Blood, Punches and Drugs.
Philippe Falardeau (My Internship in Canada) takes the real life story of an amateur boxer who went up against the greatest fighter of his generation and how that story inspired the film legacy of Rocky Balboa.
Bayonne, New Jersey and Chuck Wepner (Liev Schreiber, X-Men Origins: Wolverine) is a liquor salesman going from bar to bar in his neighbourhood cajoling the bar owner to buy his liquor, he is well known in the area as he is a prize fighter. When you are young and living in an area like Bayonne you are always going to have a tussle and Chuck and the local kids found out that he could take a punch.
September 1974 and Chuck is in the ring with Terry Hinke ‘the Stormin Mormon’ and he is in the way of Chuck having a title shot at the heavyweight champion of the World, George Forman. It’s late in the fight and Chuck has had it rough, he is cut above both eyes and his nose, hence the nickname the ‘Bayonne Bleeder’ a name that he really hates but he can’t help being easily cut. The referee wants to stop the fight but Chucks manager and cuts man Al ‘The Butcher’ Braverman (Ron Perlman, Hellboy, Sons of Anarchy) pulls a fast one on the doctor and the fight goes on.
With Hinke on the canvas Chuck is the winner and he is now a local hero and is waiting for Foreman to be the victor after the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ with the challenger Muhammad Ali Ali (Pooch Hall, A Dog’s Purpose).
Chuck lives with his wife Phyliss (Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men, Get Him to the Greek) and his eleven year old daughter Kimberly (Sadie Sink, Stranger Things), they are happy but Phyliss knows that Chuck has a wandering eye for the ladies, which gets him in trouble with her and Kimberly.
It is a shock defeat for Foreman and with Muhammed Ali the victor and he wants his next fight to be against a white man and luckily for Chuck he is the highest ranking one and now he has a shot at becoming World champion and how it inspired Sylvester Stallone (Morgan Spector, The Drop) to write his seminal work ‘Rocky’.
With fame you soon acquire new so called friends and they can introduce you to new experiences that lead you down the proverbial garden path to self destruction. You need someone special to put you on the straight and narrow, step up Linda (Naomi Watts, King Kong).
This for the pugilist or the Rocky Balboa fans in the house, a great slice of history. conveys the 70’s perfectly and if you remember the fight this film will take you right back there. With a cracking sound track you are going to have 98 minutes of fun.The Bleeder is available on DVD and Blu-ray