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Iron City Asskickers

USA 1998
produced by
George A. Romero, Jason Winn 'J.B. Destiny' Bareford, Christian Bareford (executive), Christian Stavrakis (executive), Mark Ricche (executive) for Cryptic Pictures, Image 987
directed by George A. Romero
starring David Herchelroath, Jason Winn 'J.B. Destiny' Bareford, Darlene Vislay, Lori Cardille, Brian Anthony, Babe Nigro, George A. Romero, Christian Stavrakis, Nate Moore, Kyra Schon, Mark 'Buff' Wilhelm, Hank Hudson, Spiffy Sean Styles, Shawn Patrick, Dennis Brant jr, Boomer Payne, Ruth Leslie Dorst, Fred Kowalo
written by Jason Winn 'J.B. Destiny' Bareford

TV pilot

review by
Mike Haberfelner

The atmosphere's electric in Pittsburgh, PA, as the reigning wrestling world champion Big Poppa Gator (David Herchelroath) is challenged for the title by J.B. Destiny (Jason Winn Bareford), a man half his size but twice his ambition and cunning. The fight has an extra dimension to it, as not long ago, J.B. Destiny has kidnapped (or, as he prefers to call it, freed) Gator's girlfriend/manager Sadie Spank (Darlene Vislay), who has since been his ringside companion. So the stakes could hardly be higher, and of course, the fight is fought dirty, with both men throwing everything but the kitchen sink at each other - and despite not matching Gator in size, strength or weight, eventually J.B. Destiny gains the upper hand. But everybody seems to have forgotten that Sadie has a stake in the fight as well ...

 

By 1998, cult director George A. Romero hadn't directed a film in literally years, so when his associate, local wrestler Jason Winn 'J.B. Destiny' Bareford, suggested a reality TV-like, mostly improvised pilot for a TV show set in the world of pro-wrestling based on Bareford's own script, Romero wasn't one to say no - and the outcome of this is actually a pretty entertaining soap operatic sports piece, filmed by Romero with the necessary feel for grittiness of drama, but also spots of comedy, to make this an enjoyable ride for sure - but alas, the pilot was never picked up and expanded into a series, quite possible because back when both the WCW and the WWF delivered wrestling action heavily infused with melodrama on a weekly basis already, and even if their approach was less subtle and lacked narrative finesse, there simply wasn't demand for yet more wrestling entertainment on the airwaves - which is a shame, would have been fun to see where this was going.

 

And this has gotten you at all interested, you can get the pilot on DVD or even VHS (!) here: https://www.crypticpictures.com/iron-city-ass-kickers

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
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you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
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written by
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starring
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out now on DVD