Posted July 15, 2013

These People Want Your Money: A Filmed Journey to the Center of the Iron Sheik’s Brain

Entertainment, Movies, Riffs, These People Want Your Money

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Project: Iranian Legend: The Iron Sheik Story on Indiegogo

Cash ask: $100,000

Concept: Remember the burly, impressively-mustached wrestler who used American jingoism and classic evil-doer villainy to become the most recognizable wrestling bad guy of all time? You know, the freaking Iron Sheik? Yeah, it’s a documentary about his life.

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Creators:  Twins Jian and Page Magen, who are the owners of Magen Boys Entertainment (“Canada’s #1 turn-key event production and entertainment company,” according to their bio on the Indiegogo page). The Sheik is a family friend, and they’ve been following him around for six years to collect material for the doc.

Worth funding? Well, that all depends.

If you have even a remote knowledge of the Iron Sheik, I don’t think there’s any way you couldn’t be a little bit curious about the cavalcade of absurdity that begat his existence. Even from the brief teaser posted on the Indiegogo page, you can tell that the Magens are backing up the promise of their purported access. I mean, we already get a scene where Iron Sheik says, “Everybody knows there’s no Hulk Hogan without Iron Sheik,” over footage of Iron Sheik swinging two giant sledgehammers above his head. That justifies the price of admission all by itself.

But hey, maybe you’re blissfully unaware of the Sheik. Maybe he just looks like your run-of-the-mill crazy guy. Maybe you think there’s no way this documentary isn’t going to be depressing, because you saw Beyond the Mat and you know how these things go. (Maybe you just saw The Wrestler, which still gets the idea across.) If you fall in this camp, I can see how you’d be reluctant to contribute; maybe even conflicted about it.

But I can promise you: Any journey into the mind of the Iron Sheik is going to be worth it. I’m not even sure if anyone knows if he’s in character or not. This guy is large, angry, and about as unpredictable as public figures get, Amanda Bynes included. Whether it’s to preserve what is a significant piece of WWF history, to serve as a tribute to an all-time entertainment great, or just to cynically exploit an aging but seemingly self-aware wrestler, the film merits funding.

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Suggested pledge: The best reward without going too overboard is at $30, where you get a personalized tweet from the Iron Sheik himself. That’s a HUGE bargain as far as I’m concerned.

(That’s more or less the only one of his tweets that we can publish.)

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