Canadian Film Fest 2013: My Thoughts on Skull World

skullworld The documentary Skull World covers two subjects.  On one hand, the film follows two years in the life of Greg Sommer.  Sommer is better known by his alter-ego off Skull Man, in which he puts on a skeleton costume and exhibits a personality quite different from his own.  The other subject of the film is Box Wars, of which Sommer runs the Canadian chapter of.  Box Wars, which originally began in Australia, is essentially a form of LARPing, except instead of role playing, people dress up in elaborate cardboard costumes and fight in large-scale winner-take-all battles.  The rules of these battles are simple: fight until you destroy your opponent’s costume.  It’s definitely more brutal than your average LARPing event. Much of the film is spent following Sommer as he tries to spread the word about Box Wars.  This includes setting up booths at Fan Expo Canada and making appearances at Roller Derby events.  The film also lets you see the man behind the mask so to speak.  Outside of Skull Man and Box Wars, Sommer lives a somewhat mundane life, living in his mother’s basement.  His day job involved working at a cemetery, while he tried to develop a freelance career in video production.  Even though Sommer comes off a quite crazy in his Skull Man persona, there are moments in the film when speaks in a very down-to-earth fashion, revealing that it is all an act.  In fact, there is a point where he says that he tries very hard not to reveal that aspect of his personality to his father, who he doesn’t see all that often. One of the big moments in the film comes when Sommer travels to Australia to join the founders of Box Wars in their big Boxing Day battle.  It was quite impressive seeing how much more elaborate Box Wars is in Australia, which included some impressive creations, such as a cardboard horse and a giant box robot.  Also, it is revealed that Skull Man reached cult status in Australia. I would have to say that overall I enjoyed Skull World.  Greg Sommer is definitely a very unique and interesting individual and it was fun watching what makes this guy tick.  While the Box Wars storyline was the centre of the film, there were also some explorations of Sommer’s huge interest and belief in UFOs, as well as his visit to a shaman.  His personality definitely made for a very entertaining documentary.  Also, I do have to say that the documentary would be a fun double bill with the doc Beauty Day, which is another film about a guy with a crazy alterego. I definitely give Skull World my recommendation. 8 | LIKED IT

Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).