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Decline of the Water Ski Monopoly

April 2, 2000
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The rumors of an underground movie from the Mutiny crew have been swirling around for a number of years. Schmaltz had started a project that had never materialized … but then in comes a motivated, creative and inexperienced Thomas Horrell to pick up the torch and run with it. The rumors are now a reality, and Thomas ran with it, using the torch to start a few fires along the way, some of which are used symbolically throughout the new Serum Productions film, Decline of the Water Ski Monopoly. The premier party was held during last fall’s Surf Expo and was a great opportunity to show the board-sports world what wakeboarding was all about, according to Thomas and Erich.
Decline of the Water Ski Monopoly has everything the unknowing masses might expect from the pair, except that it’s really well done. Do not make the mistake of dismissing this movie as a first attempt. Even though the movie is shot predominately on digital video, the action and the editing are superb, and the grainy quality seems to fit the subject matter.
A fresh view of wakeboarding is a small portion of the movie’s assets. Decline reveals the nature of two new and dynamic branches of our sport: wakeskating and sliders. No other action movie to date offers the amount of wakeskating and use of sliders. Wakeskating by Drew McGuckin, Scott Byerly, and Thomas Horrell will blow your mind. Sliders throughout the entire show will legitimize this discipline to any naysayer. This episode even owns the distinct honor of having the best single section in any wakeboard movie to date. Forget Byerly in many evolutionary flicks, Matt Staker’s section in this movie tells a story about the rider, the movie maker and the sport that has to be experienced to understand.
The extensive artistic symbolism tied into every edit is impressive. Possibly to the point of being a bit over-edited and at times tiring but effective. The mass editing coupled with loud music and clips of fire and rebellion wear you to the point that the intended message is forced deep into your psyche. That message? That wakeboarding is not owned or run by anyone but the riders that create and interpret it every day. Ironically, this underground production uses the mass-media propaganda machine to prove its enlightened position in relation to the industry it feels has tried to suppress their rebellion — or something like that.
Guest stars include: Chase Heavener, Bruce Lee, Shawn Watson, Steve Wahlman, Collin Wright, Chad Morin, Elvis, Sara Cline, Matt Purdy, Marilyn Monroe, Buster Lutgert, Andrew Cairns, Captain James T. Kirk, Stephan Kaplan, Josh Smith, President Nixon and even Erich Schmaltz himself.
Bottom line: A must-see for anyone who thinks they know the direction of our sport or any film student that lacks creativity.

Watch a preview of Decline of the Water Ski Monopoly

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