man even?
I first met Ox at the New England Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2009, an
annual event run by my friend Joe Bruen. I had seen Ox on TV as a kid.
Although I've met many pro wrestlers in my time, and gotten along with
most, for some reason, Ox and I seemed to have a deeper connection. I
wanted to use Ox in a few feature narrative films, but unfortunately, as
discussed in Disregard
the Vampire - A Mike Messier documentary (watch
the film here:
things did not turn out as planned. Nevertheless, Ox and I
remained good friends throughout the years and he would even come to my
annual birthday party. The guy was simply larger than life and it was an
honor to be his friend.
As far as I know,
you're a big fan of wrestling as such - so care to elaborate a bit?
Well, I really do love professional wrestling and these days there are
some new groups gaining traction such as AEW, MLW, NJPW and Impact
Wrestling so it's getting to be a good time to be a wrestling fan again.
For quite some time , the WWE has gone about their business without much
competition which has lead to their company being a bit stagnate.
They've also taken on some questionable policies regarding doing big
money, "international shows" that forbid the use of Women
wrestlers. I voice my frustrations on my YouTube page of Mikey Messier - Pro Wrestling Rants
(see here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxxeZv9F7xNj9wxMU2SZ9C9Bs31wZLwXW)
and I've gotten a name for myself on Twitter and Facebook as Mikey
Messier - Angry Wrestling Fan. By and large, I prefer my wrestling
from the earlier era of my 1990s childhood; after that, it hasn't been
quite as good. But there's always hope.
Ox Baker - One of
the Boys you just chose to just follow Ox's train of thought from
beginning to end - so what made you choose that approach, and have you
also considered other ways to tell Ox's story?
Ox actually called me on the phone the day of the shoot and told me he
was worried about his long-term health and asked me to come over right
away to film an interview. Luckily, Roland the camera-man was available
and able to meet me and we got over there to meet Ox that very day. So ,
this was all very spontaneous. I had had hopes to make a film with Ox,
similar to My Breakfast with Blassie, but that was superseded
by this interview.
There was some considerations, and unfortunate complexities, that have
caused me to hesitate in doing another type of Ox film. I feel that this
interview Ox in that he speaks, in his own words, about his career and
the wrestlers he shared the ring with.
kind of a man was Ox Baker off camera and out of his wrestling character?
Ox was just a lot of fun and he definitely wanted to be remembered. Even
as he was getting older, he was always the life of the party and filled
a room with his presence. He liked to "rib" (make fun with)
people but only in a gentle, good-natured way. Ox was most always
"on", meaning that he wasn't the type of guy you'd call if
you wanted to share a quiet evening playing chess and talking
philosophy, but if you were looking for fun, Ox was your guy. Several
times, I would drive about an hour to see him and we'd just go to his
favorite Burger King and share some laughs and Ox would tell stories.
talk about the shoot as such for a bit?
It was a little stressful because Ox was not feeling too well that day,
healthwise, and so there was kind of a foreboding sense in the air;
about a year later, Ox passed away after several health issues. So
Ox Baker - One of
the Boys really is Ox's goodbye to his fans.
The other portions of the film were filmed a few years before the
interview and finally, a few years after. So, when people watch this
doc, they are really seeing material shot over a span of nearly nine
The $64 question
of course, where can your movie be seen?
For the time being, people can click here to see the full film in its
entirety for free:
can tell us about audience and critical reception of Ox
Baker - One of the Boys yet?
People who are Ox's friends and fans are happy to see him "come
alive" one more time. So , that's a good feeling.
Any future projects
you'd like to share?
Peace Theater is a new 6 part webseries I've
filmed which is currently being released - https://mikemessier.com/2019/07/25/messier-peace-theater/
My short film The
Impeccable was recently accepted into the
Rhode Island International Film Festival - https://mikemessier.com/2018/12/07/the-impeccable/
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Your/your movie's website,
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Anything else you're dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
I am also working with Avalonia
Festival IV, which will have a new home venue in
December! This is a great film festival for short films 21 minutes and
under with a variety of genres for every filmmaker! Those reading this
interview can use the promo code "searchmytrash" for 16% off
all entries for AV IV!