When choosing this week's DVDs, I'd already seen Iron Man twice, so I opted for a title I'd never heard of. And my oh my, I was stunned at how interesting the subject of steroid use in America really can be, once it's taken out of the hands of lawmakers and health teachers who proclaim it an evil without ever explaining why.
This is essentially the life story of writer/director Chris Bell. Like many young men, he grew up idolizing beefed-up icons like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Hulk Hogan. Bell and his brothers were into weight lifting, wrestling and football—but they could never quite achieve the success they coveted. While his brothers turned to steroids to gain a competitive advantage, Bell was morally compelled to avoid them. He takes viewers on a trip into the minds of many people involved with steroids today—athletes who use them, lawmakers who ban them and doctors who advise against them—all while framing the pros and cons in the context of his own family's brush with the controversial performance enhancers.
Clearly, mainstream society will never be a proponent of 'roids, but this film certainly does a lot to open Americans' eyes to the other side of the picture. I strongly recommend this title not as an instructional film for high schools but for responsible parents to view with their young athletes at home. It does include some adult themes, but for families who prefer education over scare tactics, this documentary could stimulate plenty of discussion.
This video courtesy of Hollywood Video, 590 Broadway Ave., 208-342-6117.