Very few documentaries present a slice of life without an agenda. And that is fine, that is mostly their purpose. But sometimes you come across a rare, tender gem that simply allows people outside a specific way of life to really see what someone else is up to in an honest, enlightening and entertaining way. The 2009 SMASH: Motorized Mayhem, now currently streaming on Netflix, is one of those (don’t let the title fool you).

Buckle up!

Director Kevin Burroughs has made a truly remarkable film. It follows the lives of four people involved in what has been described as a “redneck rodeo” in Orlando Florida. Chuck Rush, Don Nerone, Ben Craft and Butch Pierce are the main characters in an event where the participants drive tricked out school busses in a wild derby in front of a surprisingly enthusiastic and numerous crowd. Not so much a destruction derby (crashing into each other is highly discouraged and will get you kicked right the hell out) as a skill based NASCAR-esque event without the corporate sponsors in a city that has been described (in the film) as “Jamaica without the breeze”.

If there is a main focus of the film it is on Chuck “Junkyard Dog” Rush, who is not only a bus racing legend, he is also one of the men involved in getting the vehicles in tip top shape for the races, which involve a surprising amount of organization. The audience is treated to a slice of life behind the mud and mayhem that Chuck’s chosen pastime so heavily features to see how a good man lives, loves and works when he’s not risking life and limb to entertain his fans. He is a local legend, and yet still humble. He does argue with his boss (Don Nerone), but he loves his family and his hobby passionately. This comes across clearly in this very watchable film.

If you come across SMASH on your Netflix cue, or where ever else it lands, do yourself a favor; sit down, crack a beverage and have a great time getting a glimpse of some folks who live for fun, danger, and truly do it for themselves and the fans. IN this age of sensationalistic crap, where everyone has to be the next big thing on reality TV or YouTube, these fellas truly do it for the love of the game. And in this wonderful film, it shows.

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