DVD Review: Pritchard and Dainton – ‘The Rise and Falls’

‘“From zero to hero to zero again” is Lee Dainton’s summation of the crazy, roller-coaster world he has shared with his long-standing partner in crime Matthew Pritchard.

‘The Rise and Falls’ is a heartfelt eye-opener of a documentary featuring the madcap antics of this pair, from childhood to global superstardom with ‘Dirty Sanchez’ and beyond.

I must confess that as with ‘Jackass’, I would often find the more masochistic or gross elements of these shows a tad bewildering.

I have been a fan of so-called ‘extreme’ sports ever since I was denied a skateboard in the late 70’s. I have surfed, snow-boarded, and mountain biked in some remote and hostile places over the years, but funnily enough I have never felt the urge to drive nails through my testicles…

What this film superbly and honestly portrays, is how Pritchard and Dainton literally ramped up the ante, with progressively over the top and attention grabbing stunts.

As perennial outsiders, growing up with a shared love of skateboarding, they found their kicks where they could, before there really was any understanding or appreciation in the UK, that skateboarding was to become a serious alternative sport.

There are probably few other activities where the ‘stunts’ involve bone-jarring concussion with inert chunks of steel and concrete. It s perhaps inevitable that these guys would develop a threshold for pain way beyond what most of us would consider acceptable.

Add to that the applause and appreciation, just as much when things go wrong, for having had the balls to even try something outrageous in the first place, and you start to get an inkling for their less well travelled road.

I’ve known guys who would risk their lives every weekend with mountain rescue and get up to similar high jinks, when the adrenaline rush has been suspended or denied.

Think of it less as self-harm, and more of an ability to suspend fear and put yourself in harm’s way, for the serious business of having fun.

The guys come across as genuinely amiable, delighted that they found a way out of the potential dead-ends that ‘respectable’ society had to offer.

For that reason probably more than any other I really enjoyed watching this film, because it shows that whatever your passion or flair might be, if you pursue it and remain true to yourself, just about anything can and will happen.

It is a credit to their continued entrepreneurial skill that Pritchard and Dainton crowdfunded the movie themselves on Kickstarter, raising the funds in only two days.

‘Pritchard and Dainton – The Rise and Falls’ is narrated by that other favourite Welsh anti-hero Howard Marks, and sees it’s DVD release in mid-November.

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