Directed by Fulvio Cecere
Starring – Bret Hart, Ted Dibiase, Greg Valentine
The Plot – Get a behind-the-scenes look at the world of professional wrestling featuring interviews and photographs with legendary wrestlers and rare in-ring footage! Starring former champions Bret Hart and Billy Graham, it’s a true look behind the curtains at the grueling life they led on the road 350 days a year and the effect it had on their marriages, family, physical and mental health. Featuring Greg Valentine, Tito Santana, Paul Orndorff, Abdullah The Butcher, Wendi Richter, Bill Eadie, Nikolai Volkoff, Stan Hansen, Angelo Mosca, Lex Luger, and more, the event also includes some of the last interviews ever done with George Steele, Jimmy Snuka, Ox Baker, The Wolfman, Don Fargo, and Angelo Savoldi. Plus, an exclusive introduction and interview with JJ Dillon (manager of The Four Horsemen) to discuss the current state of professional wrestling.
Currently not rated
– For anyone who is new to professional wrestling, or seeks more knowledge about the profession, ‘350 Days’ is an intricate starting chapter full of unlimited knowledge. This is an unabashed and candid look behind the curtain of entertainment that is second only to magicians in terms of secrecy, and through the many legends that are interviewed for it we get many horrific examples in and around wrestling that prove that fame comes with quite a steep price.
– Beyond its unlimited knowledge, the film is also responsible in the direction it takes with letting the audience decide if it’s worth it or not, once all of the facts are presented. It would be easy to glorify this sport in the eyes of a wrestling fan director or in the hundreds interviewed for the picture, but I appreciate that the material paints the sport as something that isn’t for everyone, asking several times if they can fight through the pain.
– There are some never-before-seen pictures that are displayed throughout the film that reveal talent in their most personable stages. These were perhaps the parts of the movie that were the most beneficial to a wrestling fan like me, because especially in the 80’s, you never got as much exposure backstage as you do in modern wrestling, and some of these rare prints gave me lots of intrigue while painting a vivid picture of the atmosphere that is covered throughout nearly two hours.
– Bret Hart is my all time favorite wrestler, so I appreciated that he more than anyone took the reigns midway through the film and became the on-going narrator of sorts. Beyond being a master historian, Bret is someone whose honesty has always carved out an opinion that you either love or hate him for, but either way there is probably no one better to speak who has been through the many stages of independent and big league wrestling to compare and contrast.
– This documentary reeks of a cheap production sprinkled throughout. Above everything else, it is in the use of pictures over video footage that clearly illustrates how the filmmakers were unable to attain the rights to show these special instances. While I mentioned earlier how I appreciated the pictures, a modern documentary can only go so far on storytelling and pictures alone that eventually it needs video evidence as a dramatization for what is being discussed.
– Terrible editing and scene transitions that could’ve easily used another director’s cut. Sometimes interviews drop out with little leading that the interview is concluded, sometimes the next person will cut off the previous person before they are finished talking, and sometimes wrong pictures will show when we begin to hear a voice, and that person won’t be the one in the picture. On the latter, there were so many times when I was deceived on thinking a particular person was in the film, only to discover that the picture had nothing to do with the voice of who was speaking, and it eventually got aggravating.
– At 110 minutes, this film is simply far too repetitive to keep you intrigued. With the many topics, it discusses the outline first, then eventually says how it effects each wrestler speaking. The problem with that is how many wrestlers were brought in for this project, so we have to get every single wrestler’s opinion on every single subject, and it all just blends together with repeating the same outline.
– Which brings me to my next problem; there is no minimum for who is invited to speak on this project. No disrespect to certain wrestlers, but some of these names I’ve never even remotely heard of, forcing me to lose interest every time one of them appeared on screen. In my opinion, the film should’ve stuck with the 12 wrestlers featured on the poster and just given more time to them. No film, documentary or screen play, should ever be introducing new characters with ten minutes left in the movie.
– There is a musical score in this film that is every bit repetitive as it is generic. Not that I expect versatility in a documentary about professional wrestling, but in hearing the same riffs over a repeated fifteen second offering, I was reminded of my many years playing 8 bit Nintendo games, where a repeated riff like on Friday the 13th or Who Framed Roger Rabbit could make you want to punch baby seals. ‘350 Days’ takes this gimmick and pushes it to such annoying levels that I crouched lower in my seat every time I knew a musical montage of pictures was coming.
– I have a ton of respect for Cecere’s first delve into the director’s chair, but ‘350 Days’ is every bit as unfocused as it is redundant, leaving very little impression or style to compliment his brand of filmmaking that makes this project stick out in any possible way. The very lack of direction in this film could’ve come from anyone, but it turns out that it’s helmed by an actor who has over 200 roles to date, proving that while he shines in front of the camera, he has much to learn about commanding behind one.