The Wall of Death in 2011

Dailies -

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wall-of-death

Can The Wall of Death — a wooden cylinder in which riders use centrifugal force to climb the walls — still find a place in the risk averse modern world? Here, filmmaker Benedict Campbell profiles the Ken Fox Troupe, the last remaining family of daredevils to tour a silodrome in Europe. It’s a surprisingly moving tale of danger as living.

  • James Dean Meyer

    Benedict Campbell did a nice job presenting the Ken Fox Troupe and their lifestyle. I rode with Rhett Rotten’s Wall of Death for most of 2004. This brings back a few memories, not all of them good, but an experience that is hard to relate.

  • Brad

    Very cool film. Watched the American Hell Rider’s wall of death in New York at the Rhinebeck motorcycle meet. Gives you that nauseous feeling in the pit of your stomach. Fun but spooky.

  • NoVeloNoVin

    Lovely film. It is Dailies such as this and the Macau GP short that make it likely that I will renew my subscription when the time comes. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who thought of Richard Thompson’s song “Wall of Death” while watching this — redemption can come in many forms, even a carnival ride. (Although I’m grateful the song was not in the soundtrack, as that would have been rather trite, IMO.)

    Good work.

  • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]

    Great film with compelling narration and music. I really enjoyed watching this.

  • http://www.firstgenerationmotors.blogspot.com Emmet

    That was amazing. I was at Oktoberfest in Munich last year and came across a Wall of Death show (I wonder if it’s this group?). I really regret not seeing it.

    • zero

      Really? I was there too and somehow missed that. Damn.

  • Campisi

    The first thing I thought of was the Wall of Death art installation under University Bridge in Seattle.

  • http://www.karinajean.com karinajean

    East Coasters – you just missed the wall of death show at Motorcyclepedia in Newburgh NY. The wall is permanently on display, and the death waller (is that a term?) Pit Lengner of Germany said he’d be back in March for a longer show.

  • Scott-jay

    Good, good; posting with stunt piece good, too.
    What’s show-biz name for related spherical cage?
    Barber Vintage Festival have a wall of death this year?

    • http://mansgottado.tumblr.com/ Andy Gregory
      • Scott-jay

        That’s it!
        Globe of Death visited locally this year was idle during my visit. Pair of modern MX bikes were on-hand to perform.
        Compare diameter for globe o’ death (14′-16′) with operator’s comment on his ideal wall diameter: 26-ft.

    • Stu Bogue

      Barber’s Vintage did indeed have a WoD Show.

  • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

    That’s an awesome film.

    The Troupe was featured in Sideburn magazine back in issue #6. I guess the article format allows for certain other details that don’t come across in film, it had more of a personal interview feel to it.

    Kerri is the blonde. What a girl. This is how she describes getting the job as a wall of death rider:

    “I saw an advert in the job centre for a Wall of Death rider. The horse riding school I was working at had just closed down and I thought the Wall of Death was something to do with horses. I’d never ridden a motorbike. I saw Luke on the wall and thought, bloody hell, that looks good! Sod horses.”

    One more very good reason to head to Oktoberfest to catch their annual shows…

  • Stu Bogue

    This is a really sweet film. I saw this family perform in the English Midlands in 2007 and was forever touched by their purity of what they do and the sheer joy it brought to me and all those around me,and most of all,to the riders themselves…