Friday, 5/26/2017

The Lovable Sledgehammer

A theatrical doc on Bud Spencer

The Lovable Sledgehammer


Carlo Pedersoli competed twice in the Olympics in the 1950s as a swimmer, and was Italian swim champ several times. He's still a legend at his swim club Lazio Rome, remembered as one of the great Italian swimmers. But Pedersoli was actually incredibly lazy, preferred chasing women, eating good food and, later, acting. He wound up in the movies by accident, could neither ride nor speak English – and yet became one of Italy's greatest Spaghetti Western antiheroes. He needed an English-sounding name for a new movie in 1967, so he thought of his favorite beer, Budweiser, and his favorite actor, Spencer Tracy: Thus Bud Spencer was born. He became a legend on the silver screen who was truly larger than life. The "Big Fat Guy with the Sledgehammer Fists" beat up baddies with his buddy Terence Hill in more than one dozen legendary laffers set in and around the Wild Wild West.

Bud & Terence

THEY CALLED HIM BULLDOZER (Karl-Martin Pold) is the first theatrical documentary to show not only the multifaceted life of Bud Spencer, who died in 2016, but also the global hype unleashed around his character for the last half-century. The Austrian journalist and filmmaker Karl-Martin Pold chose an unusual and difficult way to make his doc, getting in touch with countless Bud Spencer fan clubs via social media, founding his own Facebook page, which has 270.000 likes by now. He financed part of the film via the Startnext crowdfunding platform – and finally managed to complete his ambitious project after eight years of work. They encountered enormous support: "When our VW Bus broke down on the way to Rome, we got help from a mechanic who was also a huge Bud Spencer fan," Pold recalls.

 Jorgo & Markus

The road movie documentary THEY CALLED HIM BULLDOZER recounts the story of this loyal fan base, as well: Two of Spencer's greatest fans set out to finally meet their idol in person. Marcus, a German cop in early retirement, and blind bank clerk Jorgo from Berlin. They both bear a striking similarity to their matinee idol, and speak to Spencer's colleagues, fellow travelers and friends. They both hope to wind up their trip with a plate of spaghetti with Banana Joe.

On Friday, June 23 at 8:45 pm, the film will have its world premiere at FILMFEST MÜNCHEN 2017. Surprise guests from the Bud Spencer pantheon are expected the Mathäser Palace in Munich.